Recently, Compete.com posted new statistics on the Top 25 Social Networks ranked by monthly visits. While many social networks like to tout their number of users, monthly visits is a true measurement of usage. In other words, which social networks are getting used? The numbers are below:
As you can see from the numbers, Facebook has taken over the top spot from MySpace and previously little known Twitter has climbed to the third spot after the two behemoths. In fact, if you read the original blog post on Compete.com, you will see a few other graphs that show MySpace’s numbers falling while Facebook and Twitter continue meteoric rises.
What’s even more fascinating is that, according to the CNET News blog, these numbers only represent web browser traffic in the U.S. According to writer Caroline McCarthy, “That means that you won’t be pulling in any international numbers, where most of Facebook’s users are now, or data from widgets or third-party applications, which are how many avid Twitter users access the service. That means that it’s likely that Twitter’s reach is bigger than the numbers indicate.”
How does this apply to you? I have often told people in conversation that I am an early adpoter when it comes to social media, which means I am not the innovator who jumps on every new technology in its infant stages but wait for a certain mass before it has business value. I follow many innovators (such as my friend Tac Anderson or Joseph Jaffe) in order to keep my finger on the pulse of what is the latest and greatest, but look for networks or technologies that can really add value for clients. If you want to know whether a social networks would add value to your business, the 25 networks above are a safe bet.
That being said, I have always held true to the notion that focus is better than mass. If there is a small social community out there that is extremely targeted to your core audience, then you need to be an active participant. Sometimes, these social communities are housed within existing networks, such as the 25 above, and sometimes they are separate. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, the web is a collection of coffee shops with people around a table chatting. You need to find the coffee shop that best fits your audience and get involved.
As an old economics professor of mine used to say, “there are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics”. While one thing that blogs are great for is spewing the latest statistics to prove a point, one thing is true. With numbers even close to these, businesses can no longer argue with the value of social media in facilitating and participating in conversations.