Social Networking Stats-Regular Users Vs. Total Members

A lot gets written up in press releases, blog posts, Tweets, and other communications about the number of members on the various sites.   There’s a huge difference though between the number of users each site has and the number of users who are consistently interacting with others.

I recently came across some statistics that I’m going to share.   These statistics were revealed in a study by Anderson Analytics and you can view the report by clicking on the company name.   The study estimates that there are 110 million people who regularly use Social Networking Sites (SNS).

On average, users of SNS sites login to the sites 5 days a week, 4 times a day and spend about 1 hour on SNS each day.   While not explicitly stated this is what I would assume that they consider a regular user. So here are the top sites with the number of users and the number of regular users in parentheses.

5 Tips to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

blog 5 tips to optimize profileSeveral times a month I speak at events talking to others about how to use LinkedIn more effectively.  I’m constantly revising the presentations; trying to come up with one that balances showing new members what LinkedIn is while providing value to those that have been members for a while.

The latest presentation focuses on the three areas I wrote about in the 3 Basic Keys to LinkedIn:  Optimizing Your Profile, Building Your Network, and Leveraging LinkedIn.  From this I have put together a list of Tips for each area.  I’ll cover each in separate posts over the next two weeks.  Today we focus on 5 Tips to Optimize Your Profile.

Tip 1:  Have a Relevant Profile Photo

No discussion on creating a better profile can exclude the impact of the photo.  Having a photo simply allows people to place a face with a name.  Not having a photo says that you don’t get “it”.

Having a logo, a product shot, a cartoon etc. isn’t much better than not having a photo.  Doing this also says you don’t get “it”.  Having a photo that is hard to see, doesn’t match your brand, or that is not properly formatted says the same thing.

What is “It”?  “It” is the fact that social networking is about people interacting with people.  Not with companies, products, logos, or cartoon characters.  Being a professional network for business people, What might be acceptable on MySpace of Facebook doesn’t work on LinkedIn.

Tip 2:  Title verses a Tag Line

Titles tell people what you are.  Tag lines can tell people what you can do for them.  For example, there’s a huge difference between “Social Media Consultant” and “Helping business build communities and monetize social networking and media”.

If I’m the CEO for a company maybe I stick with the title.  If I’m a sales person I’d rather people know what I can do for them.  Remember whenever your mini profile is displayed (answering a question, posting a discussion question, posting a news article, etc.) viewers see your photo,  name, title/tag line.

Tip 3:  Customize Your URL’s

In your profile you have the ability to add 3 web links.  Typically you see these on a profile listed as My Website, My Blog, My Company, etc.  Each of these can easily be customized so that My Company is changed to SONARconnects, or MY Blog is Social Media Sonar Blog.

To make the change simply go to you “Edit Profile” page and click on the “edit” text link next to your URL’s.  Then click on the drop down box and choose “Other”.  This allows you to then type in a name to list for the link.

You also are assigned a URL for your Public Profile page.  It typically looks like this:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sean-nelson/10/6a4/3b6.  A customized Public Profile page URL would look like this:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/seannelson.

The customized web links and the customized profile URL will have an effect on your ranking in the search engines.

Tip 4:  Add Applications

Your profile is made up of a lot of static information.  You can update it over time which is good for two reasons:

1.  You want the information listed to be as up to date as possible; and

2.  Every time you update your profile your network is notified that something has changed.  This generates profile visits.

Applications allow you to present information in a variety of formats.  You can add videos,  PowerPoint presentations, white papers, brochures, one-pager’s, case studies, etc.  Not everyone visiting your profile will view the information, but for those who want to know more about you, this is a great way to share information about who you are and what you do.

For video I prefer the Goggle Presentations application.  For presentations I use Slide Share.  And for files I use Boxnet.  I also use the Word Press application to import my blog into my profile.

Others are using the Amazon application to share information on the books they like and TripIt to show others where they are traveling to.  You don’t have to use every application but a few can take your profile from 2 dimensional to 3 dimensional.

Tip 5:  Add Keywords to Your Profile

Your profile is searchable, whether it’s on LinkedIn or from search engines such as Google.  The more effectively you use keywords in your profile the better you will display in search results.  I’m not a fan of adding a string of keywords, but with the various places to add information you can sprinkle them naturally in your descriptions.

I wrote the LinkedIn MBA Workbook to provide a systematic way for someone to build a “Killer” profile.  The workbook is over 20 pages so there are a lot of other tips to optimize your profile.  If you do nothing but focus on the five I’ve listed above you will have a better profile tomorrow than you did today.

Your profile is where people that find you on LinkedIn begin forming their first impression.  Make it a good one and make sure that when they leave your profile they know exactly what you do and how you can help them.

What are some profile tips that I should have included?

**If you would like to learn more about how to use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Business Blogs to grow you business, SONAR Connects offers two options:

  1. Social Media Training that teaches you how to optimize your accounts, build communities of friends, followers, and connections, and how to monetize social networking and media.
  2. Social Networking/Media Management: We take on the responsibility for managing your social media accounts including creating and writing your blog.

Social Media Sonar provides the following four resources for FREE… 1.  The Blog, 2. The Online Marketing/Social Media Blueprint, 3.  Conversion Rate Optimization Guide, 4.  Resource Center.  If these help you implement your own online marketing program, great. We love helping people. If you decide you need some help, great. We love new clients.  Contact Us if we can help you.

How the Top Social Sites Stack Up

If you read this blog often you probably wouldn’t know that I’m actually aware that there are other sites out there.  I use various social networking/media sites but write about LinkedIn because that’s what I know best.  As time moves on I hope to start bringing in some thoughts on the others.

I recently took a look at the ranking of several social networking/media sites and thought they were interesting.  I’m not exactly sure what the rankings and stats mean but I’ll share them.

These results were taken from Alexa.com and include site statistics and demographic data.

Site Rankings: (membership included in parentheses – rough estimates in some cases)
YouTube (100.9 million viewers per month): 3
Facebook (165 million):  4
MySpace (80 million):  11
Twitter (8 million):  20
Flickr (7.5 million):  30
LinkedIn (42 million):  82

Google is number one.

Minutes Per Day Spent on Site
Facebook:  25.6
YouTube:  22.5
MySpace:  19.8
Twitter:  8.6
LinkedIn:  6.5
Flickr:  4.8

Sites Linking In
YouTube:  489,059
MySpace:  335,770
Facebook:  258,619
Flickr:  236,171
Twitter:  169,785
LinkedIn:  55,771

Not sure about all of these but I find it amazing that LinkedIn has less that 56,000 sites linking in to it.

Demographics – relative to the general internet population how popular each is with the listed demographic

Age:
Facebook:  18-34 (ex – Facebook has a higher share of 18-34 year olds than the general internet population but a lower share in the 45+ age group)
Flickr:  18-34
LinkedIn:  25-44
MySpace:  18-34
Twitter:  25-44
YouTube:  18-34

I would expect LinkedIn to have a older user base and not surprised that Twitter does as well.  What’s interesting is that none of the sites seems to be doing that great with the over 45 internet user.

Education:
Facebook:  College Graduates and Graduate Degree
Flickr:  College Graduates and Graduate Degree
LinkedIn:  College Graduates and Graduate Degree
MySpace:  Some College
Twitter:  College Graduates and Graduate Degree
You Tube:  College Graduates and Graduate Degree

Not much difference noted here, with MySpace being the only one doing better with those who attended college but did not graduate

One thing that I do not go into is that in each of these categories some are stronger than the others.  Alexa user a bar graph with no numerical notations so while you can see who is stronger in a particular demographic I did not see how to quantify it.

Wrap Up: I’m not sure that the above statistics provide much relevance.  I think the most telling stats are the rankings and the time on site.  One thing to keep in mind is that all of the sites are pretty open as far as users with the exception being LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is primarily used by business professionals which is a smaller population than the others.  LinkedIn has been working on the 18 to 34 market recently launching a microsite dedicated to recent graduates – http://grads.linkedin.com/.

If you’re bored go to www.alexa.com and you can check out the stats on these and other sites.