According to a new Nielsen report Social Networkings New Global Footprint, two-thirds of Internet users spend 10% of their time online on Social Networking sites. Steven Hodson of WinExtra raised some interesting questions in his recent post Having a Problem with all this Social Media crap which generated much discussion.
I wanted to share my comments on the benefits of Social Media in this post. I also added an update to the bottom of an older post about how Social Media sites could be far more valuable.
Using Social Media provides these benefits:
1) Driving more traffic to my blogs and the sites of others I share.
2) Exchanging strategies, knowledge, and resources with those who have exceptional talents in specific areas.
3) Finding the best blogs, joining their communities, and recommending them to others.
4) Using search at Twitter and FriendFeed for research and to replace what I might have once used a search engine to find.
5) Twitter CAN be very effective at times. Remember the Mommy bloggers versus Motrin and the numerous times that Tweets have nearly instantly raised money for a good cause?
What is somewhat disppointing about Social Networking:
1) The number of answers (even though according to Twinfluence our Twitter account @GrowMap is at 99% and in the top 400 users at Twitter)
2) Obtaining any kind of response to anything I sincerely recommend
3) The number of bloggers who reciprocate by retweeting, sharing, or commenting – especially when it is obvious who invest much time and effort in repeatedly sharing THEIR work across Social Media sites.
It is not always obvious whether what we do is effective. Often responses are few and far between which is why I make it a point to encourage people and wish others would too. It doesn’t take that much time to RT at Twitter, add a Like at FriendFeed or leave a comment in a blog post.
All of those things benefit the person who does them too. If you don’t know how check out my latest post and another one you can find by searching on “pay it forward” using the search function at the top of the right sidebar in my blog (which EVERY blog should have).
I really wish the public would differentiate between sharing information about quality products and services we use, small businesses trying to reach us, and corporations advertising AT us when they don’t care what we think and usually don’t even pretend to respond.
Social Networks would benefit us more if we would actively use them to change our everyday actions. We could use them to learn how to grow gardens and find quality small, local and online businesses to support. If everyone bought from their neighbors and the best ecommerce stores online instead of corporations the world would quickly be a very different place.
What do YOU think? Are their ways Social Networking benefits you that I didn’t mention? Do you find your time a good investment or ? We would love to hear from you. Just leave a comment.