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How many social networks?

I’ve just joined Social Media Committee from the Web Analytics Association. and Marianina Chaplin threw out a great question to the group today on whether Facebook has become the most influential social media network. I have such conflicting feelings about my personal use of social networks that I thought I would post them as my blog today.


The answer to Marianina’s question is, “Yes, I think Facebook is the most influential.” But I don’t know that because I use them all and have a strong opinion. I just read everyone else’s opinions and see who I agree with.
I know I am supposed to be an expert on social media marketing—I speak about it a lot—but I have not personally spent a lot of time with social networks in particular.
I haven’t yet joined Facebook (it’s on my list) but I think it’s the hottest place out there for businesses at the moment. I am in Linked In, but spend little time enhancing my standing—mostly just accepting the invitations of others. I, like many of us, am struggling with the idea of what kind of time is required to be in multiple social networks. I know it won’t take long to set up a Facebook presence, but I am wary of how many different networks I “should” be in and how much time it sucks from my already busy days. Are there others like me that are concerned about the drip-drip-drip time drain of all this different stuff? Facebook is probably exactly the wrong example because it may be abundantly clear to most of you that I should be hanging out there if I do anything in social networking. But it occurs to me that I don’t have a clear thought process around which ones deserve my time and which ones don’t.
And I think I should. I’m really busy in the next few weeks upgrading my Web site to get ready for my new book coming out, but I feel like I should somehow go further than Linked In in terms of social networking. I wonder if there are others like me that maybe know that social networks are important but haven’t yet taken the time to really exploit enough of them to be getting value from them.
So maybe I am not much of an expert here. I think it is easier to talk and write about stuff sometimes than to actually live it. My technology roots probably make me less comfortable with that than most people, so I am sure I will be dabbling in Facebook soon. But what about the next hot one that comes along? Each opportunity seems valuable in and of itself, but the crush of all of them adding up over time makes me wonder.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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