Noticed an interesting post at Social Media Today about the Social Network Wars are Over; Now the Fun Begins which had this chart (see below) and it’s commentary:
If you’re sitting on the sidelines waiting for the market to pick winners in the social network race, you can stand up now. Hitwise data for 2007 shows that MySpace and Facebook together accounted for 88% of all visits to social network sites.
The next closest competitor, Bebo , got a little more than 1% of the traffic. There simply is no more competition in the general-purpose social network market. Other social media winners include LinkedIn (which wasn’t included in the Hitwise data), YouTube and Flickr. If you’re a big brand pursuing a broad strategy, you can safely place your bets on these services. For the next year or two, the also-rans will be busy finding buyers and merger partners.
Now is when it really gets interesting, because now the action shifts to vertical market sites. For many marketers, this is where the more interesting opportunity lies. For example, in the area of health, there’s CarePages.com, Wellsphere, Patientslikeme, RevolutionHealth.com and iMedix. Seniors can choose from Elder Wisdom Circle, Grandparents.com, Eons, TeeBeeDee and Multiply. Mothers can sign up for Cafemom, MothersGroups.com, MomJunction and MothersClick, among others.
And the action isn’t limited to consumer markets. Sermo is a social network for physicians, which now boasts more than 50,000 members. Doctors exchange information about serious medical issues and review cases in real time. Pairup connects business travelers for peer advice, networking and assistance. There’s a list of more than 350 social networks here.”
I think the really important point here is below:
“..Don’t let small membership numbers fool you. Many of these sites may be attractive marketing venues. Scan the groups, discussion topics and participants and look for content profiles that match your market. Prices are generally lower than those of the big social networks and the audience is far more targeted. “
I was thinking even of our new WAASOCIAL, but more about other Social Networks mentioned above that can provide more focused content. For example, MySpace and Facebook may be the leaders in Social Networking for years to come, but they may not be the best places to build a Social Network or Group as they’re not focused and your promoting MySpace and Facebook as much or more than your own efforts no matter what your produce – and that may be OK for some people – but I think many kinds of experiences (ie: Web Analytics, require more focus that what Facebook, for example, can provide).