New & upcoming social media sites and their pros & cons

It’s not all about Facebook anymore. Although Facebook still holds the top market shares of visits at 62.89%, more and more users are looking for and utilizing alternatives to Facebook. For example, teens are turning to fresher sites like Foursquare and Pinterest. While there are also those who just want to get away from this giant corporation and instead opt for smaller social media sites.

Here are a few upcoming or newer social media sites and a lowdown of what they offer.

Pinterest: Most of you have probably heard of Pinterest by now. It is an image and idea sharing site where users can “pin” or repin photos of their interests or hobbies onto collection boards that can be shared with followers. Pinterest has been growing unbelievably fast since its launch in March 2010 and currently ranks in fifth place based on market share of visits.

Now as for their pros and cons: If your target market is mostly female, you’ve come to the right place. Buzz Referrals displays the breakdown of Pinterest user demographics and 80% of them are women. Pinterest has shown to be effective for companies with visual appeal like those focused on fashion, food, and lifestyle, but it definitely is not for everyone. It takes a lot of time and effort to create each board and to create an identity that people will be interested in browsing and following. Another thing to point out is that Pinterest should not be used for those who expect to get credit for their work. By the time your photo becomes popular after all that repinning, it can become so viral that people all over the world might use it without permission.

Branch: Produced by the co-founders of Twitter, Branch is a new social discussion site that strives to serve as a platform for actual dialogue. Noticing the challenges and limitations of Twitter as well as Facebook and Google+, they wanted to create a space that fosters deeper conversations without the word count limits and useless interruptions. Their marketing statement is to “bring the intimacy of a dining table conversation to the openness of the internet.” At this point in this crowded social networking world, it might be a while before anyone can make any profit on this site and before newcomers can actually make themselves heard. However, being fairly new, we should still observe to see what Branch has to offer and how well it does.

Foursquare: With the prominence of smart phones, location-based social media sites have become more popular and are here to stay. Users “check-in” on Foursquare, connect with friends and their “pings,” and earn points and badges for each check-in. This is a great site to reach out to the younger crowds. More and more teens say they favor checking in on Foursqaure rather than Facebook. When a friend “checks-in” at a new restaurant for example, word-of-mouth marketing takes place and is more successful because a trustable source shared about it. As a business, by announcing specials or promotions, you can bring in new customers, but you have to be careful to generate that brand loyalty. Some customers only come in to abuse the perks so it can be tough to benefit from this service.

Myspace: Although it is not a new social networking site, Myspace is coming back around and completely revamping itself. This time it seeks to appeal to various creators like musicians, designers, and celebrities but also a place for fans to stay in touch with their idol. The new Myspace is not finalized yet, but the strong celebrity support from Justin Timberlake is anticipated to bring in other big stars when it does.  Check out their teaser clip that promotes a very modern and clean look.



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