There is absolutely no question that in the rush to get a piece of the social media marketing market a lot of weak products are hitting the market, resulting in a saturation of social media products. There are now 300 plus product platforms that class themselves as Social Media.

I focus on what I consider to be the most important social media networking platforms and I define that in terms of the return on my invested time with respect to my business goals; and my shortlist is:

  • LinkedIn personal profile: a professional network from which I have developed business wins. I only network with people I know in some prior business capacity to maintain the value of the contacts.
  • LinkedIn company page: the value of this page is that it has great search engine strength and is a tactic to drive off-page SEO.  I connect this blog to this page via Feedburner to ensure that the content gets updated automatically.
  • Facebook personal page: while I limit this to only ‘friends, I promote my business activities occasionally. Facebook is my personal playground
  • Facebook company page: this is where I use the power of Facebook to promote my business. This page is connected to Twitter, every time I post to this page it sends out a tweet.
  • Twitter:  I use twitter both to take part in personal  micro-blogging and to promote business activities via keyword rich tweets. By doing this, I can make my tweets appear on relevant Google searches. This can be powerful if used strategically.
  • Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit are used to drive the popularity of my articles , which in turn increases my off-page SEO performance.
  • Tecnorati is a real-time search for user-generated media by tag or keyword. It is quite a process to get approved by Tecnorati but the effort is worth it for off-page SEO performance.
  • Slideshare is used to both to share PowerPoint Presentation but it is also a great tool for the occasional time that you nave technical issues and allows you to pull us a PowerPoint on any computer with  an Internet connection.
  • Flickr is a platform that I recommend to my clients to undergo image-marketing program as a tactic to build brand awareness. I do not use Flickr because of the strength of my photography web site but it makes sense for my clients.

While there are hundreds more these are my platforms of choice. At the end of the day it is about return on invested time. D I believe that the status quo will prevail? Absolutely, not I suspect that the mix will change as newer, better products arrive.

To update these, I use the social media icons at the bottom of the blog entry each and every time I make a new entry. Yes, they are not just for your use.! If this is too cumbersome for you or you use many social media networking platforms then I suggest you use PING.FM – this tool, once set up,  permits you to make a social media update and them broad cast it to all of your platforms with the click of a mouse.  While convenient, I am not a great fan as I like to see my posts tailored for each media platform but it is nice to have a choice.

Probably,  IMHO, the most exciting new Social Media product on the market is DandyID. This web-tool simply makes managing and accessing multiple social media accounts easy, real easy. As soon as you login for the first time DandyID will search  the web and find most of your social media accounts and those that it doesn’t find you can add. Once done, you will have all of your social media accounts in one place and to make it completely usably DandyID provide dashboards to access you accounts for blogs (see the right side bar – Connect with George). One really cool feature is widgets are made available in a JavaScript file, which I have incorporated into my email signature thereby inviting people to ‘connect with me’.

Once DandyID have gathered all of your social media accounts they provide you with a ‘How Social are you score’.  I score 87/100, which is pretty high, and it appears that I am much more social than I thought that I was.