An introduction to Social Networks


Today I’ll focus on the social networks. Although there are a multitude of them out there to choose from, I’ll stick to the mainstream ones for the sake of this post. It doesn’t take much of a search online to find out exactly how many others there are out there though!

Facebook is by far the number 1 social network in existence.

  • 901 million monthly active users and 500 million mobile users.
  • 7 billion unique monthly visitors
  • Average time spent per user per month – 405 minutes
  • 3.2 billion “likes” and comments per day
  • 300 million photos uploaded each day
  • 125 billion friendships

When asked for examples of social networks, Facebook is usually the first one that comes to mind. Especially after its flotation on the stock exchange and subsequent exposure in the press recently.
As you can see by the information above and the infographic, it is a giant compared to the other social networks.
Some of Facebook’s strengths lie in the fact that not only can you keep up to date with your contacts via the status updates, but you can also post various types of media onto your profile i.e videos, photos etc. and share them amongst your contacts.

Facebook applications are popular and are also a very good revenue generator for developers and Facebook alike. Usually very addictive, but simple in format, these games’ trends and popularity tend to ebb and flow! One thing you can be sure of though is that there is always a multitude of status updates from the popular game at that time!

In my opinion Facebook is a great tool for keeping in touch with friends and family and also those friends that you may have lost touch with.

Recruiters and companies are now starting to use Facebook much more to source candidates for their roles and this will definitely become more prominent, as the massive amount of data available to Facebook (courtesy of it’s users) can help laser target the advertising efforts, resulting in saved time and better response.
From a candidate point of view, this is also particularly helpful, as they can be assured that any adverts they see have already been “custom fit” to their profile.

Facebook also an option to set up fan pages, which are a very popular option for some of the larger companies, such as coca cola etc. These are mainly used for general customer/ candidate engagement and advertising purposes, but will also develop and expand as time goes on.

Facebook is constantly developing its offering to keep up with user demand and trends, so keep watching this space for further developments..

Google+ hasn’t been around for anywhere near as long as Facebook, having only launched from beta in September 2011,but still has a very strong and growing audience.

  • 90 million monthly active users and still growing quickly
  • 61 million unique visitors per month

Google+ integrates with the other Google products, so is gradually becoming a “one stop shop” for a full browsing experience. Why have several products open in different browsers, when you can have access to your social network (Google+), your work/studies (Google docs), Calendar, YouTube, Google Reader (for news) and the rest (!), all in one product!!

The speed of growth would suggest that Facebook has some competition on its way, but for the time being, Google+ still has work to do to catch up.

One of the strengths of Google+ is the option to build “circles”. This is a great way of separating your contacts into different groups, so work and play can be kept apart, if that is how you want to work with your social networks.

Company pages are also starting to pop up and the recruitment community are now starting to use Google+ as another source for searching for candidates. Google has probably the largest data set on its users’ browsing habits, so when this is truly embraced, the whole recruitment process for candidate and company alike, will be very streamlined. This may be some time off, but early adopters on both sides will have the advantage when the software is developed to make the mobile application process smoother and easier.

As with Facebook, watch this space, as no doubt there will be much more to come!

LinkedIn is the social network for professionals and businesses. It is great for networking and keeping in touch with your business contacts.

  • Approx 147 million registered users
  • 85.7 million unique monthly visitors

LinkedIn allows users to make “connections” with each other and allows you to see how many degrees of separation your are from other users (up to 3 degrees).
Although it is advertised as a social network and not a job board, the platform lends itself very well for recruitment purposes.
Companies can set up pages and job feeds and can directly approach connections with information. It is a strong tool in the recruiter’s toolbox, particularly for more specialist and senior roles.
The users tend to be in more “senior” positions on LinkedIn, which might explain this, but as with the other networks, as it grows, this may change as the demographics change.

Both Job seekers and recruiters can upgrade their accounts, which gives extra search tools and various other options to increase their chances of achieving their results, but these come at a premium. Basic accounts are free though and once you know your way around, they offer pretty much everything you would need.

The others

Myspace was one of the first social networks online, but its popularity has waned over the last few years with the massive growth of Facebook. It is still popular as a social entertainment network, where users and music acts, share media. It is jointly owned by Justin Timberlake and Specific media who made the purchase in June 2011.

Bebo was set up in 2005 and is very similar to Facebook. It never had the popularity though and has not kept up with the growth of the other networks.
Well that’s a brief introduction to each of the main social networks. Next time I’ll introduce Twitter……….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s