Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. Tumblr. Instagram. YouTube. LinkedIn. Vine. Snapchat. Google Plus. But wait, there's more!
Just when you thought you've made an account for your business on every possible social media channel, a new one pops up that demands your already-limited time and attention. But before you write a nascent network off as just another fad, you may want to see what it's all about. It just might prove to be what your business needs to grow to the next level.
Business News Daily rounded up four relatively new and unique social networking sites, and spoke with the founders about how these tools can benefit small business owners.
LinkedIn has become the go-to network for people looking to make professional connections and introductions. While you're able to see your "degrees of separation" from another LinkedIn user, it provides no insight into the nature of the real relationship between first-degree connections. Conspire plugs into your Gmail account and analyzes your communication patterns with people to judge how well you actually know your contacts. This information determines how strong your relationships are, which helps users make the most meaningful connections to potential professional contacts.
Business News Daily: What makes Conspire different from other social networking tools?
Alex Devkar (co-founder): Conspire is centered on the idea that a professional network should understand not only who knows each other but how strong the connections are. You have very different relationships with someone you met at a conference for five minutes and someone you worked with closely for five years. Because we understand the strengths of relationships between people, we give users a powerful way to access their networks. Conspire tells you exactly how to get the best introduction to whoever you want to meet [through] your extended network.
BND: How can small businesses use Conspire to grow?
A.D.: Many activities at small businesses boil down to connecting with the right people: Sales, business development, recruiting and fundraising. Getting a great introduction can be the difference between success and failure. Conspire makes that easy. It's the best way to access your network and connect with the people who can help your business.
Heard is a social exchange app that uses Netflix's model of rated recommendations based on past activity and applies it to social content. Unlike other social media channels, you don't have to "follow" anyone — instead, the algorithm presents you with a unique feed of content based on what you've visited and up-voted before, ensuring that you only see what's appropriate and relevant for you.
BND: What makes Heard different from other social networking tools?
Dave Vronay (co-founder):We continuously match creators and audience members not on the basis of out-of-date lists of friends or followers or random voting by a vocal minority, but on the actual expressed interests of users and people like them. Our revolutionary approach to identity management means the end of having to give up personal information to companies that want to aggregate and sell it without users' knowledge or consent. We make it easy for users to share the aspects of their personality that are relevant for the discussion at hand. Our combination of verification and reputation makes Heard a unique, trustworthy and secure place to share anything from the latest jokes to inside scoops.
BND:How can small businesses use Heard to grow?
D.V.: Small content creators have needed a platform that was built to support their business model as well as their goals. With Heard, our algorithms automatically and continuously connect users with the audience that is interested in your content right now. It is easy and effortless for both parties. Heard makes it easy to see which of your articles are being opened and read by people, and by what types, so that you can refine and improve your message.
Spot.IM isn't your typical social network. Instead of having users interact on a hosted platform, it allows you to turns your website into its own self-contained social network called a Spot. Instead of promoting your content on external social networks, where it's competing with other publishers' content, creating a Spot will foster a community driven entirely by your own content. With two lines of code, this free tool creates an on-site social experience that keeps visitors engaged and on your site for longer.
BND: What makes Spot.IM different from other social networking tools?
Nadav Shoval (co-founder): The kind of interaction that takes place on a Spot constitutes a totally new kind of communication that hasn't really been possible online before. Instead of a static commenting system where you have to check back to keep track of what might or might not have happened on a thread while you were gone, or spending time trying to condense your thoughts into 140 characters, Spot.IM website visitors can enjoy a truly dynamic free-flowing conversation with dozens of other people who are reading the same content they are.
BND: How can small businesses use Spot.IM to grow?
N.S.: Any independent publisher or small business website can use our technology to make the best use of their online community. For a small publisher, Spot.IM provides the tools to truly maximize the value of the traffic that they work so hard to build. Spot.IM gives them a way to take back ownership of that community on their own site, and to interact directly with their readers. Any new article they post gets in front of more eyeballs, and they can run marketing and outreach campaigns to their website visitors directly through the Spot. This is an invaluable tool for a small publisher looking to compete in a noisy, content-filled Web, and equally useful for a small business with a website that is looking to interact directly with their customers or fans without having to go via Facebook.
Ever wish you could get paid for the content you post on social media? Tsu (pronounced "sue"), the first combined social network and payment platform, is granting your wish. This free network provides a royalty-based annuity to its users for the images, links and status updates they share. Content creators on tsu must be invited by a current member, which creates a "family tree" of connected individuals. Ninety percent of revenue generated from ads, applications and sponsorships is returned to content creators (based on page views and shares) and the network of people who recruited those content creators.
BND: What makes tsu different from other social networking tools?
Sebastian Sobczak (founder): Every other social network is basically separating content creators from the royalties they deserve. [Tsu] mimics the annuity stream for copyright holders of yesteryear before the Internet. Artists and musicians used to benefit from having their [work] published or their songs played on the radio. The Internet has collapsed the value of content creators. We're the only mechanism that pops that inefficient bubble and rewards content creators with value in the digital age.
BND: How can small businesses use tsu to grow?
S.S.: For advertisers and brand influencers, your message actually gives you your primary ROI. If you go to Charity Water [on tsu], you're supporting clean water just by looking at the message. We enable you to ... get paid for your beautiful content.