Facebook Grows| to 200 Million

On April 8, 2009 Facebook not-so-quietly added their 200 millionth user.

To put that in perspective, consider this: As Silicon Alley Insider noted if Facebook were a country, it would be the fifth-largest in the world after China, India, the US and Indonesia.

Lest you think Facebook is for millenials without enough money (or sense) to buy your products and services, it’s important to note that the fastest growing segment of users are people ages 26 to 44, and the US has the largest number of users than any other nation.

Twitter is on a similar trajectory. The microblogging service attracted 9.3 million U.S. unique visitors to its site in March, up 131% over February, according to comScore. That’s more than 5 million new visitors than the site had in February.

Not sure social media is right for you? There’s only one way to find out – test the waters. Follow these three simple tips to get started:

1. 21 Days. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, and I would suggest it takes about that long to get a feel for these new online tools. You can spend a few minutes each morning over coffee as I do, or carve out a larger block of time on the weekend. Just commit to spending a minimum of 90 minutes each week for at least three weeks before you write social media off as a frivoulous waste of time.

2. Follow the Leader. Seek out social media consultants, people who have a similar business as you, experts in your industry, and other thought leaders you respect to watch how they employ social media to futher their business. You might be surprised by which people you actually enjoy following; I find that experts who sprinkle in a bit of news about their personal lives are the most enjoyable.

3. Experiment. I am fascinated by how people respond differently to identical content on Facebook and Twitter. As I’ve said before, social media is about conversation, and I’m on a quest to better understand what ignites a passionate discussion in one medium or another.

One of my current theories is that since I know my Facebook friends better than my Twitter followers, the Facebook conversations tend to be more personal.

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