Email and Facebook are the main ways that Internet users in the US communicate with each other. So say Survey Sampling International and the ad agency The Buntin Group in their recent survey of which communication vehicles Americans used in the prior week to keep in touch with their friends, family, and business associates.
Eighty-seven percent of Internet users said that they had used email, and the same percentage of web users said that they had used Facebook. The next most popular method of communicating online was text/SMS, at 68 percent.
Twitter (32%), YouTube (31%), and Skype (26%) made up the middle tier of online communication tools. Google+ (19%), Instagram (18%), LinkedIn (18%), and Pinterest (14%) also had significant impacts online.
Should microISVs set up accounts with all of the major social networking sites? I would recommend doing a lot of research before making a commitment to these online communication vehicles. Choose the sites that are most important to your company. Target users in your software niche, and market effectively to them using one or two of the social networking sites.
No software developer benefits from launching a blog and not posting meaningful content to it each week. Similarly, no sales bump will emerge from a microISV setting up an online forum on the company's website unless there is a way to nudge customers and prospects to populate the forum with useful information.
Don't just jump in the social networking pond. Develop a plan for how you'll turn the time that you spend on Facebook, Twitter, and the other sites into incremental software sales.