Gawker recently posted an article that it deemed as insights into the dumbest social networking users in 2011. I think what they found is nothing short of fascinating. First things first, here’s the breakdown of the top, fastest-rising searches by channel in order of popularity:

· Google (Rebecca Black, Google +, Ryan Dunn, Casey Anthony, Battlefield 3)

· Facebook [lms (like my status), tbh (To be honest), Death of Osama bin Laden, Charlie Sheen, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3]

· Twitter (#egypt, #tigerblood, #Threewordstoliveby, #idontunderstandwhy, #japan)

After snickering at a few of these, I took a closer look at the sources and how users turn to each platform in very specific ways. From the list, one can conclude that Facebook is used least for breaking news and more for casual sharing, Google is best for tracking trends and information gathering, while Twitter is all about showing that you know your stuff, first.

While none of this is surprising on the surface, this information has important business implications surrounding the way consumers interact online. For example, if I’m looking to drive a campaign about a new product, I should speak to its coolness factor on Facebook, marketing descriptor on Google+ and unique uses on Twitter.

Thanks to predictable, “dumb” consumer habits, businesses have a chance to get a leg up on the competition if they just listen in the right way. Smart businesses know their audiences and will project personalized messages on the right platform.

What about your business? Are you communicating in the most effective ways with your customers?

— Heather Arft is an account executive at Airfoil Public Relations, a high tech PR agency with offices in Detroit and Silicon Valley.