By now, most people are well aware of Twitter and Facebook. But what about flickr, digg or reddit? More importantly do you know how to use these channels as marketing tools for your company or clients? Luckily, has done the leg work for us and published its 2011 CMO’s Guide to the Social Media Landscape. Following its widely popular 2010 version, CMO has updated its list with a few new sources. You can download the full version on, but here is a quick breakdown of the top social media channels for marketing professionals according to the guide, listing some of their strengths and weaknesses.



Strength: Central and open communication portal that allows businesses to get their messages out and to receive customer feedback – positive or negative.

Weakness: Although Google and Bing both indicate that they are using social signals as part of their ranking algorithms, Facebook posts do not rank high in SEO value.


Strength: “Ultimate outbound messaging tool.” Twitter is great at both sending out messages and receiving them. The channel provides excellent brand exposure, especially when you can get others to talk about you!

Weakness: As Twitter grows, so does the noise which makes it challenging to drive traffic to your website. I have however witnessed Twitter and Facebook (both listed as okay by for traffic drivers) show up in the top five referring sites consistently in Google Analytics for clients.


Strength: By far the biggest value in flickr is SEO. It is indexed in search engines and passes links and page ranks. Also gives you a chance to share a personal side of your organization and put faces with the name.

Weakness: If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, keep looking. flickr has some of the lowest click-through rates.


Strength: Great tool for personal branding and also for thought leadership building. Linkedin is a good landscape for executives to engage in conversations with other executives and leaders in the industry.

Weakness: Yet another social media channel that is not a key website driver.


Strength: Lots of strengths here including customer communication, brand exposure and SEO. Digital content is becoming more and more popular. Don’t worry about saying it in 140 characters, but keep it under two minutes, please.

Weakness: The biggest weakness for YouTube is once again, drum roll please…driving website traffic. While not nearly as bad as flickr, it is not as good as others such as digg or StumbleUpon.

Here is a link to the downloadable version of the Guide to the Social Media Landscape that includes additional pros and cons for social media sites including digg, StumbleUpon, reddit, and tumblr. Enjoy!

— Deana Goodrich is a senior account executive at Airfoil Public Relations, a high-tech PR agency with offices in Detroit and Silicon Valley.