Social networking on the web is like contained versions of the blogosphere. People join social networks and create profiles on them to build a network and community by connecting with friends and business contacts. They can also invite their personal friends to join their community.
Social network communities retains the interests of their members by being useful to them. Some of the popular social networks provides services that’s entertaining as well. These services can also help you expand your network and business services. Facebook, for instance, allows members to create and customize (HTML customization with the addition of FBML) personal or business fan pages on a specific topic or niche. You can link blog posts, videos, information and even music to these fan pages. Have a look at our fan page, it is very new but you will get the idea – Facebook Fan Page
To get back to the topic – why would you use a social network?
- To keep in touch with friends and family;
- Professional networking services;
- The sharing of knowledge and information;
- Socializing with colleagues;
- Sales and business leads;
The social networking tools available online can be great business influencers and they can help to establish yourself as an expert in your field and niche. With correct social media optimization, you can increase your visibility and gain trust and credibility that can ultimately provide you with sales and business leads. The main focus point of using social networks shouldn’t be to increase sales but to build good relationships. The sales will follow if done correctly.
Find below some information on a few popular social networks you can join to start building your communities.
Who doesn’t know what Facebook is? Facebook was started in 2007 by US colleges and became available for public use in the UK. The popularity of Facebook quickly rocketed. A big part of Facebook’s success is its creators decision to “open up” and allow anyone to develop applications to run on Facebook – without charging them.
This has seen Facebook users able to play each other at Scrabble and Chess, compare each others tastes and send “virtual gifts” to your friends. Everyday new applications springs up on Facebook and many are developed for entertainment purposes only.
MySpace gained a lot of its popularity around its music services. There’s over three million bands and musicians registered on it to attract a fan base from the 200 million registered accounts. According to Hitwise, in September 2006 MySpace was the 8th largest traffic source to HMV.co.uk – more even than the MSN search engine.
The most grown up of the popular social networks is LinkedIn which allows users to build there business and professional contacts into an online network. It has been criticised for not being open enough and for charging for too many of its services – but next to Facebook it is still the most popular online social network among people aged 25 and over.
The great success of Facebook could be a challenge to LinkedIn’s closed approach in the future.
membership: free and paid
Social networking is another form of social media and if optimized correctly as stated above, could result in huge benefits personally and for your business.