What is Social Networking?
Social Networking involves utilizing free online communities that have been specifically built to allow people to reach and interact with others who share common interests, activities, etc. Social Networking sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) are used regularly by millions of people around the world. The sites allow users to interact through various means including emails and instant messaging. Social Networking is fast becoming more popular than email because it allows you to specifically target people that are interested in your product.
What can my business get out of Facebook, Twitter or other Social Networking platforms?
The most obvious answer is traffic. Social Networking is a very powerful way to promote your web site and business online. Having a profile on these sites gives you a platform to create inbound links to your site, and thus, draw more visitors. Additionally, having more people follow these links to your site will result in higher rankings for your web site on search engines.
Besides increasing traffic, Social Networking allows you to build brand awareness, manage your "online reputation" and connect with loyal customers. Also, sites like Facebook and Twitter can be great customer service tools if regular updates are made.
It should be noted that some Social Networking sites offer applications to be used on other web sites. If you are loading an application to your site, make sure it is not for personal use only.
There are many social networking sites available. Some of the most popular include: