Social Networking in Business

Mike Swanstrom 3/29/2010 Social Networking In Business Introduction Social networking in business is the study of individuals interacting socially for business purposes.

This can be done either electronically, or not electronically. Usually when social networking occurs electronically, it is achieved through network-based interfaces. Social networking is primarily focused around one thing: connections. One can utilize every social network that exists (Facebook, Twitter, etc. , but unless there is some type of value being provided on that network, (some reason that others would want to connect with that person), they stand no chance of successfully using social networking to make any progress from a business standpoint. Facebook – does it help Social Networking? Facebook is the most popular social networking site, and most common to have an individual registered on it. Facebook is primarily popular, because it allows people to create a business or personal page for free. This can be a substantial benefit for one’s business for several reasons.

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For obvious reasons, being able to create a business page for free can save individuals x amount of dollars in fees required to set up a web interface. Also, Facebook is a great site to use for advertising. Facebook allows individuals to create heavily targeted ads, and can prompt the ads to show up on the home page interface. Also, since Facebook allows individual to add ‘friends’ or ‘fans’, each person can be used as a marketing tool.

Each person that becomes a friend or fun will be able to a link connecting to your business profile.Another important reason is that Facebook can make an individual’s company seem more personable. Facebook is heavily known to be a personal site, and a fun one, so by utilizing this technique, one can create a feeling of comfort to others within the business. On the contrary, however, others may view a business profile on Facebook as being less serious, and not as adept to the business world, yet. However, the pros would likely outweigh the cons for an individual to socially network his/her business on Facebook. Twitter – does it help Social Networking?Twitter is another popular social networking site, and is similar to Facebook in many ways, but also different in many ways. Twitter is beneficial to the social networking world, because it allows users to quickly and easily update those that care about their business on the internal goings on one’s company. Twitter also allows users to quickly and easily post updates about their ‘status’, and what they’re currently doing.

Twitter is very popular among many celebrities and athletes, and is arguably more popular in that retrospect than Facebook. There are many reasons for this, and many are for subjective reasons.However, one reason is that Twitter is a more private social networking site than Facebook.

The sole purpose of Twitter is to provide one’s status, and list only very broad information about the user. Facebook, on the other hand, usually contains more personal information in one’s profile. This private aspect is one reason that many celebrities and athletes prefer it over Facebook. Twitter utilizes the popular catchphrase “Tweet it. ” Just completed a new product line? Tweet it. Just hired a new employee? Tweet it. Business is moving to a remote location? Tweet it.

The ‘tweet it’ catchphrase was critical to the site’s success in the business world, as the lingo prompted users to observe Tweeter, and try it out. However, Twitter is still loved by some, and hated by some in the business world. It does help certain users in social networking, primarily catering to celebrities and athletes, but if a user is looking for a more ‘personal’ site, then that user should implement Facebook or LinkedIn. LinkedIn – does it help Social Networking? LinkedIn is different than Facebook and Twitter, in that it focuses just about solely on the professional aspect of social networking in business.While most Facebook and Twitter users utilize the site for social purposes, regardless of their intent for business, LinkedIn is strictly focused on improving one’s business. While one may find pictures of his/her boss having fun at happy hour on Facebook, or a video of a coworker’s party from college, viewers will find references, employment history and professional skills on LinkedIn. A LinkedIn profile may contain a picture, but it is typically acceptable for it to be a ‘less personal’ picture. LinkedIn has proven to be a very successful social networking site in the business world.

It has become a focal site for online networking, in the sense that it is primarily business networking – almost like handing out business cards to anyone who views that person’s profile. LinkedIn’s tactics of utilizing social networking are very different than Facebook’s and Twitter’s, as it emphasizes on professionalism. Also, LinkedIn has a feature that allows users to join a number of groups, which contain users that have a thing in common. Examples include college alumni, coworkers, real estate groups, etc. This added feature shows that, even though LinkedIn is primarily a business-oriented site, it still has a social aspect, as well.Hence, it is a social networking site utilized in the business world.

Non-site Social Networking Social networking in business is also accomplished without the use of the internet, and done in person. A few examples of these include flyers, cold calling, and just face-to-face interaction. When an individual is marketing a certain product or business, that person may apt to not use a networking site, and operate in person.

However, with growing technology in recent years, this individual will be at a severe disadvantage. With Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. rowing as the center of social networking on the internet, most people are relying on these business purposes. Also, when was the last time you were attracted to a product or business from a flyer or cold call, as opposed to something you saw off Facebook or Twitter? Most individuals would agree with the Facebook and Twitter aspect.

This comes to show that improving technology for quality purposes when it comes to social networking aspects is for a good purpose. Impact on Competitiveness Each social networking site has a certain competitive advantage that caters to different aspects of the business world.There are various other social networking sites that are used in business world, but aren’t as commonly used. Sites such as MySpace, Quepasa, Youtube, etc. The reason these sites aren’t as popular is because they don’t cater to one particular group, or follow one distinct direction. Facebook caters primarily for social purposes, and is most user friendly.

Twitter, though used primarily for social purposes, is less personal, and caters to celebrities, athletes or other well-known people. LinkedIn caters for business-oriented purposes. These competitive advantages that exist in Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Recommendations Conclusion



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