4 Great Reasons to Use Social Networking Sites
The world is getting smaller and smaller and geographical boundaries can only be seen on the maps or history books. This has been made possible by the immense popularity and advancement of the internet, which has opened venues for social networking to thrive. Social Networking started out to build communities for people sharing the same passion or hobby or interest. Over the years, social networking has grown in leaps and bounds and now the once small community is able to bring together men, women, boys & girls, professionals, entrepreneurs etc belonging to different cultural backgrounds, countries and ethnicity.
According to a study by Nielson/NetRatings the top 10 social networking sites saw a huge influx of traffic in the last couple of years and grew almost 47% in 2005. The social networking scene on the internet is dominated by MySpace, which witnessed a growth of 367% while MSN Spaces witnessed a growth of 286%. The top 10 social networking sites according to the report are:
Â· MySpace Growth: 367%
Â· Blogger Growth: 80%
Â· Classmates Online Growth: 10%
Â· You Tube Growth: NA
Â· MSN groups Growth: -14%
Â· AOL Hometown Growth: -15%
Â· Yahoo Groups Growth: 11%
Â· MSN Spaces Growth: 286%
Â· Six Apart TypePad Growth: 32%
Â· Xanga.com Growth: 27%
There are hundreds of reasons to use social networking sites but here are the top 4:
Promotion: One of the most effective ways of promoting your work, organization or even your self is through social networking sites. There are plenty of sites like Linkedin or MySpace where you can promote your company, organization, business, and individual talents. The first benefit is that the social networking sites will help you in initiating an extensive brand promotion strategy whereby you can do the following:
Â· Slowly build your brand
Â· Find potential customers and increase existing customer loyalty
Â· Use viral promotions effectively
Â· Increase Traffic to your website
Â· Up-sell your services or products
Â· Boost your revenue
Friendship/Relationships: There are plenty of social networking sites that promote friendship, finding soulmates, travel partners, and even marriage partners. The main idea is to provide a platform where people from different counties and cultures can meet and share a part of their life with other people. Social networking sites like Orkut, Hi5, and Facebook have drawn a lot of popularity because people can forget their man-made boundaries and reach out to just about anyone in a specific community or on that website.
Niche: There are some social networking sites, which cater to special community, subjects, or categories. For example: if you are looking for a classmate or an old school friend then you can sign on to specific social networking sites that can link you or help you to find your old school friend. Classmates.com and reunion.com are two such social networking sites. These social networking sites cater to a niche, which could be the target audience or the subject. There are niche social networking sites on healthcare, students, music, or any internal social networking sites (ISN).
Outsourcing: This is one of the benefits that have added a serious dimension to social networking sites. There are several social networking sites that cater to a niche like programmers, copywriters, graphic design professionals, medical transcriptionist etc. Social networking sites help in bringing two people with a specific need together: one who wants to outsource work and another who is capable of delivering the work.
The future is now an open playing field and what we see today is just the tip of the social networking iceberg.