Social networking and social media are some of the biggest buzzwords in the internet industry today. No web designer or website owner can ignore the importance of social media or underestimate its value to a business. Through social media, the Internet has become a tool that even small businesses can use to impact the marketplace. Simply using the social networks available and knowing what type of information to put out can make a small business as competitive as the major players in an industry.
Understanding Social Networks
Even the most traditional salesman will tell you that the best way to grow a business is through word of mouth referrals by existing customers. The reason for this is that existing customers who are happy with your product or service have no hidden agenda when recommending your business. They are already benefitting from the product or service you offer to them. Their recommendation therefore has more credibility and is perceived as more genuine. In the traditional sense, a social network is a group of friends, friends of friends and so on. It could also be a group of customers and their friends. Often these networks link up as you discover you know the same people that some of your friends or customers do. Social networking sites have taken the same concept and enhanced it. Through the Internet, you can now link up with people across the globe. The link can also be through a variety of interests. It could be sport, work, business, family, friends or simply a topic of interest. For a business, it simply means that you have access to an almost infinite amount of potential customers. It makes sense therefore to tap into social networks to promote your site.
Why Social Networks Are Beneficial
Social networks provide a vast amount of resources. Think of it as a giant brainstorming forum. Different people have different ideas, sources of knowledge and individual experiences. Social networks provide people from all around the world an opportunity to tap into each other’s resources. So why is this of value to your business? The answer is because people want information. They want solutions to their problems, advice on how to go about things and new ways to do things that will benefit them. When you are selling a product or service, you are providing your customers with something that will benefit them or provide them with a solution to a problem. Social networking gives you the opportunity to provide information to people and then guide them towards finding the solution by visiting your website or getting in touch with your company. On a social network, you can build a profile that can be accessed on the web. It can either be a personal profile or business profile. Through that profile, people can access information about you, your business or your products and services. They can also share the information with their friends and network connections.
Which Social Networks Should You Be Using?
One of the first social network sites to make a big name for itself was MySpace. It was a personal social networking site where mostly students connected with one another. YouTube is a major portal for sharing videos and a whole range of interesting information. You can do an online search for just about anything, from “how to tie a toga” to
“redecorating your home” and you will be sure to find a vast number of informational videos available on YouTube. Perhaps the current leader in the field of social networking is Facebook. Initially, it started as a student networking platform at Harvard University and is now one of the most widely used forms of social media on the Internet. Twitter is another valuable social media tool, most widely used by people with internet connections on their mobile phones. On Twitter, it is a short message format that allows followers to see what a person or business is up to. It’s a concise and easy way to keep in touch with your customers.
How Can You Use Social Networks to Your Advantage?
Start by creating a profile page on a variety of social networking platforms. Make it interesting and informative. Then share this profile with as many people as possible. Invite friends and customers to link up with you and encourage them to invite their friends. Your next step is then to create a series of interesting articles or videos relating to your business, industry, products or services. Post these articles on your profile or create links to them. In this way, you will be providing people with useful information that links back to your website and taking advantage of social network capabilities.
Moonrise Productions is a web design company specializing in both custom web design and development. Whether you need social network web design or mobile app development, contact us and we’ll get it done right!