What is Social Networking?
Over recent years the world’s media has been full of outlandish stories about internet millionaires and billionaires. Most of these stories are also accompanied by details about how quickly the fortune was amassed. Along with the glut of stories on these topics various buzz words have been used like “Facebook”, “Twitter”, “MySpace” and many more. If you don’t spend a lot of time on the internet, or only use it for shopping on Amazon for example, then most likely the names of websites like those previously mentioned will not mean very much to you, but they are all very successful social networking sites that have made their owners many millions of dollars.
At its most basic social networking is the formation of social groups by individuals agreeing to associate together. Due to the internet being an almost completely global phenomenon these links formed between individuals are much easier to keep alive and active. Social networking sites enable a user to easily find and then keep in touch with school friends, workmates or expand their circle of friends by joining new groups arranged by interest.
This last category, groups formed by interest, has recently led to some real political change and interesting local events. An example of this recently was when a Facebook member organised 15,000 bikers to ride through Wootton Bassett, England, in order to support a charity for British troops. Politicians ignore social media at their peril.
The impact of social networking on political life even led British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to open a Facebook page of his own. This was received badly by the general public and led to many spoof sites also claiming to be the “real” Gordon Brown.
Safety and Security Concerns
Due to the massive popularity of social networking sites it is impossible to reserve a name as your own. This fact has unfortunately led to a large number of spoof sites, such as what happened with the British Prime Minister. This lack of authentication has caused a number of concerns, not least the care and protection of children from the interests of predatory paedophiles. It is entirely possible that the person you think you are talking to is someone else entirely.
Providing users are aware of the possible risks there should be no problem however. For the vast majority of member’s networking sites like Twitter and Facebook are a great source of fun and new friends.
Leading Social Networking Sites
Facebook is currently the number one social networking site in the world with an estimated 400 million users. Facebook has shown year on year growth of over 100 percent with that growth currently showing little sign of coming to a halt. It is one of the longest established networking sites.
Twitter is a relative newcomer on the social networking scene but has acquired many millions of users. Twtter has grown by over 900% per annum recently and so may well come to overtake Facebook in terms of absolute numbers of users eventually, but it appears that over 40% of new Twitter accounts fall into disuse and so the growth may slow due to abandonment of accounts.
- DANGER! KIDS AND SOCIAL NETWORKS!
Kids, Social Media and Internet Safety for Homeschooling Families – iHomeschool Hangout
Social networking – everyone is doing it but are we doing it right? Nowadays businesses are spending big bucks on improving their brand awareness and this means they are joining their teenage children on all the big social sites!
It seems even the big businesses are having to succumb to the huge advertising boards that are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn to mention a few. No one can afford to ignore the reach of social media.
So how do we control what is being written about our business? Social media is a public forum so once it’s out there you have to remember there is no going back.
It is not just your business pages that have to be monitored; one of the biggest concerns is naive employee’s posting comments on their social pages about your business.
A social media policy needs to be flexible but clear for all your employees. An outright ban on social media sites will not work; almost all of us have access to a smart phone with all these apps under our nose. Don’t dictate but discuss!
Set your brand and stick to it; this way you will be recognisable and stand out from other similar companies. Talk to your employees, novel idea, but by discussing the dangers of social networking as well as the advantages you may open up a forum of ideas that could benefit you and your business.
Open discussions are less condescending than an email telling you what your employees can and can’t say or do in their spare time.
We have to remember there will always be a small minority of people who will do something silly no matter what you say, honesty and trust is crucial in your relationship with your employees.
Always remember what you are trying to achieve by your social networking; think about your audience and what they want to see.
What about blogging? Blogging seems to be the path to enlightenment these days or certainly to a spot in Google’s good books. Make sure the content is fresh and interesting. Think quality not just quantity! Articles should reflect what your business is about and offer something of interest to the reader whether this is advice or just an informative view on your business.
Think about what your clients are searching for and write about it! Don’t use obscure titles, it may seem clever but your potential audience won’t find you! They are going to search using key words so make sure you include them in your article and title.
Ask questions and involve your reader in a discussion, this makes the experience more individual and draws them in. Remember the better the article the more likely people will share your link driving traffic to your website and potentially improving your customer base!
Working in HR we have to be very aware of Social Media and it’s pitfalls but we also need to remember what a great tool this can be. I try to make my HR Blog personal whilst passing on useful HR information, hope you enjoy it. Let me know if there are other topics you would be interested in, I would love to hear from you.
- How to Build a Social Network Website Part 26
How do Social Networking Sites Make Money – Can You Really Make Money Via Social Media?
The Internet has revolutionized not just the manner of sharing information, but also the manner in which people interact. Because of technology, communication can now be done instantly, regardless of time zone and distance. This click-away interaction was further empowered with the advent of social networking.
The presence of these small groups or communities online has already come a long way. The first email sent in 1971 was just between two computers sitting next to each other. Today, instant messages can be exchanged even if the parties interacting are from the two opposite poles of the globe. Information sharing is also not limited to texts anymore since photos, audio files, and even videos can be easily published or sent over the Internet.
The social networking sites later on evolved into different faces and forms. Friendster was born in 2002, replacing Geocities and Six Degrees, and its popularity paved the way for other similar sites like MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, among others. Even their functions also developed from being mere interaction sites to becoming efficient trading venues.
Today, these social networking sites are also a popular tool for developing marketing techniques such as conducting business contests. For those who are curious as to how they can maximize the social media for the promotional competitions they devise, here are a few brilliant ideas. Basically, these suggestions from business experts focus on timeliness, creativity, and connection.
In terms of timeliness, the business contest ought to be themed appropriately depending on current events and seasons. For instance, back-to-school promos can be devised before another academic year starts. Trick-or-treat and Easter egg hunt contests can be conducted as well during their respective seasons.
Creativity, on the other hand, calls for techniques that can make the most out of the features of various social media. With that, the assistance of business competitions expert consultants can be a big help. These professionals know how to plan and execute photo and video contests whenever applicable and they also have the most brilliant suggestions for advertising the said promotional competitions online.
Finally, these experts on business contests can also help in attracting more participants through interesting strategies that can hook audiences, and by having a sense of connection with the devised competition, people would be eager to constantly join and share the game with more people. Of course, businesses should not disappoint their potential consumers by making sure that their prices and rewards are given appropriately through effective award management systems. For more social media contest ideas and techniques, check out http://blog.empowerment-group.org/2010/10/creative-contest-ideas-to-promote-your.html.
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