Social networking is a phenomenon that has taken the world by storm mostly over the last decade. AOL’s Instant Messenger and other similar programs first allowed people to communicate over the internet, which evolved into social networking sites such as Friendster, MySpace and Facebook and Twitter. This evolution has yielded ever-expanding ways of communicating with people over the internet. No longer is it possible to only send text messages. Now, people can send text, pictures, videos and more and have access to all of these files via their social networking accounts. Social networking has become particularly valuable to small businesses, who can utilize the power of these networking sites to promote, improve and sustain their businesses. Such social networking sites help small businesses grow, reach new heights and simultaneously increase annual profits.
Social networking is a term used to describe the online community and individual services, platforms and hosts that provide the networking of individuals. These can range from general social sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, to very specific communities that exist as a way of connecting members with a common interest or background. It is interesting to note that Facebook, arguably the world’s biggest and most recognizable social networking service began as a college-oriented social networking service. In its early incarnations, users had to register with a “.edu” e-mail address in order to join. Upon expansion, however, Facebook grew to no longer require this condition to join. Social networking allows people from their computers to interact with and explore the files uploaded by their friends, colleagues, associates, neighbors and even complete strangers. Undoubtedly, the three main social networking sites that are most valuable to small businesses are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Professional social networking services cater to business men and women and professionals in industry. These social networks allow communication and interaction with friends and colleagues and others within the same or different career or industry. The purpose for such networks, besides social communication and interaction, is the networking among specific industries in order to gain new clients or contracts. Undoubtedly, the three main social networking sites that are most valuable to small businesses are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Facebook is probably the most recognizable and famous of social networking sites. Though Facebook was not the first to use the idea of social networking, it certainly became the largest and most accessible and feature-rich in a very short time. Facebook has become so large, in fact, that it has permeated the cultural zeitgeist in a mind-boggling fashion, making its brand instantly recognizable the world over, making its founder and operating officers instant celebrities and even inspiring the 2010 blockbuster movie, The Social Network, directed by David...