What Are Social Networks Used For?

Learn why people use online social networking.

What are social networks used for in business or in personal use? No matter how you use them, you likely are using at least one social network. People are starting to rely on media like Facebook, MySpace, and even tools like Twitter, Digg and StumbleUpon. These networks engage people. They bring a very large world together in a simple and easy way. In addition, they are often free to use, which makes them ideal for small and large businesses.

What Are Social Networks Used for in Business?

Small businesses are using social networks exceedingly. There are so many ways to use social networking in a business environment, and so many benefits of doing so.

  • Inexpensive Marketing: One of the best reasons for using social networks as a small business owner is the increased attention and marketing it provides to the business with little to no cost. By using social networking online, there are very few overhead or advertising costs, outside of the cost of a website.
  • Banner and Text Ad Advertising: Some businesses are using social networks for low cost banner ads because social networks are highly effective websites that attract millions of visitors daily, providing the business with excellent exposure.
  • Customer Relation Management Tool: Social networking websites and related tools allow management to speak with, ask questions, answer questions and overall interact with their customers as never before. Now, a small business online can personally connect with their customers.
  • Global Exposure: A television ad or similar marketing method on an international scale would costs millions of dollars, but the same can be accomplished online for next to nothing. Also, because these tools allow businesses to interact with people worldwide, they are highly effective at achieving global response.
  • Online Meeting Places: Social networks work well as online meeting places for industry experts to meet and discuss various aspects of their business. It also allows for various industries and niches to explore other professionals that could aid them in growing their business. For example, a remodeling business can network with a window wholesaler.

The various ways that social networking is used continues to play a role in the overall profitability of many businesses, both those businesses that are solely online and those that are both online and offline.

What They Do Well

When considering, "what are social networks used for," keep in mind that they can be in use for many things, good and bad. Many of the aforementioned ways that they can be used are beneficial to companies. They can also do much more.

  • They can improve the customer images of the business.
  • They can help a business to get feedback on new products and services.
  • They can help connect friends, family and long lost college friends.
  • Social networks allow for idea sharing and the creating dialog.
  • Social networking allows people to network with others in order to find jobs.

Online social networks are beneficial in many ways. They remove many of the complexities of the offline world. In addition, they are often a very fun pastime.

Negative Aspects of Social Networks

On the same token, there could be some negative fallout from social networks. Some individuals do not have the ability to build their network successfully, for some reason, which hampers them from seeing any of the associated benefits listed above. They can also allow people who do not normally need to network to do so more easily. For example, it is very easy for employees to chat with employees from rival companies. Many have attributed social networks to the breakdown of professionalism in the workplace.

To Use or Not to Use

Most businesses find a variety of benefits in using social networks in as many ways as they can. What are social networks for? They can be used for any type of interaction with other people or businesses, when communication is important. They allow individuals to share knowledge, gather information and to meet others they may even become friends with. In short, they can be used for virtually any type of communication need available.

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