This post shares the top 9 advantages of social networking, 4 disadvantages and shares useful information about different types of social networking sites that are used today.
This information will help you get the most out of this low-cost, powerful way of getting more traffic to your site, more sales and more subscribers for your email newsletter.
The Internet has changed a lot and social sites have become an essential part of it.
People who are marketing online have realized that it is a very good idea to create profiles on the biggest social sites because it increases traffic to their sites.
First, what is it all about and how it works:
9 great advantages:
# 1.Low to no costs:
It is free to use social networking sites for personal and business use which is underestimated by many online business owners.Using social networking strategies for marketing a product or service online is very effective because you can scout out target markets and potential customers with just a few clicks.
# 2.It helps build your credibility:
You can build trust with customers if you can connect with them on both personal and professional level.Using social networking sites is all about sharing information, not only your own information but other people´s information that you think can be useful for others as well.The more your customers know about you, the better.
Despite having to do a bit of work, it definitely pays off as you can be tapped for an offer if someone catches wind of your products or services. As long as you don’t pursue them too aggressively, you will do well here.
# 3.More connections and “new friends”:
You have friends, people you know have friends, and so on.This is a common situation that has potential. With the help of a social networking site, you can get in contact with these people if you play your cards right.You must give to receive, it is true in this case as well.You can get a lot of new contacts quickly.Just look how big Facebook and Twitter is right now, more and more people are joining social networking sites every day.
# 4.Helps in building a strong brand for your self or your business:
Another huge advantage of social networking is that you can relatively quickly build a brand for your business, this is good news for people who are earning money online or thinking about a cheap and effective marketing strategy.Your marketing message will spread all around the web in a short time virtually for free.
This video gives a few great tips for building a strong brand using Facebook:
#5.Makes it easier to stay in touch:
A few years ago it was only possible to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues by phone, text messages or email.Nowadays you can update your profile on Facebook and every one knows what you are doing.Facebook has also made it easy to locate long-lost friends because almost everyone has a profile these days.
#6.Allows you to follow your competition to see what they are doing:
From a marketing perspective, one of the biggest advantages of social networking is that you can “spy” on your competition.All you need to do is follow them on the biggest social sites and you will have a good picture of what they are doing.This makes it easier for you to come up with a market plan and find your own niche.
#7.There are also real life advantages of social networking:
As an example, children who are interested in stamp collecting can find other children who are interested in the same thing using social networking.I bet there are others who are also interested in stamp collecting.Maybe this was a bad example, but I hope you understand what I mean.It has become a lot easier to find like-minded people thanks to social networking sites.
#8.You will get feedback more quickly:
Another great advantage of using social networking in business is simply that you can get almost instant feedback on your latest ideas.Just let your social contacts know about it and ask for their opinion.For instance, if you need a really good topic for your next blog post why not ask your friends for ideas.Then write a great post about it, your friends will share it for you.
#9.100% free advertising:
By setting up a profile and participating on social sites, you can get a lot of traffic to your own website or blog over time.You are not allowed to advertise directly on these sites, you cannot link directly to an affiliate product for instance.It would get you banned.
You can recommend good products and services if you have tried them yourself.The best way to get free advertising from social networking sites is to write a great review about the product on your blog and then link to it from your social profile.Another way is to put social buttons below your review so readers can share it with their friends.Over time this will lead to better rankings in the search engines (organic traffic) and traffic from Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest and dozens of other sites.
The most important thing is to share only the best stuff, this builds your reputation.When you have a good reputation, you will get more followers and people will start trusting your recommendations.This leads to more traffic and sales for you.It is good to remember that getting traffic from social sites is a long process, it will not happen over night.However, once you have everything setup it will work on autopilot.The traffic will not stop unless you delete your profile.
#1.Lack of Anonymity:
You are putting your name, location, gender, age and other information on the internet that you don´t necessarily want other people to know about.As long as people can know who you exactly are, then some can find ways to do you harm.
#2.Beware of scams:
Online scams, identity theft and other cases of harassment is normal on the Internet.Many social networking sites apply certain measures to keep these at an absolute minimum.You need to be careful.
#3.It can be very time consuming:
Social networking is really time consuming.If it is not your thing it may just be a waste of time.Social networking is supposed to be fun, whether it is for business or personal use.There are social networking software available for business people that posts your links automatically to dozens of social networking sites.
#4.It is impersonal:
Social networking is important in any business, but it can never beat a real face-to-face talk with the customer and this makes it a bit impersonal.It is difficult to develop a great customer relationship with someone who is anonymous.
When it comes to using social networking to your advantage you should focus on only a few big core sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ (or the ones you like using) and build up your profile and authority on these sites.
It is much less time consuming and your results will probably be a lot better than using 20 different sites.Keeping up with everything that is happening can become is really time consuming and there is so much more to do as a blogger than just hanging out on these sites.
If you are interested in learning more about how social networking works and how you can boost your own business to get more leads and sales, then I recommend you check out this video and audio training course that shows in smallest detail exactly how to create a never-ending stream of targeted website traffic to your site that converts into more leads and more income for you.
8 Types of social networking sites to use:
You need to use social media in one way or another if you are promoting a product or service online.There are at least 8 different types of social sites on the web.
However, before you can expect that anyone will share and bookmark your content, you need to know what kind of information people are looking for and then you must write excellent content that is worth sharing.There are many great external keyword tools you can use to determine what kind of content works best for your audience.
Here is a short presentation of different types of social networking sites that are used today.
#1.Internet marketing forums and discussion boards
Forums and discussion boards have been around since the start of the web.These are places where people interact, help each other out, ask questions and get answers.For instance, The Warrior Forum is the #1 forum for internet marketers and it has provided me with a lot of information and new friends.The Internet is full of forums on different topics, just get out there and be social.
A blog , a web log, is a place where people can write about things they enjoy or write about things that earn an income for the blogger.Blogs are social places because it is possible to leave comments on blog posts and have a discussion.Blog posts can be shared on social sites and guest posting has become very popular as well.
#3.Twitter (Micro blogging)
A micro blog is another type of social networking site that allows you to interact and be social.For instance, Twitter allows you to share with other people in 160 characters or less “What is happening right now”.By tweeting interesting things you can build a following.Every time you tweet, people will check out your new information.Twitter is also a powerful tool for driving traffic to a website.
Have you heard of Flickr.com or Picasa.com? These are photosharing sites that allow you to upload pictures.You can then share your pictures with family, friends or for business.No need to send pictures using email anymore, just send them a link to your account and they can comment and share them to their friends on social sites.
Everyone knows YouTube, the biggest video sharing site on the web.Viral videos are really popular and spreads like wild fire on social sites.People can comment on videos, embed them on their own sites, link to the videos and so on.YouTube videos tend to rank well in Google and other search engines and can drive massive traffic to your website.
LinkedIn.com is a social networking site for “professional people” that allows the person to connect with other people in the same profession,their friends and so on.It is the #1 tool for staying in touch with people in the same profession as you.You can also use it to locate old colleagues and so on.
Facebook is the #1 social site today.Almost everyone who has Internet access also have a Facebook account.It is easy to share information with your friends, links to interesting information, photos, videos and so on.Facebook has also become a really important marketing tool.
If you read an interesting article online, you can share it with your friends on bookmarking sites.If your friends decide to read it, they can also share it with their friends and so on.If you have noticed, many blogs have bookmarking buttons below the posts just for this reason.Besides sharing the article on Facebook and Twitter, you can use sites like Digg.com, Reddit.com, Delicious.com, Pinterest.com and StumbleUpon.com.
What do you think about the advantages and disadvantages of social media sites? Leave a comment below and share your best tips!