The Internet continues to grow new media and social networking is one that offers value for both the individual and the business person. It’s not just buzz word, but rather an Internet phenomenon. It’s like a global cocktail lounge or living room gathering. It is a way for people to interact, get to know each other and connect, without traveling half way around the globe or even leaving the comfort of home.
Social networking is a familiar activity, meeting and getting to know people but in a totally new venue. We’re used to doing it at work or church or the golf course but many can be intimidated by opening up to meeting new people via an Internet site. Social media sites provide this new platform for getting to know more “friends.” You can reconnect with old friends or meet and connect with new people. Just like any other networking activity it takes time to make connections and time to build meaningful relationships. Social networking took off among the younger generation first. Like much of the Internet it was developed at college campuses. These media sites were a way to stay in touch with friends when they weren’t right there with you. It also became a way to make new friends in a less stressful social situation. But, it is not just for the teeny boppers. Adults now enjoy social networking as well.
The first social networking sites we all heard about were Facebook and MySpace. This was mostly due to controversy surrounding what some Generation X kids were posting, but it made parents aware of the social networking craze. Parents joined just in order to monitor their teenager and found usefulness on the site for themselves. Now, adults are using social networking for several different purposes. First, it is a venue to reconnect with old classmates, friends and colleagues: the use is personal. It is easy to stay in touch with many people at the same time and build and rebuild relationships. You can keep in touch with that world traveler and also see pieces of their travels along the way instead of waiting for them to return.
For business owners both small and large there is value in social networking. Marketing gurus found they were able to build meaningful alliances and business partnerships through their connections on social networking websites. In addition, social networking has become valuable to building your web presence as well. It is akin to going door to door and telling people about your product. But you can easily reach people globally and not just in the neighborhood. For each site that you decide to join create a powerful profile, include pictures and details. Add personal info such as likes and dislikes to give people a feel for your personal side. Join groups of people with similar interests. On first look, social networking appeared to be a venue for the young, but what many have discovered is that there is value for individuals, businesses, corporations and age doesn’t matter. When you make your first visit to a social network you could easily feel intimidated but don’t worry, the groups are friendly and there is a wealth of info to get you started.
Social media websites have a place in the life of both young and old alike. Use it to meet new people, make business contacts, stay in touch with family, or just to beef up your Internet presence. The wave of the future is Internet, and it just continues to evolve in how people can connect. Don’t you want to join?