Ten years ago, there was no Facebook or Twitter, nowadays we take such social networks for granted, but they weren’t always around – Facebook started in 2004, and Twitter in 2006.
Today I’m going to be looking at social networks and how they have affected us and the way we work…
The changing internet
Before the introduction of the internet, businesses were totally different, to sell their products or services they had to reach out to their local community, but when the World Wide Web arrived it offered totally new prospects to businesses and opened up a massive global market. We have seen lots of websites that have taken advantage of this and started selling their services online, or like Amazon become wholly online.
The internet is always changing, the world is changing, as has previously been said four or five years ago nobody had heard of Twitter, now look at it – well over 500 million users, a massive free market for businesses to advertise and promote their products in. Obviously most of Twitter and Facebook’s users are obsessed with different celebrities, but that opens up even more possibilities (see: http://www.youngwebbuilder.com/twitter-fanpage-excel-sheet-free/) but it also gives certain business figure heads (like Bill Gates, Richard Branson etc.) a chance to take charge and gain millions of followers, whilst also advertising new products.
With the constant change within the internet, that gives you the chance to take it to the next level and invent the next type of social network (see:http://www.youngwebbuilder.com/will-you-be-the-next-facebook/) – learn from the past yes, but invent the future.
If you intend to design the future then you need to study the current trends, and then take it one step forward. One prime example of this is Twitter who took the already popular concept of blogging, to the next stage – micro-blogging, and as we can see they have been very successful.
So how has social networking changed businesses?
Social networks, have changed people, businesses and the internet forever, it will never be the same.
When you talk about the media you may refer to news sites, TV, newspapers etc. but over the last few years we have seen that social networks have become a major part of the media – hence: social media. Social networking sites have not only changed you, businesses, but whole countries and governments too – Barrack Obama is the fifth most followed person on Twitter, the Royal family regularly uploads videos on YouTube.
Social networks have offered massive new markets for businesses to operate in and promote their products.
- Social Networks have helped bring celebrity status to entrepreneurs – figureheads give businesses perfect ways with which to advertise products, some examples might include: Sir Richard Branson with Virgin, an unlikely Meerkat with Comparethemarket.com, Notch with Minecraft, Martin Lewis with MSE and etc. often what gives figureheads such celebrity status is their characteristics, things like this should be taken into account when creating your own business – do you want to be famous?
- Social networks help businesses communicate more directly with other companies and customers, getting people involved with businesses via social networks is important as it makes them feel a part of the company, it helps you by asking your followers what kind of products they want – or what they think about your products or services. Social networks help user’s to trust your website more, as well as generating a good reputation for your company. Think about it if Joe Bloggs follows your business via Facebook and regularly comments on your ‘statuses’ then his friends will see his comments, and if they are positive you will gain more customers. Social networks help spread the word about your product (this video helps you to get a better picture of something going viral).
- Feedback and research into their market, social networks enable businesses to receive reviews about their products, to help them know how the product has been received, whether people ‘like’ it etc.
Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube for businesses are the most amazing free tools that could possibly be invented, when you promote your products on them, all it takes is for one person to share it – then it goes to their followers – say half of them share it to their own followers – and you have chain, that’s how things go viral.
Do you use Twitter and Facebook for promotion? you should do. They are amazing free tools that can reach to billions of people.
Plus you can use some of the tools mentioned here and take Twitter even further!
What about you? How do you use social networks for promotion?