Social media and the lucrative networks are often thought of as places where webmasters can promote. However, even though the social gurus focus on advertisements, we do not have to do that. In fact, social media is about making connections, engaging with your friends, and sharing aspects of your life.
Although social networks can be a great place to promote your website, there are benefits (even for webmasters) for keeping these online destinations purely about being social. We’ll get more into those benefits, but let’s first talk about how one of the largest social networks was created.
Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, whether he modified his vision from another idea or not. When he was sitting in his dorm, furiously typing numerous lines of code, his mission was to create an online network for friends and family. Primarily, the site was for Harvard students. Facebook, in his mind, could be nothing like Friendster. Moving forward, it could not be similar to MySpace either. Simply put, The Facebook would allow people to connect with their friends without annoying distractions, slow loading times, or spammy bulletins.
Comparing that vision to what many of us use Facebook for now, we can see some major differences. While Facebook does not consist of spammy bulletins or many mass messages, many of us actively post advertisement-based statuses, utilize the sidebar ads, share our website pages frequently, and do a lot to promote our web projects. Is this what Facebook was created for? No. Instead of complaining about different age groups being allowed to join Facebook, we now complain of annoying notifications, spammy invites and more.
Mark is smart though, and he has attempted to utilize his own platform in a way that allows the network, as a whole, to adapt to modern demands. For one, groups and companies are prioritized. Instead of being an exclusive network of people that already know each other, the site actively promotes products, businesses and anyone who is willing to spend some money for enhanced promotion.
As a tool, Facebook has changed. Yet as I stated previously, Mark is simply adapting to modern demands. If the demand was altered, from we want promotion to we need connection, the network would change as well. It’s up to us. Do we want to use Facebook as a website that might get our sites some attention? Or do we want to preserve the personal experience that it once consisted of in the Harvard, Yale and early days?
In my opinion, the latter. I am on Facebook because my friends are – That’s the only reason. I’m not there for newsfeed images, Farmville, or any other piece of media. I don’t use Facebook to have my interests interpreted so new products can be suggested to me. If my friends were to leave, I would be gone to. That’s the principle of social media. It’s not the media that makes it all come together, it’s the social interactions that create it.
With the original purpose defined, modern culture being the controlling factor, and personal devotion, we can all bring social networks from being tools to advertise, to being an online hub of communication.
So as a webmaster, what are some benefits of this? Surely making social platforms free of an advertising focus will tarnish your website? No!
- Besides talking with your current friends, you can make connections that allow you to advance in your career. For example, LinkedIn is a great network for professionals.
- Sharing links with people you know will always bring your website more visitors than advertising to random people ever will. (See below for more information on this)
Guessing what you’re thinking, I think it should be noted that sharing your site with twenty five of your close friends may not bring you as many visitors as an advertisement to one thousand random people. However, remember why people are on the social network in the first place. They’re there because of their friends, not the advertisements. If you actively make connections and speak with your friends, you are giving the social network(s) a reason to exist. Without the social aspect, these networks would not even be able to provide close to one thousand people who you could promote to.
However, let’s forget about ways to promote on social networks entirely. What’s more valuable – a website full of advertisements, or a place where you can speak with your friends and family, no matter which part of the world they are in? If you want to focus solely on ads, you can check out Craigslist, ForumPromotion, Google AdSense, or another site.
From now on, my use on social networks will be based solely on personal connections – Not promoting a website, advertising my services, or something else. Will I share projects occasionally? Yes, if they are of value to my life, and can be beneficial to others. Social media is financed by advertisements, but made for personal connections. It’s very contradictory.
What is your opinion? Share your comments below!