Humans being social creatures are dedicated to making and collaborating in “social networks” so as to express and share their ideas & concepts. With the increase use of the net, people began satisfying this natural necessity through on-line communities such as internet forums. The evolution of such social forums resulted in today’s world social networking and online communities.
What is a Social Networking Website or Online Community?
A social networking website or service is a platform to create social networks or social relations among those people who share common interests, activities, backgrounds or real-life connections. Typically social networks are web based services that provide users with a means to communicate or interact over the internet. Social network sites are assorted and that they incorporate new info and communication tools such as photo/video/sharing, blogging, and mobile connectivity.
An online community is regarded as a virtual community whose members interact with one another primarily via the net. People who want to be the part of an online community usually have to become a member via a particular site. An online community acts as an information sharing system where community members can post their views, give their suggestions, comment on discussions, etc. Presently online communities serve as popular medium for people to interact mainly through chat rooms, e-mail lists, discussion boards, forums, etc. Furthermore people can join online communities through video games, blogs & virtual worlds.
I think everyone in the world has heard the name of the most popular social networking site i.e. Facebook. But through this write up I would like to tell you about other exciting & fruitful social networking websites. Primarily these social networking sites & online communities are designed for sharing information, while some can help you find a new job, some are used for sharing videos, music or pictures, and some are uniting members of a particular interest. Here is a list of the most interesting social networks and online communities.
Popular Online Communities and Social Sites
Following are the popular social networking sites across the globe:
- My Space
Biggest Online Communities
Following are the popular online communities across the globe found to be productive for small businesses:
- American Express OPEN Forum
- Startup Nation
- Entrepreneur’s Inspiration Station
- US Small Business Administration Community
- Business 2 Community
- Google+ Communities
Advantages of Online Communities & Social Networking Sites
Whatever the reason may be social networking sites and online communities serves as the easiest and most effective means to spread the world. This is generally because people are communal by nature. Furthermore, from digital marketing point of view, the growth rate and potential customer base these online communities and social networking sites offer is irrefutable and simply can’t be ignored.
Now let’s see what advantages these online communities and social networking sites have to offer:
As we have discussed earlier, the first and the foremost benefit these online communities & social networking sites render is to bring the people together across the globe. People can be engage depending upon their functions, disciplines, their personal and professional needs & aspirations. Such online connections allows them to seek a new job, locating assistance, getting and giving product and service referrals, receiving support from like-minded individuals, Making or obtaining advice on career or personal issues, etc.
Commonality of Interest
People prefer to associate with those having or share common interest. Interests may vary upon social, economical and cultural needs of the folks (humans). These online communities & social networking websites give immense relief in this context. People can associate and form group with those people whom they select and like. For example one can interact with those who share your interest, if you are a book lover or travel aficionado or alike.
Real-Time Information Sharing
Now-a-days social networking sites comprehend an instant messaging feature, that implies one can exchange information in real-time via a chat. The feature is of great use for teachers to facilitate classroom discussions. Such networks can be used as an effective means for students to pursue self-paced online learning. Additionally this can be effectively being employed in team building, corporate conference, etc.
Business enterprise whether it’s small, medium or large can make effective use of varied social networking sites or online communities for online marketing /web marketing of their product and services. By undertaking such an activity one can reach the masses and that too with little or small amount of capital employed.
Improved News Cycle Speed
Emergence of social networking sites and online communities has channelized the speed of news cycle. A number of news channels and organizations partner with these social networking sites (like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook) and online communities (such as Start up Nation, Partner up, Entrepreneur.com) in order to collate and information sharing. Now one can easily get a sense of what is happening around the world by just watching trending topics from many of these social networking websites and online communities. This has led to the formation of instantaneous news cycle as millions of social networking updates spread news and information within fraction of seconds.
Benefit of Social Networking Sites & Online Communities to the Industry
Fast emergence of online communities and social networking sites over a period of time has not only provided an easy way of connecting with people but also shrunken the world over the net. Broad reach, ability to target particular groups, less capital employed, and above all personal & quick interaction- all these factors compelled the business owners to go beyond their fixed place of business. Therefore we can say that existence of varied online communities & social networking sites give an outstanding platform for corporate entities specially small and medium term business to outreach masses.
Corporate enterprises can expand their businesses easily using these social networking sites and online communities (i.e. social media). Businesses can make use of such networks to introduce & market their product and services, find out what customers think about their business, enabling them to generate both new customers and clients. Furthermore productive use of such networks helps an enterprise to build stronger relationship with existing customers.
One can become expert in making use of allied social networking sites and online communities by pursuing any course in digital marketing. Digital marketing courses train individuals in effective promotion of one’s product and services over the web via internet.
ADMEC Multimedia Institute offers advanced courses in digital marketing. You can read about various digital or internet marketing courses here.