Social networking has changed society in many ways, for the good, for the “bad” and for many people. In this post, you will learn about interesting ways social networking has been used, its benefits, the “dark side” and how it will evolve in the future.
Social Networking in Business
Social networking has provided an outlet for businesses of all sizes to directly connect with the users of their product or service. As of today, Coca Cola’s Facebook page has 52,260,637 likes! On this page, and many other business pages, users have a place to come together and rave about how great the product is, participate in contests and polls, learn more about the brand, and much more! However, sometimes social networking isn’t 100 percent positive for businesses. Social networking allows negative feelings a user may have toward your brand to spread farther and faster than ever before! When using social networking for branding, keep this example in mind: United Breaks Guitars.
Social Networking in Politics
Much like social networking for business, when used in politics it can be a great way to connect with supporters, provide information about platforms and spread your message farther than ever before! The best example of this is Obama’s success during his first run for president. In a New York Times’s article about his use of social media it states, “by bolting together social networking applications under the banner of a movement, they created an unforeseen force to raise money, organize locally, fight smear campaigns and get out the vote that helped them topple the Clinton machine and then John McCain and the Republicans.”
Social Networking for Employers and Job Seekers
Social networking has made it possible for job seekers to make themselves easily searchable for potential employment. This is revolutionary for employers as well. Instead of screening sometimes thousands of applicants you can simply find high quality candidates with a simple keyword search on many social networking sites. Perhaps the most common of these sites are LinkedIn. According to NPR, LinkedIn has “a network of 8 million professionals spread across the world.”
Social Networking for Personal Use
Of course, many people use social networking to simply keep in touch with their friends and family, to share their personal thoughts, to upload pictures, etc. However, this can be where the “dark side” kicks in. Privacy on social networking sites is a huge issue today. According to the Chronicle, researchers say that “over all, our data show that far from being nonchalant and unconcerned about privacy matters, the majority of young adult users of Facebook are engaged with managing their privacy settings on the site at least to some extent.” This is probably because people are getting fired, or not getting hired because of what they choose to share on personal profiles. Should employers be able to base their recruiting on this information? Should they even be able to see it?
Social networking has many uses beyond the ones I’ve mentioned. It is a segment of the internet that grows rapidly everyday. Location based marketing through social networks is something, I believe, will continue to grow as marketers find more innovative ways to use it. Also, social networking may soon be a huge part of our shopping experience. Imagine being able to go shopping with your friends through a social network!
Do you have any predictions for the future of social networking?
Let me know!