Can you afford to ignore Social Networking Sites?

Social Networking Sites currently attract 128 Million users a month. 128,000,000 visitors a MONTH! ( The zeros really make it dramatic don’t they?) Social Networks have seen an exponential growth this year as the mainstream media continue to profile the successes of the top two networks, MySpace & Facebook.

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What makes Social Networking sites so popular? It’s simple. Communication. Through these sites, users are able to connect and communicate with old friends, new friends, colleagues, family, and find others with similar interests. Social Networking sites offer a community environment online which is accessible virtually from anywhere. Whether on the train with a PDA or at home on the internet, one is able to tap into these communities and chat, email, or snoop…yes Social Networking sites are even great for snooping. Who knew?

But like other business owners you may be thinking, “Well, I don’t know too much about MySpace“, or “I don’t have time to get into these online communities.” or “There are so many sites, which ones should I target?” Though your concerns are valid, it begs the question, “With 128 Million opportunities a month, can you afford to NOT invest a little time into Social Networking Sites?”

In short. No. You can’t.

Strategizing your Social Networking campaign is half the battle. Seach Engine Watch recently featured an article on Social Media Success. Here’s a brief recap:

  • Know your demographic and target sites which cater to them
  • Familiarize yourself with the site, it’s users, it’s lingo (yes they all have their own dialect), and what makes it popular. Knowing these key elements can give you great insight on how to market your product to the site’s users.
  • Participate in the community. By becoming a genuine member you will gain the respect of others. If you enter communities only to push your product, your credibility will be questioned and you will be likely shunned by others. Think of a door to door salesman who just won’t leave.
  • Be prepared for the social media campaign to take on a life of it’s own. You never know how social networks are going to interpret or use the information you provide to them. They may ignore it or if they find it useful, they may forward it along to all of their friends…and then the fun really begins.

The number of social networking sites and its users are growing daily, research suggests that Facebook alone attracts 200,000 new users a day. Putting a little time and money into the social networking phenomenon can be time and money well spent…your new users will thank you for it.