Business and Social Networks

by Jake S
With the invention of the internet more and more businesses began popping up. The internet gave them a virtual store front to showcase their products to consumers around the world. Businesses are always searching for the next new thing or way to get their name out to the masses. With the explosion in popularity of social networking web sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter, businesses had to spring into action fast and establish their presence on these web sites. These social networking web sites have millions of users so the potential for exposure is enormous. Some businesses rely on social networking to find employees, offer deals to their customers, and release new products (Quinn, 2010).

One study shows that businesses that use social networking were ranked high on a scale of innovation versus companies that do not use social networking web sites (Swearingen, 2008). This is possibly because users of their product can directly contact with the company through their social network profile. They can also offer special deals to their followers over the general public.

Social networking for professionals can expose them to others that may want to consider collaborating on a project. Since the amount of exposure is so great in social networking more and more companies and professionals are getting noticed. The social networks can also be used to meet suppliers, producers, or manufacturers.

Social networks can also be used to find employees with special skill sets. It also comes down to the vast amount of people the social networks can reach. The more people that get your message the more chances you have to find exactly what you are looking for.  Perhaps the most appealing reason for businesses to use social networking is very inexpensive marketing. Businesses can choose when and what they post since they control it directly.

One business that utilizes social networking very well is 4130 Clothing. 4130 Clothing was founded in 2007 in San Diego, California (4130 Clothing). They specialize in apparel for the off road enthusiast. They use MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and operate an online store to facilitate sales. They usually post updates about what new products are in the works, products are on sale, and the general happenings of the business. They also use it to promote what events they will be attending. 4130 also sponsors race teams and drivers and promote their logo on the side of their vehicles. All information and links to the teams can be found on their social networking pages.

There are also downsides to social networking. Social networking sites are known for being informal. For some businesses social networks are not the best platform for releasing news and products. Also, since social networking happens on the internet medium it is possible for the businesses pages and profiles to be phished or hacked and incorrect information may be posted. 4130 Clothing, as a business policy, changes their passwords every two weeks to prevent such occurrences.

Social networking has proven to be a very effective tool for businesses. It can help them for a wide array of operations that are normal for a business. They can promote any new happenings in their business. While there are many positives to social networking, like down to the minute user feedback, there can be disadvantages as well. Security is an issue and the page must be closely monitored to prevent abuse from other users or online predators. 4130 Clothing is one example of a small business using social networking sites to promote their business in creative ways. With the help of web sites like Facebook and Twitter they are able to contact fans and the world about anything they choose.

References

Swearingen, J. (2008, September 5). Social networking for business. Retrieved from http://www.bnet.com/article/social-networking-for-business/219914

Quinn, R. (2010, March 19). The importance of using social networking for business. Retrieved from http://ipwatchdog.com/2010/03/19/the-importance-of-using-social-networking-for-business-part-i-facebook/id=9748/

4130 Clothing. (n.d.). 4130 clothing. Retrieved from http://www.facebook.com/4130clothing