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Social Networking Sites Can Win You Friends And Money

It’s almost a sure bet that if you have internet access you have Facebook friends and tweet occasionally. As a matter of fact before you found yourself reading this article you were on Facebook and will be so again as soon as you have finished it. No matter what time of day or night it is, you can’t help seeing what your friends are talking about, where a good restaurant is, how you should spend your evening tonight and how to save money on the latest electronic must-have.

While social networking sites were once an extension of real-world networking opportunities, they passed that narrow definition a long time ago. People who were once looking for other people are now looking for postings by any number of institutions on Facebook and Twitter. Postings on Facebook can be seen from schools, restaurants, stores, theaters, and various government departments.

I remember one of the first non-person accounts I saw on Facebook. It was a restaurant in my area that had its own page. On the page were updates about lunch specials and upcoming events at the restaurant. Whenever I checked into my account, I would see what was on the menu, whether I felt like going there or not. Most days I didn’t even pay attention, but sometimes I would see an appetizing special or a trivia night advertised. So, I’d head on down to the restaurant.

This principle applies also to retail stores. Stores advertising a sale or promotion on Facebook are assured that thousands of people will see it. Anyone spending an hour or so on Facebook will be jumping quickly from page to page casually perusing all sorts of information, none of it with any depth. This is much like reading headlines in a newspaper but not the stories beneath them. But if one those headlines is a store name and the headline is alluring, lots of folks will click on the link.

The most effective social network page, whether for an individual or a business, is the page that is updated and maintained with care. Business owners can talk directly to customers through the sites and answer specific consumer questions easily and promptly. Someone looking at a local bar and grill’s page wants to know when the karaoke night takes place. Within minutes the manager responds, “Karaoke night is tonight, starting at 8pm!” The customer, excited, makes plans to hold her birthday party there. Congratulations, small business. You’ve just booked a lively party of 15 rabble-rousers who will probably spend a fortune on food and drinks.

An individual wishing to promote a service or sell a product can also take advantage of social networking sites. Looking for a job? Post your notice on your updated profile with information about your house and pet sitting expertise and when you are available. You can post a picture of the mountain bike you wish to sell. You can be sure that all your Facebook friends will see it and spread the word.

The best part of advertising a business on a social networking site: Achieving massive exposure without a large budget. The sites are free, and with a little time and effort, an appealing online presence can attract customers. A business’s page is also a way for customers to feel proactive about consumer decisions. People “find” retail stores and restaurants on Facebook. The discovery is all their effort. Not like finding a flyer from the windshield of their parked car. The flyer is obtrusive and rude in a way that a social networking site is not.

Social networking sites, once the niche of college students and small-time bands, have become a legitimate forum to grow a business. Nearly everybody uses the sites. They are all just a mouse click away from becoming a customer.

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