What is Social Networking?

What is social networking

With so much jargon floating around the internet, it’s easy to get lost! So to get the the best understanding of the world of digital marketing, it is a great idea to go back to basics and ensure you know exactly what social networking is…

As with our previous article on what social media is all about, we like to use Wiktionary to give simple definitions. With social networking, four are provided…

“1. The interaction between a group of people who share a common interest
2. Using social contacts to network
3. The use of internet communities to network and communicate using shared interests, related skills, or geographical location between consumers and businesses.
4. A web interface that allows users to post messages and interact. Groups and relationships of complete strangers may be formed by various means such as interests, mutual friends or common activities.”

When it comes to social media, we are concerned with the latter two of these definitions - so why have we listed them all? Well, to get a good grasp of what internet social networking is it’s a good idea to look at what it stemmed from - and social networking sites are a result of the first two.

Social networking for people

Essentially, a social network is just that - a network of people who act socially by sharing media or interacting directly with other users. These users could be your real friends, or you could make brand new friends who also happen to be between 21-30, support Chelsea and collect Super Mario memorabilia - such is the beauty of social networking sites!

Social networking for businesses

Far from just being about telling people ‘what sandwich you just ate’, (not to knock the importance of that information), a social networking site can also be used for business. Here, they are particularly useful as they allow companies to communicate directly with their customers. Social networking sites remodel how businesses and people interact. Rather than there being a one way line of communication, now a conversation can be started which can be intersected by other friends and users.

Still not convinced? The reason businesses are able to be so successful is the sheer number of users they can reach out to! According to DigitalBuzz, between the years of 2010 - 2011, Facebook alone had 640 million users amounting to 310 million daily unique visitors - which would make it the third largest country in the World. That’s a figure that it is very hard to overlook!

There are tonnes of social networking sites out there including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to name but a few. Each of them have their own intricacies and processes, so to give you the best idea of how they all work we’ll be exploring each one individually in further blogs - keep your eyes peeled!

Editor - 

Kane is the Managing Director of Giraffe Social Media. His primary focus is Finance and Operations Management, that's when he isn't watching clips from The Office on YouTube anyway. Google+ Profile

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