Importance of Social Networks for Businesses

Introduction:
Companies after ever increasing the speed of utilization of internet and social networks by individuals decided to use social networks to become more and more popular in terms of their banding strategies, positioning, marketing activities, customers services and feedbacks, implementation of e-CRM and alike. People use social networks in order to communicate, share their ideas, and use the flow of information and other means of publishing information about themselves. Location

Although since 1990s, utilization of internet, many social networks and internet tools had emerged, it was not popular. Recently, through the development of social network in friendly atmosphere and with less complexity in terms of functioning for individuals, this service (social network service) has become part of people’s lives.

In terms of clarification of analysis on customer satisfaction, customer retention, and customer relationship management and customer feedbacks, social networks play a pivotal role. As a result companies have tried to utilize Social network services in order to better serve customers and obtain other various objectives. Most companies recognized that social network sites (SNSs) like Napster, Facebook, and Twitter and so on are the best places to them in order to highlight their brand image through which they can increase their market share, and sustainability.

What is a Social Network?
It is considered as a platform through which social relations will be built among people and information sharing will be facilitated. Through social networks sites personal information and relationships can be shared and users can stay in touch.

Most of SNSs provide a personal page for posting, ability to search for friends and other issues like updating profile and personal data and have the ability to restrict and/or conceal the mentioned information by page owner from the eyes of public or specific people.

These Online facilities (SNSs) have improved the movements of individuals on online tasks, especially in the mentioned social networks for the purpose of maintaining friendships regardless of distance (geographical limitation). Not only that but also it enables people to find better jobs and partners.

Regarding the acceptance of these sites by people, companies have become interested to get involved in this process through which they can sell their products and services and better serve customer ‘s needs and wants and through analysis of consumer buying patterns and their feedbacks they can fine tune their decision making process as well as their strategies.

Below information reveals the fact that how rapidly number of social networks increase since 1997.

1997: SixDegrees.com

1998: —

1999: Asian Avenue, Live Journal, Black Planet

2000: LunarStorm (SNS relaunch), Migente

2001: Cyworld, Ryze

2002: Fotolog, Friendster, SkyBlog

2003: CouchSurfing, LinkedIn, MySpace, HI5, Tribe.net,

2004: Orkut, Dogster, Flicker, Facebook (Harward only), Mixi, Piczo, Hyves, Catster

2005: YouTube, Zanga, Yahoo.360, Facebook (Highschool networks), Bebo, Ning, Asian Avenue & BlackPlanet (relaunched)

2006 till now: QQ, Windows Live Space, Facebook (Corporate Networks), Twitter, MyChurch, and then Facebook (Everyone)

Many companies during previous decade as a result of increasing the use of these networks have decided to penetrate into SNSs in order to find the relevant information of people, elicit information and analyze them in order to make appropriate decision based on market moves; not only in terms of customers but also in terms of competitors and rules and regulations. They aim at finding useful information in order to do external (Scanning, monitoring, forecasting, assessing), and industry analysis (5 forces of porter) as well as competitor analysis.

Usefulness of Social Networks:

  • Considering SNSs as a marketing tool, they help companies to interact with customers and create online communities and pages,
  • Updating latest activity of companies, advertisements and providing customers with applications necessary or useful in order to increase the traffic of their page, blog or community,

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