Social Networking for Business

A social network is a type of virtual community, however whereas most traditional virtual communities were based on the content and information discussed (communities of interest), the revolution of social networking places relationships at the centre of the communities. Social Networking services (SNS) are more about people and their relationships than connecting content itself.

  • Virtual communities were founded on shared interests in concepts but are moving towards shared relationships and connectionsA virtual community is a forum of exchanging information about common interests. They provide a sense of place and belonging based on those shared interests. Often they develop into congenial and stimulating dialogue between the members and much interesting information can be shared, even leading to more extended relationships in some instances.
  • SNS is typically distinguishable in that they are about relationships - they allow a more detailed personal profile to be developed, they tend to allow members to articulate a list of 'friends' and they tend to allow members to navigate and peruse others' list of friends. In this way members can find others through their extended friends networks - friend of a friend (FOAF).

Emarketing approaches

Marketing strategies incorporating information systems, such as email, social networking and media, search engines and websites may be classified as emarketing strategies. To develop an understanding of how your business might leverage information systems to support marketing efforts,  a series of approaches to marketing are first discussed here. Later in this series we will discuss various techniques to use technologies in your marketing efforts.

Mass marketing

The classical approach to marketing is an exposure maximisation strategyThe classical approach to marketing has been the exposure maximisation strategy of mass marketing. The more people that see your message, the more people buy your products and services. It is the one-to-all approach selling whatever you have to many people, with the expectation that there is a direct correlation between exposure and sales. This strategy has been relatively expensive in the past, using print, TV and radio based media to push the message out. As the communication phenomenon that is the Internet has begun to provide easier ways for marketing online, it has become a cheap method for distributing your marketing message.

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