Decades ago, before the advent of our present day social networks, we’d chat with strangers across campus through our university’s mainframe computer, exchanging text messages through codes, in that old black screen with green text, “The Matrix” style.
Then came classmates.com and a myriad of sexy new social networks that let us reconnect with old classmates and with friends from our often forgotten past.
That was, and still is the draw of social networks today: connecting people.
image by trialsanderrors at https://www.flickr.com/photos/trialsanderrors/
A look at the most popular social networks today show that connecting people is still the main draw of social networks.
This used to be where youth hang out.. until their parents figured out how to use this platform, and friended their kids to find out what they’ve been up to. Many kids have since moved on to alternative networks that their parents are still unaware of.
That’s for micro blogging, telling the world, in 140 characters, what you are currently doing and hoping someone, somewhere, actually cares.
3. Linked In
This is where professionals connect, network for business and career reasons, recruit people, find new jobs and introduce one another to potential business associates.
This image driven social network attracts shopaholics. 80% of pinners are women, sharing recipes and great buys. Retail businesses can use this to promote their female targeted merchandise.
5. Google Plus
This is Google’s take on social media as part of its suite of products. The main draw is the authorship function, with its influence on search engine results. As such, it attracts geeks, webmasters and people who want their sites to rank well in Google.
Where people hang out, so do smart marketers. In fact, a social network is a great place for brands to connect with their desired customers, engage them, promote their products and services to them, provide customer service and so much more.
That is why many social networks which were once free for marketers to exploit have morphed into pay to play, with Facebook leading the pack.
Old school social networks are about connecting people, but you can’t actually buy or sell through them easily.
That’s what you do in marketplaces like ebay or Etsy.
No doubt marketplaces like Etsy have rudimentary social networking functions to let their members connect with each other and support fellow sellers’ stores, the new breed, the Market Network goes even further by using Software as a Service to build long term business relationships. Honeybook is a prime example.