Custom Social Networking Software, Do You Need It?

Custom Social Networking Software, Do You Need It?

Article by Cheryl Hughes

The benefit for the mulitiude of users of the social networking giants like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter is fairly obvious. It allows them to connect, locate, rediscover and otherwise enjoy friends and topics regardless of geographical location. The upside for businesses to enter this arena has not always been as clear. Businesses can gain a boon from the social networking revolution in a way that no other marketing strategy can deliver. They are able to reach out to a much large audience and stay on top or current trends and events that allow them to better understand their customers and tailor their approaches accordingly. Custom social networking software is the new must have tool in the business world. It is the backbone on which your new social network will rest. It will allow you to provide a place for your target market to gather, discuss and share their thoughts and opinions on an industry specific topic. It will also allow you to do extensive market research in the form of polls and open discussions. You will be able to build your online presence, help facilitate customer loyalty and generate interest by allowing your current and perspective consumers to interact directly with you. For example, if you are in the business of selling saddles, creating a niche social network site for horse enthusiasts would be perfect. You can create your custom social network to include forums, blogs, e-learning and you guessed it, a store. Architecting social networking software can be a complex and time consuming process. That’s why choosing the right social networking firm is not only important, but vital. There are of course options for “free” social networking software out there, however you have to remember that you get what you pay for. When you use a free site, like Ning, for example you are limited to the styles and options that are offered in their one size fits all social networking web design. If you are building a small scale website to keep in touch with family or friends, this is fine. If you are building a social network for potential customers to use and to set yourself above your competitors or if you are creating a corporate social network to aid your employees, free isn’t the image you are going to want to project.

About the Author

Cheryl is a marketing consultant for PLANETwebfoot

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