These last 5 years have definitely seen the rise of social networking. This was the time when Facebook and Twitter were introduced and have made a name for themselves. It is true that Friendster was there before then but it was not really that complete yet and also did not have many features. Today, social media needs to be able to allow people to communicate, discover and be updated with all the happenings concerning that person. Friendster, before, only allowed you to shout out, add people and improve your profile.

It is not only individuals that utilize social media. There are also businesses that make use of it in order to promote themselves, their products and their staff. For those businesses that fail to see the advantage social media brings, they are unknowingly losing thousands of potential customers to other firms.

The best way to utilize social media is to do advertising. First off, you start at a personal level. Ask your employees or PR staff to advertise your company to their family and friends. In time, a huge web of persons will come to know about your company or product. This is the first step in utilizing social media to aid your business and there is a perfectly good reason why it is the first step. People always communicate with their loved ones online so don’t be afraid to incorporate a little business talk and ask a little PR help from your relatives. It is also a good idea to do this because there can’t be any better advice than advice coming from family. If you tell them this certain product is good, they will almost always believe it because you are family.

The next social media you need to exploit are online reviews. The next place people turn to after they’ve asked family and friends is the internet. 90% of the time, they will use search engines to find what they need. The other 10% go directly to forum sites and answers sites such as Yahoo! Answers. It would be best to capitalize on that 90% rather than the meager 10%.

If a person has an inquiry about a certain product, chances are they will use search engines for it. The results that arrive will usually be the company site, Amazon, Ebay and other local retailers. For those that want to inquire about a certain establishment though, they would rather search Facebook and see how many likes the company’s page has. They will also look at the Wall and the Info section so be sure there are no negative remarks in the wall and that the information field is complete and concise.