The concept of social networking emerged from a need to connect with anyone you every knew. Although several vendors tried to launch applications for social networking for specific purposes but none prevailed until in 2002 when the first famous platform was launched known as “Friendster”. Friendster had some functionality from previous applications and allowed people to create a strong community with a shared bonding. In 2003, LinkedIn was launched that provided a more sophisticated and targeted approach towards the goal of social networking and encouraged business people from around the world to link with others from their field or any one they knew through this platform. Over the years LinkedIn managed to sustain its identity by providing very specific functionality for the business oriented networking around the world. Several other famous and infamous platforms were launched mostly by university students, however the application that changed the future of social networking is undoubtedly Facebook, which was initially only used for Harvard students but was launched publically in 2006 and has been the biggest hit in the social networking domain. Twitter is another platform that along with Facebook has managed to attract the maximum number of users who now feel a bonding with these platforms. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn among others have shown a different face of social networking that was unperceivable earlier and is the reason for their continual success and popularity.
The figure above depicts the popularity and daily usage of these platforms by people all over the world. The figure shows that the teenagers are the most active users of these platforms as almost 95% use social medias daily, also people in the age bracket of 25 and above in USA prefer LinkedIn and Twitter. Analysing these stats implies that these mediums can provide continual benefits to the users .
In the current era that is defined as the age of digital and social media, the importance of targeted and intelligent social networking cannot be over emphasized. There is no limit to the level of opportunities that anyone can make happen for themselves through these platforms , this is the reason why it is being so widely used and newer applications are being built upon not only for commercial use but also for organization wide usage. The following section will discuss some of the ways social media and networking can benefit students at any level.
Social Networking For Students
A recent study published by University of Maryland, Professor Christine Greenhow states that their research showed that teenagers and young adults learn import communication and emotional bonding skills through the use of social networking. Their research showed that students when connected with their peers through these platforms strived to learn more skills and connected with each other more closely as compared to the peer relation
developed on campus. These students learned more about their career options, education opportunities and also shared academic information readily. This research specifically focused on the low income students as they have relatively lesser resources to learn about better education or job opportunities and found that these students can benefit the most by connecting with others to learn more in order to acquaint themselves for the future.
The medium of social networking is now often utilized by teachers to create a community for a specific class where students can post and share the resources and projects/assignment that can be referenced and used as study guide thus enabling a sense of knowledge sharing while also encouraging students to engage research and analysis techniques while studying or for projects. A community for a class can have several benefits as topic discussions can be taken a step further and more resources available at the Internet can also be included and discussed , therefore students and teachers not only get a chance to communicate more often and effectively but the students have better opportunities to learn more. Additionally, availability of study material and lectures at a forum such as this facilitates students to be adequately prepared for exams.
Social Networking For Business
Social networking was originally intended to facilitate the business people to connect with others in their field or profession to find more opportunities for their business and for themselves. Thousands of professionals have acquired better jobs through LinkedIn as it allows them to publish all their skills and experience in effective ways freely. All the businesses today are making use of technology and social media to spread awareness about
their services and products as well as to acquire better talent for their company. Among all these companies the small scale business has made the best use of it.
Small or home based businesses have low budgets, thus marketing, promotion and hiring operations need to be carried out on limited scale. Social media and networking allows such businesses to grow their community and find opportunities to market and promote their companies easily. In addition to this, social networks provide better connectivity with the customers and others in the same business allowing people to partner or make alliances through the social media. The use of social media can allow the businesses to keep their customers, partners or employees updated regarding the company and can build more trusted relation between them.
According to a report published by Forbes almost 94% companies have directed their marketing efforts through social media. A good majority among these companies (85%) accepted that they experienced better market exposure for their company and almost 55% companies reported that over a period of 3 years they experienced increase in their sales driven through these social media platforms.
The chart also shows that a vast majority of the CEOs of leading companies are regular users of some social network, the stats here show that the CEOS of public companies are more inclined towards Facebook while 30% CEOs of Fortune500 are users of LinkedIn.
All the stats and discussion above show the various benefits of social networks that can be utilized by anyone. The main concept of social network is to provide a framework where people can find others who share some common traits with them and then communicate to enhance their skills and knowledge as well as the relationships. If applied correctly, the opportunities are endless.
Bosari, Jessica. “The Developing Role of Social Media in the Modern Business World.” Forbes August 2012. web.
Dugas, Christine. “Small businesses get personal with social media.” USAToday November 2012. web.
Goble, Gordon. THE HISTORY OF SOCIAL NETWORKING. 06 September 2012. web. March 2013.
Su, Eleanor Yang. “Social networking helps students perform better, professor says.” California watch August 2011. web.