Social Networking Definition

What are social networks?

The term social networking refers to the use of Internet-based social networking sites to keep in touch with friends, family, colleagues, clients or clients. Social networks can have a social purpose, a business purpose, or both through sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Social networks are also an important base for marketers seeking customer engagement. Facebook remains the largest and most popular social network, with 2.8 billion people using the platform per month, as of December 31, 2020. Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and Pinterest are the most popular, according to Statista.

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  • Social networking is the use of Internet-based social media platforms to keep in touch with friends, family or peers.
  • The most popular social networking sites in the United States are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  • Marketers use social networks to increase brand recognition and encourage brand loyalty.
  • Social media can help connect people and companies and can help boost brand awareness.
  • There are drawbacks related to social media, including the prevalence of misinformation and the high cost of using and maintaining social networking profiles.

How do social networks work?

Social networking involves developing and maintaining personal and business relationships using technology. This is done through the use of social networking sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These sites allow people and companies to connect with each other so that they can develop relationships so that they can share information, ideas and messages.

Separated family members may remain connected through personal social networking sites such as Facebook. They can share photos and updates about things going on in their lives. People can also connect with others (particularly strangers) who share the same interests. People can find each other through groups, lists, and the use of hashtags.

Social networks are commonly used by marketers to increase brand recognition and encourage brand loyalty. As it makes the company more accessible to new customers and more popular to existing customers, social media marketing helps in enhancing the brand’s voice and content.

For example, a frequent Twitter user might learn about a company for the first time through a news feed and decide to purchase a product or service. The more people are exposed to the company’s brand, the more chances the company has of finding and retaining new customers.

Marketers use social networks to improve conversion rates. Creating a following provides access and interaction with new, new and old customers. Sharing blog posts, photos, videos, or comments on social media allows followers to interact, visit the company’s website, and become customers.

special considerations

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing strategies. This is because every business is unique and has a different demographic target, history, and competitive market. Because social media companies want businesses to pay for their ads, companies often limit the number of business reach they may receive through unpaid posts. For example, if a company has 500 followers, all followers may not receive the same post.

The ever-evolving nature of social networks makes it difficult to keep up with changes, and also affects a company’s marketing success rate.

Advantages and disadvantages of social networks

Social networks have the power to influence both individuals and businesses – both negatively and positively. That is why it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of using these social media sites.


As mentioned earlier, social networks allow individuals to keep in touch with family and friends who would not be able to contact them due to distance or because they simply lost contact. People can also connect with other individuals who share the same interests and develop new relationships.

It also allows companies to communicate with new and existing customers. They can also use social media to create, promote and increase brand awareness. They also rely on feedback and comments made by their customers. The more customers post about the company, the more valuable the brand’s authority. This leads to more sales and a higher ranking in search engines. Therefore, social networks can help establish a brand as legitimate, credible and trustworthy.

A company may use social networks to demonstrate its level of customer service and to enrich its relationships with consumers. For example, if a customer complains about a product or service on Twitter, the company may address the issue immediately, apologize, and take action to rectify the matter.


Social networks can have a huge impact on the spread of misinformation and it can spread like wildfire. This is becoming increasingly prevalent after 2012. Information starts out as rumours, which spread faster than facts. One study found that misinformation is 70% more likely than factual information on Twitter.

Communication on social media can have a detrimental effect on businesses. Brand criticism can spread very quickly on social media. This can create a virtual headache for the company’s PR department.

Although the social networks themselves are free, creating and maintaining a company profile takes hours each week. The costs of those hours add up quickly. Businesses need many followers before a social media marketing campaign can start generating a positive return on investment (ROI). For example, sending a post to 15 followers does not have the same effect as sending the post to 15,000 followers.


  • Allows people to communicate with others, including friends and family

  • Businesses can reach new and existing customers as well as build and improve their brand name

  • Companies can show their customer service


  • It helps spread misinformation

  • Complaints can spread around businesses and create public relations problems

  • Advertising and developing company profiles costs can be high

Examples of social networks

Almost every product or service you use is supported by a company with a social media presence. It is almost impossible to think of any major company that does not operate, does not market and does not advertise on social networks. Leveraging social media is not only a good business practice, but it is also essential if you are going to be successful in the corporate world. Here are two examples of companies doing this right.

Taco Bell

The popular fast food chain Taco Bell has over 1.4 million followers on Instagram and nearly two million followers on Twitter. The company knows how to engage people on social media, posting content about menu offerings, staff, and restaurants. Taco Bell also posts cute tweets and Instagram posts that garner thousands of responses, tweets, and likes.

Taco Bell lobbied for taco emoji by creating a petition on in 2014. The company spread the word on social media. The petition garnered more than 32,000 signatures from Taco Bell fans. Apple released the taco emoji in November 2015 when it released iOS 9.

Kylie Jenner

You don’t have to be a company to know how to use social media. This is, after all, the era of the influencer. Kylie Jenner has over 217 million followers on Instagram, 1.7 million followers on Snapchat, and nearly 37 million followers on Twitter.

The young influencer and reality TV star uses her social media platforms to boost her image and brand name. She is also an entrepreneur who uses social networks to promote her business, Kylie Cosmetics. The beauty brand earned her a spot on the Forbes 2020 list of Self-made Women, Young Billionaires, and Celebrities 100. Want proof of its arrival? The Company’s Lip Kits Sold Out Within 10 Minutes Of The Star Tweet the link to her followers in February 2016.

What is the purpose of social networks?

Social networks connect individuals with other people and companies by allowing them to share information, ideas, and messages. Businesses also use social networks to create and increase brand recognition, promote products and services, and answer customer inquiries and concerns.

What are the main types of social networks?

The main types of social media include the big names like Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter. These are the most popular social networking sites in the United States.

Other apps include Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube. LinkedIn is another popular site that helps connect professionals with co-workers, business contacts, and employers.

Why is social networking important?

Social networks are important because they allow people to develop relationships with others they might not otherwise be able to connect with. It also helps boost business productivity when used for public relations, marketing and advertising purposes.

What are the top 10 social networking sites?

According to Statista, the top 10 social networking sites are Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Messenger from Google and Tumblr.

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