The world of shopping has turned, over the last two decades or so, to the Internet. It used to be that everyone had a brick and mortar store. As the web came online and grew in popularity, some of these stores developed websites. Others, thinking that this new technology would not catch on, did not. They were quickly left behind. Now, almost every single advertisement that you see has a URL connected to it, a place where consumers can go to explore the goods and services that are being offered. Rare is the company that does not have a website.
One of the newest tools that has exploded onto the Internet is the social networking site. These sites - Facebook and Myspace are the best two examples - help users to connect with each other through online profiles. Users are able to customize their profiles, view the profiles of their friends, and talk to each other through these platforms. The web has become something that is run by the users rather than something that the users can go visit. In this capacity, it is unlike any other form of entertainment. As such, users have flocked to these sites in astounding numbers.
Small and large businesses alike would be wise to use these sites to their benefit. There are so many connections that can be made on social media websites that it is truly amazing. Companies can contact hundreds and even thousands of fans in mere seconds. They can spread the word about products to an entire fan base in a single day. They do not have to pay anything for this service, since most of these sites are completely free. They make their money off of advertising, and you can make your money off of them. This is not something that you should pass up.
One of the most astounding things about these types of sites is that consumers will come to you. With other forms of advertising - billboards, commercials, and the like - you have to go to the consumer. You have to hope that he or she does not change the television channel or the station on the radio. You are trying to force your product or service onto them. Some people resent this, and they will actively avoid things that they feel have been advertised too much. With Facebook and Myspace, just the opposite is true.
If you become friends with people on Facebook or on Myspace, they feel like they can get to know you. They feel a connection with your company. When they have found your products outside of the social media site, they will come and search your page out in order to become your friend. Once this has happened, you will have a vast network of contacts. All that you need to do is post a single note or a single bulletin about a new product and thousands upon thousands of people will know about it. They will, in turn, tell their friends. Word can spread like wildfire.
In the near future, it is likely that this honest way of communicating will bring about direct revenue. There needs to be a system that allows companies to sell through these social sites. If there was a storefront connected to the company's business page, sales would soar.
Nicole Rodgers has been blogging for three years; she is currently blogging about how to build your own website and how to use Internet marketing to increase traffic. She also encourages Ecommerce site owners to use a heat map program that highlights where on the site your customers are clicking most.