A social network is an online community of internet users. Generally, the members of these communities share a common interest like hobbies, religion, business, or politics. These users create profiles to share what their interests are, and can contact other users to chat, share links or photos, or even organize events.
Social bookmarking is slightly different in that it is an extension of social networking: a way for users to rank and ‘bookmark’ or store websites or links. People can share websites, blogs, articles, videos, and other types of content with other users and rate them according to how useful or popular they are.
Some examples of social networking and bookmarking sites include
LinkedIn was created specifically for businesses to use to post resumes, seek out job applicants, or communicate with other businesses. People can browse information about companies, read about a person’s job history, and contact others when a business opportunity arises.
Digg and Del.i.cious are ways of telling others that you liked an article, blog, or website. Digg is a way of marking an article by saying, “I dig this. It’s good stuff!” Others will search for articles that people “Digg” and these will get more exposure.
Del.i.cious is a site that allows you to bookmark web pages and let others know that they should go visit those sites. If your site gets noticed on Digg or Del.i.cious, you’ll see people visiting your
website more frequently to find out what the buzz is about.
Now that you know what social networking is, you may ask yourself, “Why should I as a small business owner care about social media?” The answer is simple: because that's where your clients spend their time.