You already know about the big players in social networking – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter – now it’s time to jump on the Ning bandwagon.
Ning - A Great Social Networking Opportunity
Ning is an innovative social networking site that allows you to create and join networks aimed at specialized interests. The twist is that Ning integrates with other social media networks and gives users an interactive community experience. There are social networks for every possible interest - from gaming to health/wellness.
Ning boasts over 27 million users and 1 million social networks. Ning is another great way to spread the word about your company. It’s similar to other social network sites: it’s free and setting up your account/profile takes no time at all. Don’t forget to include your picture!
You can also upgrade your account and use your own domain (which takes off their ads). You can also take advantage of Ning’s advertising space if you want added exposure.
Ning’s main features include:
- Private email messages
- Friend requests
- Event and group invitations
- Alert applications
- Personal/company profile
- Create personalized social network page(s)
Why Should You Create Your Own Social Network?
Social networking is one of the most powerful online marketing tools at your disposal, and it’s FREE advertising. Starting your own social network through Ning can open up MANY opportunities that the big social networking players don’t necessarily offer, including:
You’re the Expert
By creating your own social network, you become an expert in your field because you can tailor content specifically to your niche/industry. Other users will be able to find you easily and will benefit from your valuable information/content. You will be recognized as the #1 source in your niche.
Because you will be seen as the “expert” in your field, people will be drawn to you for advice and recommendations. This is a great way to network and meet new contacts and possible clients. By offering free tips and advice, users will see HOW much you can offer them. Remember that social networking isn’t necessarily about YOU – you’re there to help others.
Brands Your Company
What better way to brand and promote your company to a mass audience than by starting your own social network? You can set up your profile with the company logo and link to other networks specific to your company – a great way to network like crazy! You have the ability to customize key message points, videos and photos.
Controls Online Presence
Your reputation is always on the line so it helps to have control over what others see. By creating your own social network, you retain ownership of your online presence. You have the ability to present the image YOU want to portray to other users in your network.
Promotes Social Awareness
Whether you’re a political lobbying organization or a non-profit charity, by creating your own social network you can raise more awareness to your cause or organization. When you rally people around a cause, you bring more heightened awareness and word spreads quickly online (another great opportunity to connect with MORE people!)
Eager for more? Check out Zeke's series "Getting Social Smarts" and his three podcasts below for more great social marketing information and tips!