According to the nonprofit Pew Internet project, 35 percent of adult Internet users use social networking software and/or sites. That’s an increase of nearly 30 percent over the past four years! What will the next four years bring? Are your organization’s interests being represented in social media? Is your website offering your members feature-rich social networking? Are you able to administer your online community and collect data?
Just as these statistics seem to change every day so does the influence and excitement surrounding public social networking sites. Although the temptation of a large captive audience is sometimes difficult to ignore, there are some dangers to investing your time and energy in public sites. Twitter exploded with popularity when Oprah joined. Today, it’s still hot but reports are everywhere about how many users sign up never to be heard from again. When you have a private community dedicated to your organization and surrounded by your branding, you have a consistent spot to refer your members. There are no concerns about the whims of the masses causing your site to suffer the same fate as orkut (in this country). And if your members seem to already be on public social networks, use them to drive members to your private site where you can count on more reliable data and have reporting capabilities. Plus your members can connect without the annoyance of ads, concerns over spam and viruses and in a community where they are assured that they have a connection with other members and are related to the group that they say they are.
YourMembership.com Inc., the global leader in online member communities and web-based membership management software, allows your members to link to all of their social networking sites from their profile on your site. Their social networks are also available for other members to see. Plus, with SocialConnect they can now log in to your site with their Facebook username and password as well as post their activities on your site on their Facebook wall for their friends to see. Ease, convenience, added traffic for your site… just think of it as a one-stop shop for your members’ online social networks.