Social Networking is something that any company can build into their web site. The questions is: Why?
We are seeing 4 core benefits from the companies implementing social networking as a part of their web sites:
1. Engagement. Users find social applications more engaging. This keeps users on your site for longer periods of time.
2. Loyalty. Turn your customers from web site visitors into web site contributors. This has a way of increasing the loyalty that your customers have for your products by becoming a closer part of your organization.
3. Viral. Have your web site visitors invite their friends and colleagues. This type of referral is much more meaningful and sticky than a search engine advertisement.
4. From Personal to Social. Many web sites have become personal. My www.hilton.com web site says “Welcome, Bob” with a list of the hotels I have stayed at over the last year so it is very easy to click on one to make a new reservation. Social takes it the next step and can turn this into recommendations from friends on where to stay in San Francisco.
All of this adds up to enhancing the value of your web sites – with more clicks by your users, more meaningful content to your users, with a better way of drawing new users.