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The aim of any business is get wide popularity among the customers and the public. Traditional marketing methods are fast replaced by modern internet marketing and online promotions. The social networking websites have considerably helped to achieve high success in internet marketing. Today people take pride in becoming members of Facebook and Twitter for a better interaction and mutual sharing of information among its members. It is therefore an excellent tool for internet marketers because customers and public are rapidly connected each other.

A large number of social media websites are now available. Each works in a specific way but their common objective is always social interaction. Here is a critical evaluation of the working of the major social media sites available today. An effort is also made here to show how these sites can be best used for online marketing.

1. Facebook:

With over 700 million users Facebook has surpassed the expectations of the whole internet community. Once you have created an account in Facebook either in your personal or in business name, you can start adding friends who may be interested to know more about you. Over time this interaction will result in strong network of friends or customers where free exchange of useful information is possible through content creation, images, videos, online chat and email communication.

2. Twitter:

Twitter is a micro blogging platform. Its main objective is to supply information or solution to problems that others usually seek. The idea is to build trust among the followers to get a better image of the company or product that you are marketing.

3. LinkedIn:

It is a social networking platform useful for professionals, job seekers and executives. In a LinkedIn page you can provide personal, educational and career details to provide the basic information about you. Others can search LinkedIn if you match their criteria for employment or for other types of interaction like clubbing or meeting. It also comes with features like “recommendation” and “groups” which help to achieve credibility and more interaction.

4. Myspace:

This social networking site is particularly useful for artists, musicians, authors and actors who want to maintain their public image and want to acquire more fans. In MySpace one can customize the page, write blog posts, invite others for discussion and play music tracks.

5. Google Plus:

The Google plus is a recent addition to the social networking world. It is launched by the popular search engine Google with some advanced features like “circles”, and video chat. The Google Plus one button helps to vote in favor of a person and if the website or the person’s profile page gets more plus one buttons, it shows greater credibility and integrity.

The above list of social media sites typically falls into general category and can be used for marketing any king of product or service. There are other specialized social media platforms like YouTube for videos, Hubpages, Squidoo, Orkut, Friendster, Livejournal and Zimbio which can be used for social interaction with a particular community or groups of people.




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