Posted by Frank - Follow me on Twitter

credit attributed to http://www.flickr.com/photos/liako/

Social Networks are constantly evolving each day. However, have you ever considered that there’s a difference between online social networks and business social networks? There is in fact a huge difference between the two and it’s important that you don’t get them confused.

Online social networks include sites such as Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, etc. These sites are what many internet users use to communicate with the online world. Granted Friendster is extremely old and not as recognized by all people, but I consider that to be the online social network that set the bar for social networks of the future. Friendster was a platform created for people to engage with each other and meet people with similar interests. Now, I know many people understand what social networks are, but many become confused when they hear a term like social networking. They confuse that term with sites like Facebook. Social networking is building your social network of people who are in the same field as you are and who can help your business efforts grow. I want to help assist people and show there’s a clear difference. Social networks such as Twitter or Friendster help aide in your social networking efforts. Remember, there was a time when social networks weren’t around, however social networking has always existed in the business world.

That’s where business social networks comes into play. Business social networks are exactly what they imply. It’s all about the business world and who you know. There are social networks such as LinkedIn that help bring these people together. LinkedIn is sometimes considered to be the business version of Facebook. I can agree with this to an extent, but LinkedIn allows you to connect with business contacts that you either work with now or have in the past. Not only that, but you may be connected with somebody form your colleagues business network. Your business network will always be evolving as you grow as a person which builds your contact list. Let’s not forget, we all want that!

I am hoping this post will serve as a guide when approaching business and online social networks. There is a difference between the two, but they do relate to one another as well. Your online interaction will grow as a result to your business interaction. Networks show who you know, they increase relationships, and bring about communication. I know I tie both business and online social networks together, but I know the difference between the two. I felt this post was necessary because I have hear many times people confuse their business contacts with their Facebook profile. Those people are apart of your Facebook because you implemented a key business practice called networking.

So, is this something new to you? Did you know of the difference between online and business social networks? If not, hopefully this turned on a light for some of you. How has networking helped build your contacts?

Further reading:

Facebook Affecting Business Opportunities

Social Networks – Who Came First?

Facebook CEO Joins Twitter

Social Networks: Who’s The Top Dog?