Social web sites pack big punch for some businesses

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - They are known world-wide as some of the biggest time-wasters around, but social networking websites sites like Myspace and Facebook have transformed the way young people communicate with each other.

And businesses with younger clients are using these websites to their advantage, and it's working. These social websites that transformed society, just might transform business, as well.

24-year-old Pat Breen knows that times are changing fast. What used to be a group of popular websites are now a way of life for him. Like many young adults, he uses sites like Facebook, Myspace and High Five to keep up with friends. Now he's keeping up with his favorite businesses, too.

"It's kinda like a one-stop social place," Breen said.  "You can find different deals they [businesses] have."

What used to be a social tool, has now become some businesses' best friend.  Millions of people like Breen receive daily updates sent out by their favorite venues, shops or restaurants.

"It's something where they can get in contact with alot of people," said Breen. "It spreads quickly, if they get in with some people who know alot of people also."

"If people can really look to all the different options that Myspace and Facebook have, they can find so many opportunities to promote their business," said Arturo Barajas.

Barajas owns Mosaic Tapas bar in Ocean Springs. He uses several sites, from Facebook, Myspace, High Five to Spanish-language sites.

He created a profile on each site, and started connecting with customers before his business even opened. Now, he stays in contact with over two thousand potential customers, and he lets them know what's happening at his restaurant.  Barajas said the tool is extremely valuable to his small business.

"We have to think about ways to make the best out of what we have," Barajas said.

Barajas gives the social networking sites alot of credit for the success of his business.