Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites have skyrocketed in the past couple years as an easy, popular way for college students and others to socialize via the Internet. With online profiles, photo albums and messaging, you can stay connected with old friends from high school and get to know new friends at your college or place of employment. While Facebook was originally intended exclusively for college students, now anyone with an e-mail address can join. There are many alternative uses for Facebook and other social networking sites on the Internet, from a political campaign tool to extra classroom interaction and publicity for a new musician. Here are the details for using popular social networking sites to your advantage, even if you’re not a college student.

Alternative Use for Social Networking Sites #1: Appeal to the younger voter using Facebook. When November elections came and went with a Democratic takeover of Congress, a lot of that result came from an increase in voting among younger citizens. Consistently, the 18-24 age bracket is among the groups with the lowest voting records. However, in November several politicians used Facebook to their advantage and opened a profile to appeal to the younger demographic. Since students spend the majority of their time using the Internet and browsing Facebook and the other social networking sites they use, creating an online profile to inform potential supporters of your campaign platform and plans for office is a great way to get the word out to college students using a medium they understand and take interest in. It will also help you appear more down-to-earth and easily relatable to the average college student. If you’re launching a political campaign, don’t forget to utilize Facebook and other social networking sites as great publicity tools.

In addition, social networking sites can also be used as an advertisement platform for your business. Millions of people are using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. This could be  agreat opportunity for you to advertise your business and grow your audience. You can also get instagram followers from Buzzvoice.

Alternative Use for Social Networking Sites #2: Create a profile as free publicity for your up-and-coming band or solo career. Using Facebook, you can create events to publicize your upcoming gigs and let potential fans know the kind of musician you are. You can publish photos of yourself performing at various concerts. If you’ve got a demo, upload it to MySpace so that your friends will automatically hear it every time they visit your page. As an emerging performer, you need all the publicity you can get, so use Facebook and other social networking sites to get the buzz going and draw listeners to your gigs. Plus, it’s free–and we’ve all heard the stories about “starving artists.” Save the money you’d spend on publicity for more recording time.

Alternative Use for Social Networking Sites #3: As a professor, use Facebook and MySpace to connect with your students, create an online gradebook and continue classroom discussion to supplement learning. Maybe you’ve been looking for a way to help sick students catch up on missed lectures and in-class assignments. Use Facebook to do that. Create a group for your class to generate ongoing discussion on that lecture that you had to cut short at the end of 50 minutes. Make it a required part of the class. Since students spend so much time on the Internet anyway, they’ll welcome this new way to fulfill class requirements by doing something they like. And similar to the politicians who become more human with a Facebook profile, professors can use social networking sites to get to know their students better and make learning exciting and fulfilling in a new way.

With all of the warnings and media coverage devoted to safety issues surrounding Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites, it’s easy to lose sight of the potential these websites hold. These social networking sites aren’t just for college students. By employing these alternative uses, politicians, musicians and professors can create a new way to interact with their core audience and take control of the power that the college student demographic holds.