As a small business owner, you’re always looking for new ways to connect with your customers via social networking. There’s now yet another possible avenue thanks to Path, the social journal for smartphones created by former Facebook employee Dave Morin. This site’s app for both iPhone and Android has a small town feel with an emphasis on the quality of your network rather than the quantity.
Each Path page is formatted like a timeline, allowing you to post comments, pictures and locations as they happen. The application also offers an Automatic feature, which updates your location as you move from place to place.
Calling Path a social journal is no mistake. Not only are you capped at 150 friends, but it lacks the stark, business-like layout of both Facebook and Google+. The Path layout feels more personal thanks to a cover photo of your choosing which displays at the top of your page, as well as a smaller profile picture that appears in a bubble shape each time you post on your timeline. The lack of friend lists, social circles and networks gives your Path page the vibe of a personal blog, rather than a social networking site.
Posting on Path is easy. Simply click on the plus symbol at the bottom left corner of your page to post music, photos, comments and your location. All of the above can also be posted on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare via Path. Going to sleep? Click the moon icon to show your friends you’re offline for the evening without logging out.
While you can comment on friend’s posts and pictures just like on other social networking sites, Path also offers a variety of comment icons like a heart or a surprised face. This detail is great because it’s much more personal than the “Like” option on Facebook. Although for some, the cute quotient may be too high.
This all makes Path a great choice for solo entrepreneurs without a store, looking to keep a small client base updated on new products, retail locations and special deals. However, when it comes to small or medium-sized businesses, it’s not the best way to get the word out. The site is fairly new, with only about 1 million users, and the friend cap keeps your audience small.
Instead, small businesses may want to consider using Path as a way to keep employees in the loop. The timeline layout as well as the site’s online journal quality is a great way to keep staff in touch with each other and updated on daily happenings, new stock, policy changes and meetings, without all of the extra distractions that sites like Facebook and Google+ provide.