Thanks to social networking sites, meeting someone in person has become a thing of the past. "Poking" has become the new handshake. Making friends and renewing old ones is easy. Thus, meeting people and staying connected with classmates and friends is a major benefit of social networking sites.
Social networking sites offers campus surveys, "party" or event listings and other information that communicates the "pulse" of a campus culture. Therefore, they can be a great way to understand and stay connected to your campus community as a whole.
Some social networking sites offer advertising to its subscribers. Whether a student creates a "party" for an upcoming event or pays the $5 for 10,000 "hits" for an ad, Facebook is a great way to advertise as a student organization, club, Greek chapter, team, etc.
Most importantly, social networking sites offers students the opportunity to create a positive self-image. The profiles gives you a chance to create the image of themselves that you want people to see by putting you best qualities "out there." This shows that you care about you reputation and (to a certain extent) what people think about you—whether its you peers, University faculty and administrators, or future employers.