Friday, 6 November 2009

Social Network Marketing

There's still a lot of confusion as to how to make best use of the incredibly successful social networking sites in terms of marketing. With Facebook now well in the lead for use in terms of numbers of people and time spent there, (New Media Age, Social Circles, 5th November), and with a majority of US companies saying they will employ a social media specialist, (2009 Digital Readiness Report, Essential Online Public Relations and Marketing Skills), the social network trend is enticing mainstream business.
But it seems that brands are having a rough time working out what interactive users want. Since social sites favour word-of-mouth or tips from trusted others, some brands have fallen foul if the trusted haven't liked their offerings. This news gets spread virally just as fast – if not faster – than good news!
Interactive users also want input into shaping ideas that they might then promote. The 'active' user's profile is very different from the passive user's profile of static communication channels. Maybe new profiling can move towards a better understanding. It's an emerging field full of landmines, so tread carefully.
See The CMO third online survey results about future market trends at:
faculty.fuqua.duke.edu/cmosurvey/survey_results/august_2009_reports/cmo_survey_highlights_and_insights_8-2009.pdf
and the 2009 Digital Readiness Report at:
www.ipressroom.com/pr/corporate/social-media-communications-skills-survey.aspx

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