Six Ways to Embrace Social Networks
As more forms of pull marketing come into play, companies are faced with learning a whole new way to interact with their target audiences. Online social networks, such as MySpace, YouTube and Friendster, can be daunting to those marketers more comfortable with Consumer Reports magazine than ConsumerReports.org. Heck, it’s daunting even to the tech savvy, simply because these new media vehicles represent uncharted territory with little in the way of testing history to guide your marketing efforts.
Rachel Honig, COO of Digital Power and Light, an online marketing firm in New York City that designs digital promotions, offers a few insights on how to best approach the marketing side of social networking.
* Individuals on social networks are creating their own pages to talk about brands or product categories. Some of these people are paid by companies to undertake this activity, but that doesn’t mean they will have any influence on a particular market or even attract a network unless they have something useful to contribute. If you find brand advocates on a social network, consider ways to support this group with exclusive content, such as advance notice of sales, product launches, etc.
* It’s important to be relevant and unobtrusive on social networks; branding is subtle, and often conveyed through colors and fonts.
* To really benefit from the powerful word-of-mouth marketing opportunities on social networks, you need to be open to hearing negative comments about your brand, products/services, and even your marketing. Your goal with any social networking interaction is to further the dialogue with your market.
* The line is blurring between what’s opinion and what’s advertising on blogs, so leverage this aspect to determine how you can make your message stand out, and help your market find the information and guidance it wants for making purchasing and lifestyle decisions.