Some information on the very new area of social networks and how the user content can be integrated into marketing efforts for the multi channel marketer.
Three of the top 10 most visited sites on the web today are social networking sites; Myspace, Facebook and Bebo. Still in the top 15 is LinkedIn, the largest professional networking site on the web today. The numbers are staggering, Facebook has over 50 million members and 40 million pages views a month and is valued in the Top 10 of internet companies in the US. More than half of Facebooks members use the site every day, averaging almost 20 minutes per day. With the influx on user provided content, this area of marketing intelligence is unparalleled.
But can marketers make it work? Companies are being formed to put a hammer to this nail. Applications will be created as marketers continue to salivate over the wealth of knowledge contributed to these website by avid users. The Non Profit and Political arenas appear to have the most interest. By using email addresses companies are understanding the social footprint of a member/customer within the many social networks. This footprint can identify friends or it can find power users, with many friends or on many networks. Are these people likely to influence purchases? With viral marketing it is more than likely. Attaching value to these users may be more challenging, however, being cutting edge hasnt ever been the cheapest option. Other functions include a sweep of the web to see social web based activity and branding efforts.
The key in using a network and acquiring information is to make it friendly and appealing for users. Applications on social and professional networks are exceeding advertisements and pop ups in effectiveness. Applications allow the users to get free technology for their site to increase the overall experience. On social networks these may include a sports team fan club app. On professional networks the recommendations app. Both increase the interaction of members and provide value to marketers. Getting the latest sports affinity is a challenge for all leagues. Getting the latest insights on a business professional is a great asset for a placement company. While mobile messaging is making a greater push and the web continues to advance beyond the direct media channel, the marketing intelligence required to succeed becomes more important. Getting experience in these channels will help marketers find answers.