Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Harnessing the Power of Social Networking Sites

You might've noticed the recent trend in social networking sites rocketing out of control. These kinds of sites have definitely influenced the way email marketers are thinking - if it hasn't for you yet, I'm sure it will in the very near future. They houses on their databases all the info email marketers need to perfect creatives and speak directly to consumers in a very relevant way. You may be wondering how to make social networking sites work for you... luckily there's a very easy answer to this question and it lies in social networking sites themselves. I've got some ideas you can use to make Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and any other social networking site work to your advantage.

If your business is resisting getting sucked into the social networking vortex that has taken over the internet recently, it's time to quit resisting. You should take the plunge and give into social networking, because it holds the key to so much valuable info from your consumers - for free! Here are a few suggestions/examples you can use on a couple of the leading social networking sites:

  1. Facebook: If your product is a clothing brand or manufacturer, create a Facebook application that users can download, where they can dress a virtual person in your brand's clothing. This is both entertaining and a great advertisement. Users can share the application with their friends, exactly the way a viral solution works. Your brand instantly becomes associated with fun and entertainment and is accessible to more people than you probably ever dreamed of!

  2. MySpace: If your company deals in music, for example, create a MySpace page linked in your creatives where users can listen to sample songs from the artists you represent. You can create bios for your artists, post pictures, give facts, etc. Doing this not only puts your brand in the middle of a huge pool of users, it also makes your brand seem more user-friendly - more relatable.

  3. Twitter: This is probably the most convenient of the social networking sites. Just post a couple times a day with news, or fun facts or promos your company is offering. This should generate followers, who will (hopefully!) subscribe to your newsletters or buy your product. Once again, your company has been instantly exposed to millions of viewers, consumers, etc.

The best part of social networking sites is that there are no spam complaints (haha) - all joking aside, though, becoming a part of these social networking sites really allows you to connect with your readers on a more intimate level. Create profiles for your brand and put links to them in your creatives. Maybe send out a mailing specifically announcing your new profiles on Facebook, MySpace or Twitter to spark interest and begin generating followers/fans/friends. From here you can research exactly what interests your readers; you can create polls about mailing topics, or what promos your readers like best, etc. You can use the info you get from these social networking sites to really fine tune creatives and increase your opt-ins.

Author: Courtney Dillsworth

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