Every-time I read a newspaper these days there seems to be an article in there about Social Networking. Most of these talk about MySpace or Facebook in the personal context (keeping in touch with family, catching up with old friends etc) but few touch on the business implications of these new media technologies. I was pleased then to read last weeks post by One Degree – Move Over, Corporate Blogs – Make Way for Corporate Social Networks. The article discusses the collaborative aspects of these technologies and their business potential giving a great example from Specialised whose MySpace/Facebookesque page allows bikers to share stories/photos etc whilst further entrenching Specialised customer loyalty.
Social networking applications not only provide the opportunity for businesses to build loyalty, they also offer a great forum to attract new customers as witnessed in my recent lunch at Inifinity Dining here in Vancouver. I went to Infinity because the owner, Alex Rotherham, befriended me on MySpace and I was interested to find out more about their on-line efforts to develop business.
Alex told me that a whopping 75% of new business coming to the restaurant results from their on-line efforts and that they are using the MySpace application to really develop a true network of clients that they can promote events and new menus to. He found that Facebook didn’t offer the same functionality to truly reach the right network. Given that Alex, like any new proprietor, is operating on a shoestring – social networking has allowed him to easily spread the word with very little cash outlay.
“The key to MySpace marketing is having as many friends (in your targeted segment) as possible and that takes time”, said Alex in between greeting guests.
Every business new or established should seriously consider the value of social network and new media marketing not only because its more likely to hit the mark than traditional mass marketing efforts but it also costs less – way less.