Socially Awkward - Traffic to social networks is exploding, and marketers are 'very gingerly' trying to fit in, is the article written by Rob Gerlsbeck in the November 2-/27 2006 issue of Marketing Magazine. I had a chance to be part of this story when Gerlsbeck interviewed me a couple of weeks back. I found the topic fascinating.
"For the first time we're hearing clients say, 'Wow. We should take a look at social networking sites and use them in our plans.' We didn't hear that a year ago," was one of the quotes from Jeff Roach who works at Youthography in Toronto.
The point is, you don't have to build a Blog to leverage the power of online social networks. You can work within the existing channels. Be It MySpace, YouTube or Second Life. All too often I'm fielding questions about costs and implications for building an Island in Second Life, and I am left to wonder why certain brands don't leverage existing properties where Avatars are presently going about their Second Life?
So there are three channels to success in social media: One: creating a new environment (a Blog, Podcast, an island in Second Life). Two: integrating your brand into someone who is already leveraged out the wazoo (like Forbidden on MySpace). Three: creating something new for a specific channel (like what Coke did with their Grand Theft Auto-themed ad).
The barriers to success are actually lower than a Marketer might suspect. The challenge is in being creative enough to make your message resonate. This will not be a CPM or frequency game (advertising talk). This is, and will always be, about being creative to the benefit of the consumers.
You can read the full article online here: Socially Awkward - Marketing Magazine - By: Rob Gerlsbeck.