Blogging and social networking is just part of the web's evolution that offers a huge opportunity for marketing managers to shorten and solidify the bond between their customers (online users) and their brands.
These social network media (including blogs, RSS feeds, and discussion forums) offer a unique approach in order to improve visibility and customer loyalty, while gaining deep insight into customer attitudes, preferences and trends.
There are more than 200 social networking sites in existence, and more coming online every day. In 2005 MySpace was receiving more page views than Google. Social networking began to be seen as a component of an evolving Internet marketing strategy mix.
In social network communities an initial set of founders sends out messages inviting members of their own personal networks to join the site. New members repeat the process, growing the total number of members and links in the network.
Sites then offer features such as automatic address book updates, viewable profiles, the ability to form new links through "introduction services," and other forms of online social connections. Social networks can also be organized around business connections, as in the cases of GoBigNetwork and LinkedIn.
Close monitoring of these "marketing channels" can reap great insight into the attitudes and preferences of customers, and metrics that can help marketing managers adjust programs and maximize their efforts.
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