Social Networking – The Next Big Marketing Media Shake-Up

Are New Age Media shaking up Old Values? The internet is creating cyber shockwaves in all facets of our lives. Including your 2nd lives,so to speak. Look to Youtube, Facebook, MySpace, SecondLife to name a few, and in fact you could already be members of one or more of them. Below is a synopsis of each with statistics which hopefully will convince you the efficiency of such channels.

Facebook. This is a free-access website allows users to join one or more networks, such as a school, place of employment, or geographic region to easily connect and interact with other people. Users can post messages for their friends to see, and update their personal profile to notify friends about themselves. The website has more than 69 million active users worldwide and ranked 7th in Sept 07. It is the most popular website for uploading photos, with 14 million uploaded daily.

MySpace. This is a popular social networking website offering an interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music and videos for teenagers and adults internationally. The 100 millionth account was created on August 6, 2006 in the Netherlands and a news story claimed 106 million accounts on September 8, 2006, and the site reportedly attracts 230,000 new registrations per day.

YouTube. This is a video sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips. It uses Adobe Flash technology to display a wide variety of user-generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video-blogging and short original videos. In November 2006, Google Inc acquired the company for US$1.65 billion in Google stock. In July 2006, the company revealed that more than 100 million videos were being watched every day, and 2.5 billion videos were watched in June 2006. 50,000 videos were being added per day in May 2006, and this increased to 65,000 by July In January 2008 alone, nearly 79 million users watched over 3 billion videos on YouTube.

Second Life (abbreviated as SL) is an Internet-based virtual world launched in 2003. A downloadable client program called the Second Life Viewer enables its users, called Residents, to interact with each other through motional avatars, providing an advanced level of a social network service combined with general aspects of a meta verse. Residents can explore, meet other Residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, have virtual sex, and create and trade items (virtual property) and services from one another. At the end of March 2008, approximately 13 million accounts were registered, although a large percentage of these are inactive & some Residents have multiple accounts. In January 2008, residents spent 28,274,505 hours, so on average about 38,000 residents were logged on at any particular moment.

What actually do you see in common? You see social-centric sites which attempt to create communities via word of mouth. Each site offers unique and compelling reasons for you to become members of their respective communities with each site sharing different values and beliefs.

It uses what we might call a viral marketing approach which taps on the social networks to increase brand awareness of the site with the eventual goal to market or sell a product. Viral marketing is in essence, the power of word-of-mouth approach exemplified by the networking effects of the internet.

The most compelling reason of all, that as true marketers you should note in the above information, is the massive amount of traffic generated within these sites which serve as great business opportunities which you cannot afford to ignore.

Here is a parting note to all marketers. At the end of 1st quarter 2008, simply by count of the above major social networking platforms, there is a massive 270 million users (but assuming duplicate accounts in various site) giving rise to viral marketing potentials.

Food for thought to you, imagine being able to capture simply 0.1{1c36cc3864f5d30c3b98cf4341240a101309c4af757573c8c693520fc9029b5c} of the that count for your business, what kind of revenue would that generate for you?