All About Social Networks for Marketing

Social networks have really caught the attention of marketers over the last few months. Here are a few stories that have shown up in just the last few days.

Trade Shows 2.0 (Exhibitor Magazine) – While targeted to trade show presenters, this story (which is the first of a two-part series) holds great value for anyone who is just beginning to explore social networks for marketing purposes.  The story has excellent coverage of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

“Web 2.0” officially became the 1 millionth word in the English language last June. The term represents the online technologies that have transformed the we-talk-at-you marketing monologue into an everyone-chimes-in democratic dialog.

For a trade show marketer who is a newbie for using social media, which of the three sites discussed should they embrace first?

More Marketers Use Social Networking to Reach Customers (USA Today) – If one can get through the overly positive spin on social networks that is presented in this story, marketers will find some interesting facts and examples of companies using social media.

Marketers have noticed. Social-networking services increasingly are indispensable business tools, says Forrester Research. According to its survey of 1,217 business decision makers worldwide late last year, 95% use social networks to some extent.

Considering all the examples of sites discussed in this story, what seems to be the key factors separating social network sites from non-social network sites?

E-Mail Versus Twitter (ClickZ) – This story takes an interesting look at how Twitter compares to email as a marketing vehicle. It offers advantages and disadvantages that are worth considering by anyone doing email marketing.

The advantage of Twitter over e-mail, some would argue, is that it represents a more interactive, more viral, more everything platform for the marketer.

The author says both Twitter and email are “push” technologies.  What other push technologies are used by marketers?

Developers Salivating Over Twitter’s Geolocation Plans (PC World) – Finally, this story has marketing written all over it even though it is mostly a technical piece. It looks at how anyone sending messages through Twitter will soon be able to also send their location.  While it mostly talks about developers interest in this technology, marketers are also dreaming up new uses.

Twitter announced last week that it will soon let users stamp their postings with precise location data, and give external developers access to that data via a new geolocation API (application programming interface.)

So in what conceivable ways would marketers use a feature like this?