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Social Networking – Increasingly important Business Marketing tool

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Today’s guest post comes to you from Jolsna, a web marketing analyst currently and planning to come up with a market research and analytics setup in coming future. Jolsna has been a regular reader of Trak.in and will be contributing articles here frequently.

Social Networking Websites have emerged as a traditional web marketing tool in the recent times. The Social web allows networking and community building. Research suggests IT users are slow on media adoption but high on user experience.

Social networking is a cultural phenomenon that is still developing a stable revenue model. Even so, in 2006 marketers spent $280 million on advertising and marketing on social network sites in the US, and an additional $70 million in international markets, mostly to create profile pages and sponsored promotions.

US online social network ad spending for 2010 is expected to touch $2 billion (approx Rs. 8000 crores).

Social Network Marketing was planned to be used by 41% communications professionals in the beginning of the year 2007. Social Networking along with Podcasts, Video e-mails/Webcasts, RSS, Wikis, Blogs, Contextual Banner Ads constitute to the next evolution of traditional online media. These new media platforms are the desired targets by most marketers for the year 2007 when compared to year 2006. The average percent increase will be 11.5% for B to B companies and 9.9% to B to C companies. The returns on this media are engaging users, invite friends (networking), interacting rates and references.

Facebook and linkedin.com have become company favorites now. Many organizations recommend their employees to register themselves on these sites to develop on Business Contacts. External customer communities provide better support to their own customers. Social networking start-ups are often targeted at narrow markets. Among them: JewTube, Fuzzster (pet enthusiasts), WeDigYoga (Yoga instructors in New York and L.A.), 18wheelsingles (truck drivers), and there is even Me.com, a Web app for creating other social networks.

Yahoo and Google are the pioneers in the industry and have created various options to have the whole world tapped. The website’s medium of creating groups, opening forums; discussion rooms and community information have really forced every business to look at them as the prospective avenue of Market. They offer open system to create application across websites. Their open social system targets the start-ups or even one person shops to manage their business. The reach of these websites are stated as below.

Google yahoo Alexa Rankings

However the unpredictability of the quantitative and qualitative business is still a concern to most companies.

But would there be an open mind to venture out into new streams over the years to come?

(Source – Melcrum as cited in the press release April 26th 2007, marketresearch.com, www.cnr.berkeley.edu).

Note: Thanks to all the readers who showed interest in contributing to Trak.in blog. I am will be in touch with all of you shortly.

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