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Five Clever Uses of Social Media for Marketing

by Frank Strong

Five Clever Uses of Social Media for Marketing

Marketers should know that customers are online and they are using social media. A point the latest research from the Groundswell underscores. But beyond merely starting a blog, a Facebook or Twitter account, how are companies really using social media for marketing? Here are five examples:

 1Facilitating customer referrals. Virgin airlines announced Facebook Connect, which CNET wrote, “…in theory, your friends on Facebook could see that you are sitting in seat 5D, watching Diggnation, and drinking a Coke.” I’d say, this takes the concept of customer referrals to new heights.

2.  Driving sales.  Dell computer joined the conversation on Twitter and attributes more than $1 million in revenue from making special offers to its Twitter followers

 3. Fostering a dialogue. Domain name register, Namecheap, introduced a Christmas related trivia game on Twitter that rewarded the first three @replies with the correct answer with credit for a year-long domain registration. As O’Reilly Radar wrote:

“The company considers the contest a success. People got addicted to it, battling to get in the first replies. And they Twittered and blogged about it, too, helping Namecheap’s follower count jump from 200 to over 4,000 in the one month and bumping the company’s PageRank, too.”

It must be worthwhile because I just checked Namecheap’s Twitter account today and the games continue.

4. Fostering transparency.  Best Buy introduced Best Buy Connect! which, according to the Online Marketing Blog, “…aggregates employee blogs, Twitter, YouTube and other sources including Tweets and blog posts from Barry Judge, Best Buy’s CMO.” The big idea?

It “humanizes the brand, increases accessibility and fuels transparency. This can affect current and future customer perceptions as well as future employees.”

5. Cut through the clutter.  The Weather Channel acquired sites Lakerentals.com and Coastrentals.com after the entrepreneur behind these sites contacted The Weather Channel’s vice president of New Ventures through LinkedIn’s InMail application.

Amid the e-mail deluge, InMail provided an alternative way to not only contact a potential buyer but to provide easy access to his background and that of the company he was attempting to sell.

Got a clever use of social media? I’d love to hear about it.

Photo credit:  Flickr, birgerking (CC BY 2.0)

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