Social Networking - i.e. YouTube, MySpace, Google, Yahoo and more
Social networking is growing in popularity -- again. And that term "social networking" is another name for, and an expanded function for "team building".
Remember CB radio? Or coffee shops? Or drive-in restaurants? All these are the flavor-of-the-day social networking phenomena.
Today it's MySpace and LinkedIn...and a host of other online meeting palces.
And they're powerful.
But the secret to real marketing is building your IN-HOUSE network. For every new prospect or member you spend time, talent or money to recruit, you can secure 2 - 4 additional sales from your in-house list. It pays to nurture your own community, and SureToMeet.com has been created to help you do that. By providing in-house PLUS outbound communications about your meetings and event, you can feed both birds with one handful of seed :-)
On SureToMeet.com calendar listings can be either public or private. You can build your newsletter and event announcment list(s) on the site...and your event promotion becomes integrated to save you time. And what's better, most of the services are free. The advertising supported site provides free outbound email with unlimited list size. You can take RSVPs for both private and public meetings. And for a small override, you can even take paid reservations using Paypal or a credit card system. The system isn't glitzy...and it doesn't have millions of venture capital behind it, but it's a well designed system for serious networkers who want to connect people with meetings and events.
Linkedin is for the more serious crowd. There are 6.5 million professionals already on LinkedIn.
MySpace has hit the big time with a social networking site for the youth and artsy crowd. They're adding 240k new subscribers a day and generates roughly 30 billion monthly page views a day.
YouTube is the video sharing space for millions. In May, YouTube had almost 43 percent of all visits to video Web sites, and MySpace.com came in second with 24%. Video is hot. Yahoo and Google are both entering the video sphere, as well.
Who is losing the audience for information? Television networks and newspapers, unfortunately. These megaliths will have to reengineer themselves to deal with the strength of the new social networking world.
AOL has realized this and has just converted its service from a paid subscriber base to open access, advertising based. AOL was one of the first "social networking" services on the Web -- how far we have come!
The question is, how can YOU benefit from social networking.
The answer starts with your exploration of what's out there and pressing the capabilities up against your own mission, your niche, your capabilities. You might have audio capabilities. You might have video capabilities. You might have writers who can handle a dynamic blog. Each organization has a unique mix of haves and needs and wants. The innovation strategy is to see what "country" you're in, and then bobbing and weaving until you find the strategies that work in the current atmosphere.