I see an increase in the number of sites [that belong to firms and popular personalities] tweeting away to glory or having a Facebook account, lately. I also see many of them having a verified twitter account. From White House, [Yeh, your own American White House I am talking about] to Oprah, they all have verified twitter accounts. This again shows me how it mutually helps people to market themselves, both the social networks in question and the people who create an account on them.
Both Twitter and Facebook give you an opportunity to create personalized URLs. How does it help you? It helps you become visible. Most of the searches on Google about people and companies can lead one to both Twitter URLs and Facebook URLs. This visibility of course depends on how often you update your status and how often people click on your profile. Both Twitter and Facebook give you an opportunity to link your site to your profile. You can link your Facebook or Twitter Profiles to your site and show people that you regularly update your status and I guess this makes a lot of them feel that you love to be in touch with them. Even otherwise, Twitter and Facebook are growing crazy in terms of popularity and it is good to be on them. And it helps the business be noticed.
I am sure we are living at a time when direct and plain advertising, especially on web, pisses off people. I see no reason why Google permits image and video ads these days. I see no reason why Facebook makes the advertisements look like it comes from them and is a part of the entire package, trying to pretend that it is giving you what you want. Facebook does the new-age contextual marketing, a step ahead of what Google invented. People are trying to develop subtle ways of marketing. And I think Facebook and Twitter are good tools, looking at the way people are talking about them and using them. And I certainly think Search Engines and Personalized URLs can go a long way in helping businesses stay visible, without letting people notice that they are desperately trying to do so.
I think the cross linking opportunity these sites provide help businesses sound genuine. Internet is a good and bad place at the same time. And with the number of security threats and suspicious links ever increasing, it is essential for online businesses to be in the good books of internet users. Linking the business to Social Networks and regularly updating them give people a chance to see how genuine you are. Because, every crime has a loophole and it is very easy to see through frauds when we are talking about regularly updating status and relevant information. No fraud can survive on Social Community Networks for a long time and people are good at whistleblowing on-line. I think businesses should be using this opportunity to subtly market their genuineness.
I also think Social Community Networks can work as an effective tool for businesses to collect feedback from their customers. Be it a Google or Yahoo Group! Be it a Facebook or Twitter Account! Be it a Blog on Blogger or Wordpress! Staying in touch with the customer is the key. Weighing in on what people say about the product or service you offer, clarifying their queries! I think Google is a good example for this. Of course, they don't twitter or go Facebook. But they have these Blogs and Online Groups where they allow users to incessantly rant and rave about their products. I see that as one of the reasons why Google grow and surprise us forever!
Another thing is, these sites offer their services free of cost. [That shouldn't be a reason of course!] And may be you have to pay Twitter a little to get your account verified. I think it is worth the deal, isn't it?