Using social networking as a form of social media marketing is the new fad. Social networking refers to a multi-media social structure which essentially facilitates communication between groups, individuals, and organizations. The most commonly recognized social networking web sites include Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace. However, there are several more social networking web sites available. In addition to social networking sites, there are other ways to accomplish social media marketing through blogging, instant messaging, widgets, and more.
Companie use social networking to gain credibility, foster employee relationships, build a forum for communication with customers, and in most cases, boost sales. Company recruiters are even going to sites like LinkedIn to get access to the almost 25 million resumés posted.
If you are going to jump on the social networking bandwagon, make sure you have a strategy in place for your business or work with an online marketing agency before you spend the time creating a Facebook or MySpace page. Let’s take a look at some of the companies using social networking and which tools they are utilizing.
- Absolut Vodka – uses an online video ABSOLUTworld as well as a page on Facebook entitled Top Bartender
- Acura – has a Facebook page, Acura TSX Connect as well as a widget on Yahoo, Acura RDX Traffic
- Adidas – utilizes social networks on MySpace
- American Express – has a blog entitled OPEN Forum
- American Red Cross – has a blog entitled Red Cross Chat
- AT&T – participates in Microblogging on Twitter: ATTNews, ATTblueroom, and OnwardSmallBiz. Also, AT&T has a YouTube video, Share AT&T, allows Photosharing at Flickr photostream, and has a fan page on Facebook
- Bank of America – has two social networking pages: Small Business Community on Clearspace and Medal Me! on Facebook
- Best Buy – participates in Blogging: CMO’s Barry Judge’s blog and Barry Judge on Twitter. Also, Best Buy has a Geek Squad HQ video on YouTube and a social network created to allow retail employees to support each other (Blue Shirt Nation)
- Boeing – participates in Blogging: Randy’s Journal and Tanker Facts
- Burton – utilizes Microblogging with storedotburton on Twitter
- CNN – utilizes Microblogging on Twitter: Political Ticker
- Coca-Cola – has a Facebook social networks (Sprite Sips and CokeTag) as well as blogs: Coca-Cola Conversations. Coca-Cola also utilizes virtual worlds on Second Life: Virtual Thirst and widgets, such as Coke Bubbles
- Dell – participates in a lot of Blogging, such as Direct2Dell, Nine official internal blogs, and Ideastorm. Dell also Microblogs with 22 corporate accounts on Twitter
- Ernst & Young – utilizes Facebook for hiring: Careers page
- General Electric – participates in Blogging: From Edison’s Desk
- Google – has several blogs, including their Official Blog and over 30 other corporate blogs. Google also has a You Tube video Google channel
- H&R Block – Microblogs with a Twitter account and has a social networking Facebook fan page
- Motorola – utilizes Blogging with their Broadband Insights blog
- Oscar Mayer – has a Hotdogger blog to give fans an insider look at the Wienermobile. Oscar Mayer also utilizes Microblogging with their Wienermobile page on Twitter and uses Photosharing at The Wienermobile In The Wild
- Peace Corps – participates in Microblogging with a Peace Corps Twitter account
- Pizza Hut – uses social networking web sites, such as Facebook: pizza hut fan page
- Revlon – utilizes widgets, such as Lash Fantasy
- Saturn – makes use of social networks, for example ImSaturn
- Southwest Airlines – participates in Blogging (Nuts About Southwest) as well as Microblogging (SouthwestAir). Southwest also has an online video at YouTube channel. They also allow photo sharing at Flickr group and they have Widgets (Ding!)
- Starbucks – participates in crowd-sourcing at My Starbucks Idea and Microblogging at Twitter account
If you are a small business and looking for an online marketing agency to help with your social networking campaign, visit Resource Nation’s vendor center for online marketers.