Over the past several weeks a number of our clients asked us to address the possible use of social media applications within the framework of their overall marketing strategy. Marketing, security and legal staff at our clients companies all have the same question - do their organizations need to actively participate in this web 2.0 revolution to build their markets and relate to their consumers, or are these technologies something they can safely ignore? Though we here at BrandProtect can't give an outright recommendation we held a client webinar last week that showed how some iconic trademark owners have used web 2.0 applications to leverage and promote their brands, create a sense of community, and in some cases add a new revenue stream to their business. The topics ran the gamut - social networks, blogs, forums, mashups, marketplaces and iPhones were all in play.
The presentation was kicked off with a case study centering on Apple Computers use of their Apple Student Facebook page to foster a sense of community, keep users coming back, and generate revenue via student promotions advertised on the site. We then moved to Dell Computers and mentioned their use of forums, video sharing, Second Life presence etc to engage their users, while focusing on how they have harnessed Twitter to generate million plus sales via the Dell Twitter community. We looked at who is blogging, and we viewed the esteemed Southwest Airlines blog "Nuts about Southwest". We examined how blogs can be used to reach out to customers, generate buzz, gather feedback for use in future product launches, publically address problems and humanize a company and its employees. Our next area of interest was on how mashups are being used by Google and Linkedin to aid in conducting business. Our clients who manufacture hard goods found the segment on how they could capitalize on the iPhone's "Like This" application of great interest.