Social networking embraced as marketing tool
As businesses become more aggressive in marketing their products, especially those related to the World Wide Web, the utilization of social media applications such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is increasing in an attempt to capitalize on the phenomenon known as networking.
When the Web really started to go mainstream about a decade ago, networking and social media were almost nonexistent. Now they are all the rage and it seems as if almost every company, across all industries, that is serous about marketing in a digital world is running with this concept as a way to connect more and more people to its products, services and brand.
Hubbell Realty Co., for example, jumped on the Twitter train last week and recently launched a Facebook page under the pseudonym Hailey Brownstone. Hailey, whose last name is Brownstone and who lives in a brownstone, is one of Hubbell’s most recent attempts to market its homes at GreenWay Crossing in West Des Moines.
In conjunction with Hubbell’s marketing department, company spokesman Jarad Bernstein is spearheading the social networking strategy, and is a regular contributor to the Facebook site, which as of Friday had 125 “friends.” He is also the author of Hailey’s blog posts.
It’s “a promotional micro (Web) site,” Bernstein says, adding that the campaign to sell the brownstones is geared toward a target audience whose primary way of gathering information is online rather through print.
They may not get their news from Facebook, but “that’s where they hang out,” he said.
Hubbell has received several inquiries from serious buyers, Bernstein said. But Hailey is attracting more than just potential customers. In fact, the profile, which features the likeness of an account representative for Hubbell Homes’ advertising agency based in Philadelphia, has resulted in more than one request for a date.
As sites such as Facebook continue to gain traction and followers, and the low overhead costs associated with these types of applications become more attractive in this recession, it seems the only limit to the promotional opportunities available with online social networking is the creativity of marketers themselves.