Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are connecting people on a "massive scale" – and they can provide businesses with an ideal way to support their search and click marketing campaigns.
Writing on the Yahoo! Search Marketing Blog, Clara Shih, author of the Facebook Era, said that while companies should use "traditional" online marketing services like search and pay per click, they also "need to be where customers are and communicate through the channels customers like".
She added that social network profiles can make a corporation more approachable – and in some cases, businesses have found that their customers will defend them online, something that is "far more credible" than a company making its own arguments.
In addition, firms like Dell and clothing retailer Zappos have attracted prospects from outside their traditional customer base by using social networks to post daily product news, special offers and responses to online comments.
The ease of creating separate profiles also means businesses can create "targeted experiences" for different consumers – and the nature of social networks means offers will quickly generate word-of-mouth recommendations, giving marketers "more bang for their buck".
According to the latest figures, Facebook alone has 250 million active users.
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