Monday, August 27, 2007

It Just Doesn’t Stop: Social Networks Are Everywhere and Growing

It’s like that old commercial for a kid’s product I believe that said “10 million strong, and growing.” Only this time it’s '100 million strong and growing'! With Social Network sites taking top rank in Newsweek last week (Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg on the cover) to Myspace’s ever growing numbers to more sites with crazy names that are popping up everyday (just look at how many blog entries makes in a single day), the general public is finally realizing that these sites are not just for kids.

It’s not that I like to rehash these points everyday in this blog, but in the early stages of Rollett Marketing, I have had a hard time explaining social networking sites to a generation that didn’t even have the internet in their youth.

Us Millennials are spoiled! Just look at my survival pack for a meet and greet with a recent client:
-Sidekick with accompanying Bluetooth
-Oh, and some papers in a binder in case someone actually wants to see that!
-I'm just missing my iPhone (which won't happen until Apple gets out of its AT&T contact

What most people beyond their college years are starting to understand is that major players like Google, Yahoo, MTV, Viacom (parent company of MTV), Microsoft, Apple and more are starting to back these sites (and these sites aren’t cheap either!).

What is starting to happen is the capitalization and monetization for small businesses and large corporations on sites like Myspace, YouTube and Facebook. The great thing about these sites is their price to get in the game. Nothing! Yea that’s right, these sites are free to use. No more monthly hosting fees, no need for expensive merchant accounts, no flash design!

From a recent Fortune online article:

“The reason social networking matters is simple: people do things together, and this new software promises us the means to engage the social aspect of our lives in everything we do online. Among other things, shopping, consuming media, researching, planning our time, and of course communicating can all be done more efficiently if we have manageable information about what our friends are doing. It goes way beyond high school and college kids sharing photos and exchanging gossip.”

As you look to get your marketing plan going this fall, don’t overlook the social networks and their potential. A great feature to their pricing is that you can experiment with more than one site to see which fits your business model best. Bands are just now embarking onto Facebook and utilizing the new open platform applications to sell their tracks virtually royalty free to anyone but PayPal. Real Estate offices are opening their doors to the prospect of 100 million 17-24 year-olds who need a place to live when mommy and daddy throw them out on their own (and they get that ‘real job’ making Facebook applications!). Restaurants are sending out daily specials through Twitter and posting videos of what’s happening at their establishment. The possibilities are endless and it starts with your imagination.

Social networks are here to stay folks. The Millennial Generation is growing up fast and you might have to adjust. I write a great blog over at where I touch on the growing trends that social networks are having on hiring, training and development. Employee Evolution is a voice to that very group as well.

Explore your social graph. Explore some creativity in your marketing. There are 1 million bands that sound like you and have a Myspace page. There are millions of people making t-shirts. There are more houses for sale than being sold. Make a move, be bold and be a part of the next great movement in Marketing! Yea I think I like my job!

-Greg “G-Ro” Rollett


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