Valentine's Day 2.0

Valentine’s Day is upon us.  Everywhere you look, in your favorite TV shows, magazines, newspapers ads, movies, friends, co-workers, and yes, even social networks, the unmistakeable presence of Valentine’s Day can be seen and felt everywhere.  Fifteen or more years ago, Valentine’s Day did not really have a presence online, unless you were an uber-geek.  Nowadays, the love connection is all around us from websites catering to those seeking love, romance, a date, and yes, even a wedding.  People seek it, companies advertise it.  So how has social networking been affected by it?  If you have a facebook account, or MySpace, or any other social networking site, you can see it clearly on forums, banner ads, and by the daily postings from users and to one another.

Companies who want to become successful in the “love” bandwagon that is going on online, need to have a solid understanding what works, and how it ought to be executed.  Doing a simple email marketing campaign is not enough anymore.  People have setup countless filters to counteract the messages that companies are attempting to send out.  They view and treat these “spam” emails just like any other snail mail spam – it goes straight into the trash bin, both virtual, and physical.  If however, a person receives an email from a loved one, or a friend, or something so compelling to draw them to view the message, then you have success, and the ROI as a result will be much greater.  At OMS 09, they discussed among other things how email marketing as we know it is becoming extinct.  The results yielded are not as great as in the infant days of the Internet.  Netflix is a great example of how email marketing ought to work.  They send out emails to their members for specials, and every time someone rents a move from their online database.  The customers already have a vested interest in the messages from Netflix, and as a result, the email marketing done allows Netflix to further promote their services.

However, email marketing is not the only avenue for promoting.  Social networks are another great tool to use to get the message out.  Say you are an online flowershop, and you want to push an awareness campaign as well as receive more orders, the what you need to do is to cater to the needs of people.  The company creates a group within facebook, how to romance the lady (or gent) of their fancy, how to be romantic in different settings, where to travel, where to dine – all for free.  The money will be made from people who choose to use the company’s services.  Companies wanting to succeed in viral marketing and web 2.0, must adapt to its model.  Provide free information, tips, how to’s, and make money from the orders taken related to your product or services.  Until then, have a great Valentine’s Day with your friends, family, and loved ones.

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