Social Networking is the next big thing

2 May

Marketing are paying close attention to how huge Myspace.com–a social networking site with more than 66 million registered users–has grown. Social networking sites let users get together and share their passions for hours. And now because of the incredible popularity of myspace.com, marketers everywhere are building their own social sites. But these kinds of sites come with some risk. To be successful, companies have to give up a certain amount of control. Some sites must be monitored closely for foul language and graphic images that could hurt the brand. And if you try to control the content, you run the risk of damaging the brand.

Here are some of the more popular branding social sites.

Created three years ago, Mycoke.com is a social networking site that is upfront about using live moderators, previews and filters to stop offensive words. You would think that this kind of monitoring would turn people off, but it’s not. On average, more than 8 million people spend 5 hours every month on the site. Here, users can chat about their favorite bands, share music, upload videos, and write about music. They can even post under “vergos.” For those of you have never been to the site, that’s a pseudonym for a virtual ego. They can also earn points to purchase Coke products.

The USA Network created the theme “Characters Welcome” last year to promote “Monk.” In this community, user chat and share videos, photos and profiles. They also had contests where viewers uploaded videos of their quirky talents. The winner got to make a USA Network commercial and star in an online series.

Nike launched joga.com for all of the World Cup enthusiasts. Here, users can chat or blog in 14 languages as well as post videos and pictures. A Nike spokesperson claims it is is the first social networking site for sports enthusiasts.

Kohl’s recently launched transformationnation.com–damn, that’s long. This site wants users to share stories about something that has transformed their lives.

Kodak has has added a new cool feature to its site. Previously, the site showcased thousands of photos in a gallery. Now users can upload five pictures that will then appear in a commerical online using a four-step process coined “just as easy”. When the commerical is completed, users can email the spot to friends and families and 10 free prints are offered to them to get them to sign for Kodak’s online photo services.

Launched with an ad featuring the social networking site during the Academy Awards, USBC’s yourpointofview.com lets users share their thoughts about news events and trends.

If you know of other popular social networking sites, please share.

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