Web 3.0: Leveraging Social Networking
The companies that have the most success with social networking marketing initiatives are sensitive to the fact that their audience does not want to be blatantly marketed to. Zappos.com is a good example. This company has successfully navigated the challenge of social media sites. They blog on a regular basis (http://blogs.zappos.com/blogs); their CEO uses Twitter religiously and boasts a huge following (http://twitter.com/zappos); their employees film and post humorous, widely watched videos to YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/ zappos); and they have a big following on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zapposcom/7172307686).
Zappos’ social media efforts work for a number of reasons. By beginning with the notion of ‘participating,’ they avoid being thought of as intruders and demonstrate their contribution rather than use the venue to blatantly promote themselves.
Additionally, Zappos has a passionate, loyal customer base that generally feels warm and fuzzy about the Zappos brand, and the employees reflect this sentiment. In addition, the content it offers through various social mediums is interesting and entertaining. Zappos gives their followers a reason to read what it has to say.