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Social Networking Sites

MySpace and Facebook are the leaders in the social networking category, and can drive a lot of traffic by fiercely dedicated and loyal friends. Members of these networking sites have their own pages and are connected through friends and friends-of-friends.

Of course, a lot of news swirls around MySpace and the sexual predators who have been found to hang out there. However, there’s a lot to be said for marketing efforts through these channels, since the audience in MySpace has changed from the teenage crowd to a slightly older group over the years.

For example, take the success story of "Weird Al" Yankovic’s MySpace page (see Figure 4). Without it, he wouldn’t have gotten the first #1 album of his career. His song "You’re Pitiful" (a parody of James Blunt’s "You’re Beautiful"), which wasn’t released on his album because of a misunderstanding with James Blunt’s record label, was released for free on the "Weird Al" MySpace page, and got tremendous play and recognition via this medium.

Figure 4

Figure 4 "Weird Al" Yankovic’s MySpace page.

Most recently, Geico has taken to Facebook, promoting its "Caveman’s Crib" takeoff on the famous Geico "caveman" commercials (see Figure 5). Unfortunately, the whole Caveman’s Crib site is in Flash—with no SEO optimization. No word on how this campaign is working out for Geico, but it’s apparent that companies are taking notice of these types of social media. Whether it’s a paid campaign tied in with the launch of a TV show, commercials, or a new movie or album, utilizing these types of networking sites for branding efforts is definitely becoming an increasing part of online marketing strategies for many companies.

Figure 5

Figure 5 Geico’s "Caveman’s Crib" promotion on Facebook.

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