While the value of social networking tools is not exactly "quantifiable," more and more businesses large and small are seeking out their higher "widget" with hopes of greater profitability, more online sales, increased online presence, and a better connection to their customers. I was interested to read this latest article from baselinemagazine.com, that discusses the company's need to elevate their traditional marketing tools with online tools.
"To that end, the company has introduced two initiatives designed to tap into the power of social networking, and it will soon introduce a third. 'I Love My Dog' offers a community where canine owners can interact and share ideas, and 'Moms Online Community' lets mothers exchange ideas and information. Both initiatives help Del Monte glean insights into market psychology and put its finger on the pulse of emerging trends. Del Monte, working with new-media marketing firm MarketTools, will soon add an “I Love My Cat” social network to the mix."
This is an interesting approach, and goes well beyond merely posting a profile, which for many companies is considered the extent of things. Have you seen or heard any great success stories, as in cases where social networking made a big difference in a company's sales? Have you been in the position of explaining the value of these tools to a business or client, who said they wanted it but had no idea how "it" worked? Is there a psychological barrier to taking the web 2.o plunge? What do you think?