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Facebook has become the most popular social network because it brings friends and acquaintances together in a way that lets them share ideas and lifestyle information. There are many other reasons why fans share and how brands can capitalize on it. Keep in mind, though, only a low percentage of people who use Facebook ever click the ads. In fact, most users have said in surveys they ignore those ads. So how can social networks be used to promote a brand’?

The best way to maximize a site like Facebook is to use it for what it’s really worth, which is to stimulate conversations. The easiest brands to promote on a social network are the ones that are already being consumed by users. People don’t use the site to discover new products to buy. They use it mainly to talk about what’s going on in their daily lives, like what they had for lunch, what songs they are listening to and what movies they’ve seen.

A lot of social network activity is also news-driven. A brand is more likely to get mentioned on these sites if it makes the news through press releases, a price bargain or some type of scandal. Twitter is more useful in introducing new brands and products.

Another reason why fans share and how brands can capitalize on it has to do with whether or not the product lives up to its sales pitch. When someone spends hundreds of dollars on an item and it doesn’t work properly, you can bet that it will get negative publicity on social networks because it creates disruption in someone’s lifestyle.

Conversely, if a brand over-delivers what the marketing promises it will naturally get great reviews since it improves lifestyle. That’s where brands can capitalize the most. A product like an iPad is an example that delivers more than the marketing promises, especially for professionals who use the item to improve efficiency in their mobile business.

LinkedIn is a social network with a more business-oriented approach than Facebook, MySpace or Mezee. While the pop culture-based networks have a more fun conversational spirit, LinkedIn has a more serious tone which might be more helpful to elevating a brand, since the site does not attract as much “trash talk.” In other words, it’s easy to get bad reviews on Facebook because its nature produces more armchair debates in a carefree manner, almost like giving every drunk in a bar a microphone. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is likely to generate positive feedback if the product has strong utility, yet if the product is not embraced by consumers it is likely to be ignored.

Amazon, Yelp and similar review sites are more ideal for promoting products because they are specifically designed for consumer reviews. Fans go to these sites so they can learn more about brands before they buy. These sites are valuable to consumers looking for the best quality and the best deals. You will find less exaggeration on these sites and more honest, useful feedback. Brands can capitalize by promoting offers to consumers on classified sites like Craigslist for consumers to give their opinion on sites like Yelp and Amazon, which can influence other consumers.

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Posted by Ludwing Hernandez

Written by Ludwing Hernandez. Social Media and Social Network Tools @LudwingH.

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