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Yes, social networks are cool and great fun. But how can we marketers use them to drive business?

This was the challenge posed to a dynamic panel of representatives from MySpace, YouTube, Digitas and Coke, and wow did they deliver. A skeptic up until today, I am now convinced this new world of customer participation and dialogue of C2C (consumer-to-consumer) is here to stay as path to make significant business impact.
Call it B2B + C2C = Brand Equity!
Check out Delta airlines flight attendant videos on YouTube, for example:

And see Cherrry Coke engagement contests on MySpace.
Here are more examples of what brands are doing to engage with their customers via social networks:
LG's video contest to complete the phrase, "Life's Good When...."
Lions for Lambs contest asking "What do you stand for?"
These and now countless other brands -- try Pontiac, ATT, Heinz and Holiday Inns Express for example -- are leading the way to silence the marketing megaphone habbit and try listening and engaging.
As one MySpace user said, "I don't want companies to advertise to me. I want them to be my FRIEND."
How do you make your customers your friends?

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image of Roy Young
Roy Young is coauthor of Marketing Champions: Practical Strategies for Improving Marketing's Power, Influence and Business Impact. For more information about the book, go to or order at Amazon.