The world in which we call 'social networking' seems to be growing more and more into our lives, whether this is a positive thing is up to you to decide but you can't disagree that an epidemic has spread.
Social networking is one of the best ways for word of mouth to start. Millions and millions of people log on to blogs and networking sites everyday such as Facebook and Twitter, each browsing their own interests, perhaps coming across something that catches their eye, they post it as a blog and suddenly 50 or more people know about it.
Advertisers have caught on to this growing fanatic and know that this is one way you can reach the public. But instead of just posting a blog about their latest product or deals many have came up with more innovative approaches.
The first time that Tmobile's adverts emerged on TV they perhaps didn't know that it would soon take them into the networking community. If you remember their adverts that asked passers by on the street what they would do if they had free texts for life, and one guy suggested that he'd text everyone he knew get them all together and have a massive jam. This guy was Josh Ward and T-mobile suggested that if he did create a 'super band' that they would like to follow him around and see how it goes. So it started! Josh set up a networking site on myspace. Allowed people to join him online and join the band, everyone told their friends to get online and join Josh's band. He posted a song that people could learn to sing or play on their instrument, he set up dates for tours around Britain and he managed to create this 'super band' that was once a just a suggestion on the advert for T-mobile...
...and now i am goin to partake in the act we call word of mouth by telling you to follow Josh's Band and see how he gets on!...
This technique whether deliberate or not was a result of word of mouth because of the the media frenzy we live in. It shows how much potential the Internet provides in order to advertise yourself as well as products, which leads me on to one person who takes great advantage of this service. Johanna Basford.
Johanna is an artist/ illustrate/ print maker that designs hand drawn patterns and motifs all in black and white. Her work is intricate and very beautiful, you can see how much effort she puts in it; however to broaden her clientele she joined Twitter and created a fantastic networking way to do so. She had the idea of the Twitter Picture, it involved people suggesting lots of different thing for her to draw within a certain time limit - was about 3 days - and in the end she produced a fantastic print and huge recognition! She planned to sell 100 limited edition prints of the Twitter Picture and gave 25% off to those who had a suggestion drawn into it. What better way to entice buyers, they were a part of the design and would want to show it off, plus a discount! Bonus! She managed to advertise herself aswell as producing a profit, took a simple idea and the help of networking and she created a success.
It's encouraging to see the possibilities of networking approached in such a creative way. I think that there is still a lot of potential surrounding this world of networking that can help designers and those who are still students broaden their horizons pushing a little further every time so that we don't end up going backwards and misssing this opportunity.
Or maybe not? You might think that Bebo, Facebook, Myspace and Twitter are taking over our lives and eventually people will only communicate through the net, by leaving a comment on your blog. Lets hope we use it sensibly!