Have social networks become the new email? Strange that my mother should ask me that same question last night, yet many marketers still fail to grasp this new concept. Erik Qualman explains that companies build elaborate YouTube pages, but place links or icons on the page that make users click away from the social network. Rather than whisk away site visitors from the social network page to their company Web site to capture a lead, they should court the visitor on the site. Sending them away from the YouTube page, he believes, does both the marketers and consumer a disservice.
< So, Qualman suggests, think of the way you might behave when meeting a beautiful woman in a bar. "Similar to dating, companies need to learn how to court their customers in social networks," he writes, explaining that "good businesses realize that it's not all about the instant win of getting someone into a database. Rather it is [that] relationship [cultivated] via social media, and if done correctly you will have a relationship that lasts a lifetime."