Industry experts from Avaya (News - Alert) spoke to a standing-room only crowd at the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles on Monday evening, addressing the evolution of social networking and the implications it poses on the enterprise. The workshop was the official kick-off to ITEXPO West, which is being held Sept. 1-3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Avaya officials announced an application prototype – “Facephone” – that integrates IP-based, real-time multimedia communications that can help enterprises leverage the amount of available data on the massively popular site, Facebook (News - Alert).
Given the boom of social networks and microblogs, there is an imminent amount overlap, explained Avaya’s Director of Developer Relations John Alperin, however honing in on users’ information provided businesses with a significant opportunity to market themselves and seemingly infinite possibilities for growth.
Consider some of these staggering statistics: there are 250 million users on Facebook, or one out of every five Internet users on Facebook. One billion photos are uploaded every month and there are no less than five million active groups, all accounting for five billion minutes of use every day. Facebook is now the third largest site, behind only Google (News - Alert) and Yahoo, Alperin said.
The massive popularity of sites such as Facebook hold enormous implications from a marketing perspective based on the available demographic data alone. According to a Cone Business in Social Media study, 60 percent of American companies interact on the social Web; 93 percent believe a company should have a presence in social media; 85 percent said they should not just be present but interact; and more importantly, 56 percent reported a stronger connection when they do interact.
Paul Dunay, global managing director of services and social marketing at Avaya – and a prolific blogger and speaker on impact on social media in the marketing space – called Facebook a “once in a century communications platform.” Dunlay is the author of the recently released “Facebook Marketing for Dummies,” and outlined “11 Ways Facebook Will Change Your Life,” such as search engines going social with the ability for collaborative teaming to bolster search capabilities and grow more relevant search results. He also believes that communities built around reality TV, for example, will ultimately pinpoint audience demographics that show who specifically has interest in that show and other segments including customer service, health services and social services will also be leveraged via social networking.
Based on the rapid growth of the volume of information – with statistics varying, but recent reports estimating the amount of data in the world will double every 18 months. Dunvay said “marketers are now the white noise of user generated content,” whose implications will be realized as Web 2.0 evolves to Web 3.0.
Ultimately, Dunlay advised the audience to keep building their “social capital” and to understand that one’s “social graph” is going to become an important asset that can be used and overlaid for marketing purposes.
For more on the latest in IP communciations – whether you are an SMB or a large enterprise – register for ITEXPO (News - Alert) West in Los Angeles, being held Sept. 1-3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
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Erin Harrison is a Senior Editor with TMC. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Erik Linask