Social Media Marketing For Dummies
If you're a busy marketer, small business owner, or entrepreneur looking to reach new markets with social media marketing initiatives, this hands-on, friendly guide has you covered.
Social Media Marketing For Dummies
Understanding Social Media Marketing
In This Chapter
Understanding social media's role in social influence
Discovering the different roles played by social media participants
Knowing what types of influencers you're marketing to
Coordinating your efforts with other types of marketing
Moving beyond corporate marketing
When marketing online, you design websites, run display advertising, publish videos to YouTube, and push your website listings higher up in the search engine rankings to promote and sell products. It's easy to forget how people actually buy. It's easy to assume that the potential customers are lonely people crouched over their computers late at night, choosing what products to add to a shopping cart - isolated from the real world and their family and friends.
But in reality, that's not how people buy online today. It might have been the case in the early days of the web, when the people spending time online were the early adopters and the mavericks, the ones willing to take the risk of putting their credit card numbers into a computer hoping for accurate charges and secure transactions. In those days, few people bought online, and the ones who did were on the fringes of mainstream society.
Those days are over now. With nearly 280 million people using the web on a regular basis in the United States alone and approximately 2.9 billion users globally, using the Internet has become a mainstream social activity. Consumers approach purchasing online differently, too, and as a result, you need to approach your marketing online differently as well. Your approach must incorporate influence and the different roles that people play in the realm of social media, especially because social media itself has changed over the last decade.
This chapter discusses the fundamentals of social media marketing: what it is, how it works, who the players are, and what it means in the context of your other marketing efforts.
Defining Social Media Marketing
A discussion of any subject needs to begin with a definition, and so here's the one for social media marketing: Social media marketing (SMM) is a technique that employs social media (content created by everyday people using highly accessible and scalable technologies such as social networks, blogs, microblogs, message boards, podcasts, social bookmarks, communities, wikis, and vlogs).
Social media (which has probably been one of the most hyped buzzwords of the last decade) refers to content created and consumed by regular people for each other. It includes the comments a person adds at the end of an article on a website, the family photographs she uploads to a photo-sharing service, the conversations she has with friends in a social network, and the blog posts she publishes or comments on. That's all social media, and it's making everyone in the world a content publisher and arbitrator of content. It's democratizing the web. Facebook, shown in Figure 1-1 , is the most popular social network. It allows you to connect with friends and share information in a matter of minutes. Facebook has 1.28 billion monthly active users around the world.
Figure 1-1: Facebook is just one example, albeit the largest, of the many media platforms.
Learning about the Roles People Play
To look at the framework of social media marketing, we need to look at the different roles played by those engaged in social media. They are as follows:
Marketers: They publish and share content online to achieve an organization's marketing and business needs. Today's marketer looks nothing like the marketers of the twentieth century. Customers now own the brand conversation. The opportunity to interrupt and annoy those customers has dwindled. Customers now meet businesses on their own terms. In