What is social media marketing?

  I 'm sorry today, I should ave write this post earlier; almost at the beginning of this blog, anyway I forgot or skipped, many of yo...


I'm sorry today, I should ave write this post earlier; almost at the beginning of this blog, anyway I forgot or skipped, many of you already known about it, but if you not, please read on...

So, a big question, but a good one. As others have mentioned, Social Media
Marketing (SMM) is indeed part of the digital marketing mix, and it sits
alongside other techniques such as Pay Per Click, Search Optimisation, Display (banners), Affiliate (banners that pay commissions to publishers) and Email.

Because it is about attracting and engaging people online, normally by offering some kind of free content in exchange for their attention, Social Media Marketing is often referred to as 'Earned Media', as opposed to the approaches mentioned above, which are 'Paid Media'.

But the bottom line, at least in my humble opinion, is that SMM is about getting referrals from people about your reputation, product, business or brand. As such, SMM is also sometimes known as 'Word of Mouth' marketing.

From a service delivery point of view, I would define its component
parts as:

  • Branded Content - to get noticed and shared
  • Social Promotions - special offers etc to really get noticed and shared
  • Social Experiences -  get people to your store, event etc
  • Community Management - keep your fan/follwers active and happy (loyal)
  • Blogger Relations - ask some of the real influencers to share your content
  • Monitoring, Reporting, Analysis

However, for various reasons, SMM is NOT performance-based, at least not yetanyway. That is, agencies and consultants don't guarrantee how many fans,followers, engagements (comments, likes, sign-ups etc) you'll get for your SMMinvestment.

This stands in contrast to Pay Per Click, for example, which doesguarantee a certain number of (rather expensive) clicks. SMM is very much a 'build it and they will come approach', and takes persistence, originality and committment in order to succeed.

When asked about SMM , I normally say something like this:

Social Marketing is about combining branded content and social
promotions in order to build digital communities which cnn be motivated to engage in further online activities and real-life experiences.
- Chris McLellan, Friends Electric

Note that I mention 'experiences'. Two of the hottest trends in SMM are 1) offering hyper-local content to boost relevancy and thus sharing, and 2) using social media to attract people to a real-life event or happening with the aid of mobile technology.

Imagine this scenario:

You see a video on YouTube about a flash sale happening on Main Street your town/area. Several business are involved, but they don't say who just yet. You share that with your friends on Facebook. They share it with their friends. You visit the business page of one of the shops on Facebook and they say just show up on Saturday and then find their store on Google Places (or Qype, or Foursquare or Yelp). When you do this on the day, you see they have added a Coupon for 50% off on certain items. You love it, Tweet this from your phone and let everyone know about this amazing offer. They let their friends know, and show up for the bargains.

OR imagine the same basic approach, except this time it's about people
organising a political protest with the goal of regime change. Now you have what recently happened across parts of the Middle East. Powerful stuff!

I have not covered everything here, but hopefully you'll find this a helpful start.

And in the spirit of social media, please SHARE it if you do!

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