October 12, 2015

Social Media Marketing - Introduction

Social media can simply be defined by stating that it is the media we use to be social—whether they are blogs, YouTube,Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. A more detailed description of social media by Andreas
Kaplan and Michael Haenlein (2010) is: ―Social media is a group of Internet-based applications that
build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and allow the creation and
exchange of user generated content (UGC). Web 2.0 was first used in 2004 to describe a new way
in which the software developers and end-users started to use the World Wide Web as a platform
whereby applications and content are no longer created and published by professional publishers and UGC came to describe the various forms of media content that are publicly made available by end-users (ibid., ). Social media is built on the interactive communication media that now exists and facilitates communication between all individuals connected to internet.

Kipp Bodnar and Jeffrey L. Cohen (2012) point out that the social web is not linear. Information and interactions happen across the social web in every direction. There is not one clear path. This non-linear nature does not fit in with traditional models marketing and marketers cannot determine ROIs with methods they use for direct mail and print advertising that runs for a set period of time. This method provides a simpler equation for determining end results, which in turn is easier for traditional marketing budgets that yearn for easier return on investment (ROI) calculations. A successful blog post provides multiple benefits including  search engine optimisation of the company website and provides presence that is not limited by a time frame. So, the results of and investment in blogging is not as easily defined. (Bodnar & Cohen 2012 )

Reasons for Adopting Social Media Marketing

Safko (2012) writes that if a company is wondering whether to do social media marketing or how much
should be spent on it, it can be answered by adapting the question to a more obvious one: Should I
do marketing at all? It should be remembered that social media is a new technology that provides  a way to efficiently create contacts, build relationships and trust while being there ready to reap the rewards as those people are willing to commit to a purchase. Social media is just a new way of acquiring customers and it is doing what the telephone, direct mail, print advertising, television, radio, and billboards have done up until now—it provides a new channel which may be more effective currently and hence its adoption increases the overall effectiveness of the marketing communications. The conventional marketing has changed from pontificating to two-way communication and this fundamental shift in power is the reason why social media is so effective in marketing. More and more consumers are ignoring corporate messages due to lack of trust and this gives a chance to build a trusting relationship and bond with the customer via the use of social media. (Ibid., 4-5.)

However, social media should not be thought of as a new channel to sell. It is a  new way of
communication— and this new way to sell is to not sell at all. What one should do in social media marketing is to first listen actively, understand and follow the conversation and then finally speak. No matter what
social media platform is in use or in what industry the business operates, it is about participating in
the conversation, lead generation and being there with a relationship when the prospect is finally
willing to purchase. So some companies may be considering  ignoring social media as one cannot do
hard selling there. But, the fact is that a company can build more lasting and trusted relationships that will
eventually result in more sales, fewer returns, and greater word of mouth. (Safko 2012)

Social media marketing also provides another advantage, in addition to relationship building. It will
make it easier for potential customers to find participant’s website when using search engines. This will
happen via search engine optimisation (SEO) and it can help greatly in building awareness of the
participant organization.  Safko (2012) describes search engine optimisation as how well a company ranks when people are looking for a type of a product or service that the company provides via search



Traditional and Social Media Marketing Comparison

Building Action Plan for Social Media Marketing - 2013 Presentation at Columbia Business School


New Book

Social Media Marketing
Tracy L. Tuten, Michael R. Solomon
SAGE, Dec 9, 2014 - 352 pages

Social Media Marketing was the first textbook to cover this vital subject. It shows how social media fits into and complements the marketer’s toolbox. The book melds essential theory with practical application as it covers core skills such as strategic planning for social media applications, incorporating these platforms into the brand’s marketing communications executions, and harnessing social media data to yield customer insights.

The authors outline the ‘Four Zones’ of social media that marketers can use to achieve their strategic objectives. These include:

1. Community (e.g. Instagram)
2. Publishing (e.g. Tumblr)
3. Entertainment (e.g. Candy Crush Saga)
4. Commerce (e.g. Groupon)

This second edition contains new examples, industry developments and academic research to help students remain current in their marketing studies, as well as a new and improved user-friendly layout to make the text easy to navigate.

The textbook also provides a free companion website that offers valuable additional resources for both instructors and students. Visit: study.sagepub.com/smm.

Preview the book  https://books.google.co.in/books?id=gNHGBQAAQBAJ

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