Social Media Marketing

Social Media Explained

Instead of me writing a long, exhaustive and BORING article about the cross-cutting implications of social media, I think this an excellent way of bringing it all together. (Full disclosure: the originator of this simplified explanation is Doug Ray from Three Ships Media)

Twitter: I am eating a #hotdog

Facebook: I like hotdogs

Social Media Marketing

Foursquare: Here is where I eat hotdogs

Flickr: Here’s a vintage pic of my hotdog

YouTube: Here, I am eating a hotdog!

LinkedIn: My skills include eating hotdogs

Spotify: Listening to Hotdog

Google+: I work at ABC and eat hotdogs. (If I don’t post this on G+ Google will get miffed and not rank my website)

(There are a lot more platforms than this, of course but we have to start somewhere and these are most of the biggies.)

The common perception of Social Media is that it’s a cute and fun way to connect and share stuff with friends and family, and, whilst that’s true, the power of the viral effect is unmatched in marketing history.

So, you can reasonably draw the conclusion that, from a business perspective, Social Media is a mandatory marketing tool; if you really want to connect with your audience on their turf. ALSO Social Signals, which equate to activity on your SM channels, now form a major part of Google ranking criteria. In a nutshell, the entire digital world is becoming highly integrated, and with the availability of massive data mining and virtually unlimited storage it’s now the world of “Big Data”; I’m sure you’ve heard the term. Google itself is the third largest manufacturer of computer hardware in the world and their entire output is for internal use! That’s why we’ve seen the emergence of the Social Media agency.

Alongside big G, Social Media has created a new marketing paradigm. We now live in the “reputation” economy. The best kind of marketing has always been Word of Mouth, and FB and Twitter now provide platforms where WOM can go viral. Endorsement from a large number of people will guarantee sales and business success. However, this is a scalable concept- If you have a hairdressing salon in Newcastle then you’re only interested in local buzz. But you get the idea? A good Social Media agency will manage Geo targetting with finesse.

In the bestseller: Tipping Point , by Malcolm Gladwell, he describes how Hush Puppies as a brand had virtually died, until a group of trendies in Greenwich Village decided they were cool. Even then WOM created a viral effect which went coast to coast, and, instead of closing factories, the company became bigger than it ever had by a huge margin. Imagine how quickly that effect would have happened today. If WOM hadn’t applied Hush Puppies would be a casualty of fashion and taste, and you would no longer see them in shoe stores. This all happened organically but can happen by design, with your brand, if you engage a Social media Agency.

A major marketing advantage for Facebook, which is just reaching full awareness, is the ability to target groups of people by demographic, tastes, geography and so on. FB Graph search is poised to become a major search engine to rival Google and possibly, who knows, overtake the big G.

Not every platform is needed by every business in order to create the awareness and sales that they want, and can handle. So, whilst it’s a mandatory marketing initiative the nuances of each campaign will be quite different, particularly where the aim is to provide services rather than ship goods.

It’s exciting and daunting to realise that your business is exposed to the limelight whether you like it or not. Getting positive benefit from Social Media is both an art and a craft. The major issues faced by most business owners, in harnessing the power of SM are time, creative output, in the form of blogs and posts, and understanding what to put where and when.

Appointing a Social Media Agency to manage the process and take away the huge task of mastering the medium and posting creatively is a great investment and a colossal time-saver.