Social media marketing describes the use of social networks, online communities, blogs, wikis or any other collaborative Internet form of media for marketing, sales, public relations and customer service. Common social media marketing tools include Twitter, Xing, ecademy, blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.
In Internet marketing terms, social media refers to a collective group of web properties whose content is primarily published by users of the property or content and not by the employees or owners of the property. As an example, the vast majority of video on YouTube is published by non-YouTube employees.
The Images Group have been using social media marketing for the past four years and have experimented with all of the major, and many of the minor, applications to determine which are the most effective to deploy.
It is becoming increasingly clear that social media marketing is a very important marketing tool in today’s fast-moving online environment; the growth of the microblogging monster Twitter, bears testament to that. Used by most of the large corporations, Twitter has quickly established itself as the social media darling of the online world.
In July 2009 the Images Group ran a sold-out seminar introducing the use of social media as a corporate tool and will be running four more before the end of 2009.
Some comments from the last event:
I enjoyed your workshop very much. Considering my Photography business is 100% digital, it does seem strange that I have shunned all sites such as Facebook and Twitter totally. After your delivery today, however, I am certainly going to play catchup on what seems to be an excellent networking tool. Thanks very much
Thanks for this afternoon. It has certainly opened my eyes to the benefits.
I,m going to look at facebook and twitter tonight. In the meantime I shall pick up a couple of domains as suggested for twitter.
At last a webinar that delivers the goods! Thank you so much for the information that I now intend to use in my marketing campaigns – starting this afternoon.
Why Use Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing has three important aspects:
(1) Creating buzz or newsworthy events, videos, tweets, or even blog entries that attract attention, and become viral in nature. Buzz is the piece that makes social media marketing work; it replicates a message through user-to-user contact as opposed to paid for advertising.
(2) Building ways that fans of a brand or company can promote it themselves in multiple online social media venues. Fan pages in Facebook, for example are great promotional vehicles, but these pages can be cross-promoted in the other social media outlets to provide real viral growth.
(3) It is interactive and conversational. Social media marketing is not fully controlled by the organisation as it allows for user participation, interaction and communication. Done correctly with due respect to the community of users, social media marketing can have tremendous benefits to the user. Done badly it can have catastrophically damaging consequences.
According to Lloyd Salmons, first chairman of the Internet Advertising Bureau social media council “Social media isn’t just about big networks like Facebook and MySpace, it’s about brands having conversations.”
Social media’s growth has been phenomenal and the consensus is that it is here to stay, but as it is still in its infancy the correct methodologies and usage of the medium are still very much in a trial and error stage.
The important thing is to get it right first time and understand that all of the Social Media tools that you use are inextricably linked.
Be congruent, be respectful and always, always be aware that you are on a Global stage!
Social Media is no place for shrinking violets.