What is Social Media? An Intro. (1 of 6) / December 14, 2009
Social media should be an integral part of your marketing plan. Its likely you know this but arent quite sure where to start. Our 6-part series will walk you through what social media is, what the benefits of social media are, what specific outlets we recommend and how to get started with each one.
What is Social Media?
Social media is an activity that integrates technology and social interaction through the use of words, pictures, videos and audio. To put it simply, social media is about making online connections. Examples of social media are blogs, forums, virtual worlds, online chat, wikis, social networks, message boards, video sharing sites, photo sharing sites, etc.
Social media started simply as a way of being social online. However, marketers have embraced online users and have evolved this medium into a marketing outlet. The number of social media users is staggering and multiplying. In nearly no time, almost everyone will be a target of social media marketing. This SocialNomics video illustrates this well:
Social media is constantly evolving. With traditional forms of media, such as print advertising, companies send a one way message to their consumers, hoping to build a brand that will be valued, trusted and most importantly, purchased. With social media, marketing has become two-way communication. That’s key. Social media allows the consumer to tell the company what they want the brand to be, how it is valued, how they are trusted and how the product or service is bought; all of this according to the consumers ever-changing needs.
Social media allows you to:
Express your expertise, credibility and influence
Connect to individuals instead of a faceless demographic
Create relationships with real people
Receive immediate feedback
Stay relevant and educated within your field
Solve problems in real-time
Drive potential business
Touch potential consumers daily
Spread your marketing message widely and at no cost
Get near-instant results
In the coming weeks, well be sharing our recommendations on how to get started with social media. The key is to learn one application at a time, get comfortable with it and then move on to the next. In order to reap the full benefits of social media, you’ll need to use it often and correctly. This takes time, so you may want to consider assigning social media as part of an employees job description.