It can be described as the use of social media such as networks, communities, blogs, wikis or other collaborative media for marketing.
It can also be used for better public relations, customer service and even sales.
Some of the sites used for Social Marketing include Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr etc.
In the context of internet marketing, Social Media can be described as sites that support collaboration. The collaboration can vary from users being able to post comments as in blogs or even edit content as in Wikipedia.
It is also known as Web 2.0.
In these Sites the content is mainly published by users, not by the employees of the Site or the company. Eg YouTube
This includes traditional websites which do not allow any participation of the users.
The users can only read articles and unlike Web 2.0 have no or very little control.
Despite the potential benefits of Web 2.0 most of the websites are still Web 1.0
The Important aspects of Social media marketing
1 Creating buzz using different media or channels (Viral Marketing)
2 Allow participation and control of the Users
3 Role of organization to regulate rather than direct
Types of Social MarketingThe simplest and most commonly used method is advertising directly on Social Media Sites like Facebook.
The other method is a company itself adopting Web 2.0 and making its sites complaint to Web 2.0 standards.
Channels of Social Media Marketing include:-
- Collaborative sites like blogs and discussion forums.
- Real-time social channels like Twitter and Facebook.
- Location-based services like Tumblr, Jaiku etc.
- Review-driven services like Yelp, etc.
Social media optimization
Social Media Optimization is a method of website optimization using Social Media; the other method is Traditional search engine optimization.
There are two categories of SMO methods:
(a) Social media features added to the content itself, including: RSS feeds, sharing buttons, user rating and polling tools etc.
(b) Promotional activities by using blogs, commenting on other blogs, participating in discussion groups, and posting updates on social networking sites etc
Social media optimization is related to search engine optimization but primarily the focus is on driving traffic from sources other than search engines, though improved search ranking is also a benefit of successful SMO and the long term objective of using SMO.
Social media optimization is creating word of mouth publicity by networking in social bookmarking, video and photo sharing websites.
In also includes blogs, blog search engines, RSS Search Engines including Yahoo RSS, Bloglines, Newsgator and Google Reader etc.
A popular site on Social Media http://www.searchenginejournal.com/ has tried to frame the rules of Social Media Optimization
1. Increase your linkability
2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy
3. Reward inbound links
4. Help your content travel (RSS etc)
5. Encourage the mashup (Let others use your content to produce something some thing different)
6. Be a User Resource like adding value and outbound links even if it doesn’t help in the short term
7. Reward helpful and valuable users like greater visibility
8. Participate (Get involved in the discussions going on among the blogs and sites of others as well as using the likes of DIGG)
9. Know how to target your audience
10. Create content
11. Be real and transparent
12. Don’t forget your roots, be humble (replying to comments etc).
13. Don’t be afraid to try new things, stay fresh
Relevance of Social Media Marketing to India’s growing corporate social media marketing adoption
The growth of Web 2.0 and Social Media has been phenomenal and it has emerged from almost nowhere to occupy a very important part in not just Search Engine Optimization, in deciding the rank of websites on Search Engines but also in the lives of People.
As it is known to each and every marketer that the Internet is truly global and this makes it almost impossible for India to remain insulated from Social Media.
Despite low awareness among people and businesses about the terms like Web 2.0, the growth of sites like Twitter and Facebook etc in India has been phenomenal and low awareness about sites like Digg don’t reduce their importance in deciding or influencing the Search Results.
There is lack of awareness among businesses in India about the terms like Social Media Optimization but many companies are spending on Search Engine Marketing of which spending on Social Sites is quite significant.
The bigger problem is about adoption of Web 2.0 and moving beyond the use of just Twitter or Facebook in Social Media Optimization
Most of the Search Engine Optimization in India is still limited to Link Building and directory submission. This problem is further compounded by unwillingness of SEO Companies to adopt Web 2.0.
But with rise in number of people Blogging, participating in Social Media Sites and using new Web 2.0 services along with increase in number Freelance Bloggers and SEO Experts is expected to change the things.
Also the importance of Web 2.0 and Social Media continues to increase at a rapid pace and its only a matter of time before the businesses and SEO Experts in India understand the importance of these new channels and also about the diminishing role of the traditional SEO techniques in deciding the ranking on Search Engines and in getting high page views.
In addition to these changes, the increasing use of Social Media and Web 2.0 in India by foreign companies is expected to force Indian Companies to bring about changes in their Online Marketing Plans.
One of the best examples of this change is IPL showing live matches on YouTube in order to counter the increasing number of Video Sharing Sites and Indian Blog Networks like Humsurfer showing live and recorded matches and causing revenue losses which may run into several millions every year