Marketing used to be so much easier a few years back. Everyone in the department would get around and come up with a great campaign with their respective agency and push their advertisement to their target audience courtesy of mass media.
Back in those days media planning wasn't that hard. But now, the rules have completely changed. TV advertising, while still very powerful, is becoming less effective and efficient by the minute. We believe that social media is a main example of this shift. Our consumers learn about specific brands and products through various methods such as word of mouth, advertising and press. All these are elements supported by social media.
One of the things unique about social marketing is its ability to eliminate the middle men. It provides the brands a unique way of building a relationship with their customers in a more direct and personalized way.
As many marketers today have learnt in their own way, when we listen to our customers and give them exactly what they want, we thrive in return.
Through this we can increase loyalty and get stronger brand equity. Endorsements made by social media have been a great influence on an intending purchase. Marketers and agencies need to develop a creative concept that incorporates social elements and engages their consumers in a string of activities, as do Facebook's, twitter, MySpace etc. Social marketing will enable you to gather an intimate understanding of your target audience and how they use social media to engage themselves and their thoughts about your brands and your competitors as well as how your own competitors are using social media to their own advantage. We have noticed that we all spend an increasing amount of time online. It's the same with our consumers.
They spend an increasing amount of time online. Especially in social networking spaces, even if it's for an hour a day to check status updates or twittering about the latest information they come across or checking a wide variety of videos on you tube. People have different levels of personal investment in social media so your customers' Social Computing behaviours play a key role in establishing a proper direction strategically to target them.
Your competitors' attendance within the social media network is equally important to your brand buzz and online brand health.
Evaluating the same components you use to understand where your brand stands in the social landscape can help you understand more about your competitors, including how people talk about them, what they are saying and where they are saying it. It can be quite frustrating to assess the opportunities among the thousands of social networks and platforms that are out there for interaction. First thing to keep in mind is that just because you cast your self right into a thousand platforms does not mean you'll meet your ideal audience.
Likewise, just because a social platform grows rapidly and/or gains a lot of media attention, this does not mean marketers must develop a strategy for their brand on that platform.
The first step to creating a social marketing architecture is to identify the conversation hubs across all the social platforms where: Platforms for communication include, but are not limited to:*Profile-based social networks (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, MyYearbook, Bebo)
- Social shopping sites (e.g. Kaboodle, StyleFeeder, Wists, Polyvore)
- Photo and video sharing sites (e.g. YouTube, Flickr)
- Microblogging services (e.g. Twitter, Seesmic and the latest yahoo's meme)
- Social bookmarking and social search sites (e.g. digg, StumbleUpon, del.icio.us, <http://websearch.about.com/od/blogsforumssocialsites/qt/reddit.htm> Reddit)
- Product review sites (e.g. Yelp, epinions)
Once you've identified your brand's "online conversation hubs," mapping them will help you understand how each of these components are connected to each other.