What is social media?
Social media involves a natural, genuine conversation between people about something of mutual interest, a conversation built on the thoughts and experiences of the participants. It is about sharing and arriving at a collective point, often for the purpose of making a better or a more-informed choice.
Because social media gains its power from sharing and consensus, if you influence it by any means other than transparent, genuine participation, you taint the outcome. The results are effectively meaningless.
Instead of trickery, coercion, or control, give them an experience that they will want to talk about, positively, and then using the resulting conversation to continuously improve.
WIKIPEDIA (January 12, 2008): “Social Media: Participatory online media where news, photos, videos, and podcasts are made public via social media websites through submission. Normally accompanied with a voting process to make media items become “popular”.”
“Social Media expanded definition: social media is the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into content publishers. It is the shift from a broadcast mechanism to a many-to-many model, rooted in conversations between authors, people, and peers. Social media uses the “wisdom of crowds” to connect information in a collaborative manner. Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, message boards, weblogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and videos. Technologies such as blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-posting, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, group creation and voice over IP, to name a few. Examples of social media applications are Google (reference, social networking), Wikipedia (reference), MySpace (social networking), Facebook (social networking), Last.fm (personal music), Youtube (social networking and video sharing), Flickr (photo sharing).
Two ground rules:
1. social media uses the collective, the “wisdom of the crowd”
2. social media is used effectively through participation and influence, not command and control.
Social media exists, and social media is real. It gets used by people who are thinking about buying your product because it was created by people who have already purchased your product.
You can choose whether or not your customers will see you on TV. You cannot choose whether or not your customers will see you on the Social Web. They will, because they will put you there. You can only choose whether or not you will join them there.
Three stages of the purchase funnel: awareness, consideration, and purchase – define a pathway along which you move potential customers toward the ultimate goal, the sale.
The social feedback cycle
Tip. Marketing Promises. Operations delivers.
The connection between operations and marketing – between promise and delivery – is central to social media. Social media – in the business context – is based on the degree to which the actual experience matches the expectation set. If you’re wondering about the importance of social media, consider this: recent studies have shown that of the estimated 3.5 billion word-of-mouth conversations that occur around the world EACH day, about 2.3 billion of them – roughly two out of three – make a reference to a brand, product, or service. Word of mouth is increasingly manifesting itself through digital social media, where it spreads both farther and faster. This use of the social web is increasingly important to marketers.
The elements of social media
Social media channels – e.g. blogging or photo sharing – means “one of the methods or media forms through which social media is made available to social web participants.”
Examples of channels:
– photo sharing
– video sharing
– personal social networks
– events (face to face) and event services
– white label social networks
– podcasting (audio)
– sms (texting)
– collaborative tools