Today, many new areas of opportunity and pathways of consumer traffic are becoming the topic of interest of marketing people everywhere. It’s called social marketing and it appears to be here to stay. These new social marketing areas put the advertising directly in the paths of people where they are in the normal course of daily events.
Neilsen/Net Ratings reports that 114.5 million Americans used search engines during January of 2004 alone. Popular search engines are the #1 way users find new web sites even above email, tv, radio and word of mouth.
Unlike traditional forms of marketing, social marketing focuses on what consumers want and makes it available through various methods outlined below. The popular forms of social marketing we’re focused on include:
* SMM – Social Media Marketing
* SMO – Social Media Optimization
* WOMM – Word of Mouth Marketing
* BBM – Business Blog Marketing
* ORP – Online Reputation Management
* POD – Podcasting Video & Audio Content
Where Does Social Marketing Happen?
A huge number of sites exist that are centered around things like podcasting, RSS feeds, public and private blogs, user forums, wiki’s, user review websites, and various social networking websites like MySpace, Friendster, Facebook and Digg. The process connects active consumers on these sites with mutual interests with what they are seeking online. The benefits of this type of marketing include: increased website traffic, increased brand awareness, viral marketing.
Exploring The Various Forms of Social Marketing
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
SMM is primarily driven by off-site activities that are initiated on social media web sites, such as Digg, MySpace, Wikipedia, Flickr and others, to spread a message or content (video, text article, audio) by itself from-to-friend.
increasing inbound links to get more traffic to achieve top web site rankings in the organic search engines or improving brand-awareness and consumer associations, a social media marketing campaign is more effective when you have a compelling message or unique content and prominent profile in the social media.
compelling text-based content that gets bookmarked at Del.icio.us or Furl or by making the home page at Digg to the creation of a video that spreads virally by placing it on YouTube and other video sharing and social networking web sites.
Social Media Marketing happens online and requires a lot of experimentation and testing. the risk of failure is higher then for “traditional” online marketing and advertising, but the rewards can be high for relatively low cost.
Social Media Optimization (SMO)
Social media optimization is a more narrowly defined activity then social media marketing. Social media optimization is often limited to making a web site or blog more adaptable to social media.
The idea behind social media optimization is that by adding compelling, dynamic and fresh content on a regular basis, e.g. through Tip Sheets, How To listings, white papers, a podcast or blog, a web site gets more easily and frequently linked to and achieves top ranking and visibility in the general and specialty search engine such as Technorati, BlogPulse and podcast directories. Other examples of SMO are the implementation of links to social media web sites to make tagging, sharing bookmarks (Del.icio.us), and voting for content (Digg, Netscape, Stumbleupon) by visitors easier.
Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM)
Word of Mouth Marketing relies on finding and empowering people to spread the word about a product or service. People such as opinion leaders who have extensive knowledge in a specific area. Today, people are utilizing this method of marketing in very creative ways. Ideally word of mouth marketing is something that occurs on it’s own (viral marketing) and without effort. Word of mouth marketing is powerful, lasting, and something every company wants to have working for them.
Business Blog Marketing (BBM)
Business blogs are another way online marketers, business owners actively engage and communicate with potential and existing customers to build customer loyalty, generate online buzz and increase your company’s brand awareness in the marketplace. Small Planet Marketing.com’s business blog marketing services include comprehensive strategy consulting, planning and blog design, blog hosting, custom setup and training, and ongoing blog content management and development.
Online Reputation Management (ORM)
Do you ever wonder what others say about your company? It’s a growing concern for modern businesses around the globe and with good reason. Becoming aware of what customers and industry analysts are saying about your business itself, your company brand and employees can make the critical difference needed to increase your competitiveness in the marketplace.
Small Planet Marketing.com helps your company become aware and respond to these concerns through blogs, forums, social networking websites, opinion sites, and other online sources. Because the information people post is indexed by the search engines – people will find it! We create a strategy based on your company industry and focus to actively monitor the online dialogue about your company.
Benefits of this service include a better understanding of product issues, awareness of consumer opinions and feedback from various sources, and other posted content found that talks about your company, products or services, employees, or other company information. Our online reputation management program enables you to help fight bad publicity, protect your company image, become aware of what the public is saying about you.