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Social Media Marketing Part 1: Terms and Definitions

The intent of this article is to give a beginner a brief education on the many terms you will run into while preparing your Social Media Marketing campaign.  I highly recommend you to search and learn all you can on the terms I have highlighted in blue.  Remember the key is to get started and this will be an excellent place to start!  Get your pen and paper handy and start a list of these search topics.

Climb on board!

The term Social Marketing has been around much longer than the internet.  Yet for many of us it is just now becoming a term we are familiar with.  In fact “Social Marketing” is not tied directly to the internet.  The term Social Marketing in simple terms is the application of marketing and other techniques to achieve behavioral goals for social good.  An example of this would be marketing material towards buckling up for safety.  Another example would be a campaign geared towards the proper way to lift a heavy package.  The marketing techniques are similar to the techniques used to market commercial products.  The main difference is the objective.  With Commercial Marketing our main objective is financial progress.  With Social Marketing our main objective would be to do social good.

Social Media is the next topic I would like to bring up.  Social Media is basically content placed on websites or other storage places where in the content is primarily published by users.  For example the content you find on You Tube is placed there by you the end user of the web site not by you tube employees.   Some of the most popular organizations that contain Social Media are Digg, Reddit, YouTube, MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Why does this matter?  These websites have millions of people placing and reading content daily.  Your first objective should be to get people to read, hear, or view your marketing material.  You need to place it in as many locations as possible that are relevant to your material.  By the way research relevant and relevance in regards to online marketing.  Relevance is vital to the success of any marketing strategy.

The reason I wanted to clarify that is to point out where Social Media Marketing comes from.  There are many ways to interpret Social Media Marketing.  In my opinion to run a successful Social Media Marketing campaign you will need to make it very clear on every marketing piece; your intent to do social good while at the same time tactfully offering your  services.  This series of articles will pin point each step necessary to use Social Media Marketing in its many forms to achieve the goal of helping society while selling your products or services.

The first step is to understand the many areas where Social Media Marketing can be used.  Most people will immediately jump to YouTube, Face Book, My Space, Flickr, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social gathering places.  These websites are labeled as social websites because people gather here to share information about themselves and to share wisdom about topics on fields they are knowledgeable on.  The decision to pursue these common social media marketing tools is wise.  However I want to point out the many variations of options available to exercise social media marketing.  Each of these options has many websites, or tools available to assist you.  You need to do research on the options and tools available to help you effectively market using Blogs, Email, Direct Mail and other Social Networks.

Viral Marketing….  Remember I said the first objective of your Social Media Marketing is to get your audience to read it.  Let’s take this one step further. Let’s get your reader to like it so much they pass it along to their friends and followers.  That is what Viral Marketing is all about.  In fact this simple concept has been in existence since the first business was launched.  You might recognize it as Word of Mouth, or a Reference.  As a business person you should recognize the true value of someone sending customers to you at no charge.  With Social Media Marketing we can achieve this result on a mass scale if our message goes Viral!

While educating yourself on these tools you will need to be focused on Social Media Optimization.  My definition of Social Media Optimization is:  The act of optimizing every one of your social media marketing messages to accomplish the goals you have placed on that campaign.  We will be discussing this more in future articles.  However you should start to research this for yourself.  I can state with certainty (Based on my own experiences) that as simple as this sounds. It is very commonly overlooked by people while launching marketing campaigns.  Make sure each step is covered.  Is your marketing piece going to have social value to the person reading it?  Have you tactfully yet effectively pointed the reader to your website?  Will your website grab the reader’s attention and take them all the way to your goal?  A gap in any of these steps will result in a failed campaign.  I cannot stress this enough.  Do not pull the trigger on your campaign until you have completely optimized every single step!

Stay tuned for part two of this 6 part series.