What is Social Media Marketing

A friend of mine couldn’t quite put into words what SMM was all about, so I offered to sum it up for him, and sent him this. I thought maybe some of you might likewise be interested in this topic.

Social Media Marketing comes under Internet Marketing:

– ADs (PPC: Pay Per Click, PPI: Pay Per Impression)
– SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
– Social Media Marketing
– Blogs/Vlogs
– Twitter
– Craigslist
– E-Bay

Social Media Marketing can help improve SEO by rote, but the true purpose of SMM is Non-Interruption Based Marketing Strategy (or NIBM). Instead of ads, which annoy people and are by design meant to detract or grab attention when unwanted, SMM‘s purpose is to get people excited about your company and/or product(s) through a Social Medium.

A good example of a Social Medium is Facebook™, with a “Population” of over 400 Million, greater than the population of the United States & Canada combined. Considering that the type of people on Facebook, we are actually talking about a consumer population that easily exceeds that of North America entirely. Over 35 million unique users logon to Facebook every single day.

By making fan pages, or groups on a medium like Facebook, a company can massively increase its popularity. By including games, limited time offers, interaction with the customers (and potential customers) and creating a dialogue with their audience, they end up creating a fan-base. Some corporations are even more popular than many pop-culture icons. This has never happened before in history.

Lets look at a crafty campaign that Burger King™ came up with a couple years ago. Burger King created a Facebook app that would send you a coupon for a free Whopper if you unfriended 10 of your friends for Burger King.

The Whopper Sacrfice Burger King Campaign Logo
Hundreds of thousands were unfriended.. some were even left friendless

This turned out to be a massive success, it was imaginative, original and fun for people to participate in, even those who weren’t particularly fans of burger king. It stirred interest in the company and Burger King made massive profits from an SMM campaign that couldn’t have taken more than a week to design and code and launch.

Even small business’ like bars are creating Facebook accounts and friending customers, people in the area, etc. Take for example the Scotland Yard™ in my hometown of St. Charles, IL with 710 people on its friendslist and growing everyday. They make jokes in their status messages, they comment on peoples activities, photos and give feedback. They of course also remind everyone about special events at the bar. This costs them nothing but some time, and brings back massive return. People love having this kind of relationship. Which bar do you think they are going to go to this Friday night?

Never in business history has it been so easy for companies to reach out to people. Imagine what a company had to do to reach 50,000 people for an ad 100 years ago… it was almost impossible and would have cost dearly. 50 years ago even it was cost prohibitive; Having to run expensive radio ads in multiple cities or even more expensive TV ads.

Don Draper and Kids from Mad Men watching TV in the Living Room
TV Marketing got huge in the 60s as shown in the TV show Mad Men

Even 20 years ago with mail, radio and tv it would’ve have involved many man hours, tons of design and work and had to be budgeted for. Although then you could reach 50 million. Yet it would still take weeks. Now companies can spend 1/1000th of that cost and reach 500 million within the span of 24 hours. This is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Most companies believe a website is enough. Some even think a website with static content is enough. Very few companies understand the power of Social Media Networks and only a few limited companies throughout the world even have a Social Media person (much less a department) in their Sales/Marketing division.

Think I’m exaggerating? Let’s take a look at my friend Jim who has started and owned several telemarketing companies over the years. Every single one (until the latest iteration, of which I am a part of) was based around the idea of calling people and interrupting them (hence: interruption based marketing).

No one likes to be interrupted.

Yet even so, 30 years ago the close-to-call ratio (closing is a marketing term which is short for “closing a deal“) was surprisingly high with a good “closer“. As the decades have passed with the rise of the do-not-call era, a fundamental shift has occurred in how people respond to telemarketers. The close-to-call ratio has dropped significantly. Now a good closer can hope to get PI or π (you know, 3.14) which is another term for 1 close per 3.14 hours.

Obviously different campaigns differ on expectations, however, overall, it has become obvious that soon the day will come when no-one will answer the phone, and those who do will not buy.

We, as a business society, are barely on the cusp of this new marketing era, and for those who realize its potential now, their place shall be all the much stronger once everyone else wakes up and realizes that interruption based marketing is dead.

Belisarius Smith consults as a software engineer, cloud engineer, and security advisor. He has a BSBA in Security Management, a Masters of Software Engineering from Penn State, and is doing graduate studies in Psychology. When he isn't traveling, mountain climbing, or reading, he spends his spare time on personal side projects and studies.

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