Social Media FAQ

What is social media? Social media is the use of technology combined with social interaction to create or co-create value.Social media, a compilation of blogs, RSS, social search, social networking and bookmarking, presents the marketer with a rich set of new tools to help in the effort to generate new business.

"When you say ROI, do you mean return on investment or risk of inaction." - Paul Gillin, Paul Gillin Communications

"For the marketers who are afraid of losing control of the online conversation… you were never in control! More people now just have louder voices." - Toby Bloomberg, Diva Marketing

"Consumers base their buying decisions on reputation, repeat exposure to the brand and being able to relate to the brand. And that’s what this app does. It allows the consumer to go beyond the 30-second television commercial and interact with brand itself." - Joe Couceiro, Busch Entertainment Exec VP CMO

"Social networks are where consumers feel comfortable expressing their feelings-good or bad-about companies, products and services. Marketers, retailers and social networks have an opportunity to tap into this stream of information-sharing." - Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer

How are businesses utilizing social media?
Businesses are using social media to drive traffic to shareable content (i.e. text, video, podcast, audio, feeds), which builds brand awareness and increases links.  The best shareable content is free "how to" guides and other informative content that benefits the user. An example would be: a instant food company posting Twitter messages to alert followers of a press release about a new flavor of potato chips.

How are consumers responding to social media marketing?
The customers ability to choose the content they want to receive makes this form of marketing very attractive to the customer. Customers are less receptive to push strategies of marketing where material is forced upon them. Social media provides a form of marketing which is engaged by the customer rather than the marketer.
What are some disadvantages of social media marketing?
One disadvantage of social media marketing is the low success rate of content going viral. A lot of the sharable content that is generated will not go viral, but the one piece of content that does go viral will pay for itself ten times over. Social media marketing is very time intensive. It requires a significant time investment to create the shareable content to be distributed; and review the analytics on each piece of content that is distributed.
What are some of the advantages of social media marketing?One of the major advantages of social media marketing is the reach and effectiveness it can have with a small monetary investment. Although social media marketing is cheap relative to monetary cost; this idea does not exempt social media marketing from a significant time investment. Social media marketing is a great way for businesses to connect with its customers and learn from them directly. Businesses can listen to what their customers are saying, and build strategies to conform to their customers needs.
What type of business can benefit from social media marketing?
Any stable business with an online presence can benefit from social media marketing. The key is to build a network and leverage that network for traffic to other forms of dynamic content. The sharing of dynamic content is the point where this process begins to have a positive impact. Any stable business can find a relative following online, and that is why this form is so attractive; everybody is online!