Do you return a blank stare when people start talking about “Social Media Marketing”? If you do, you’re not alone. Chances are, if you’re like most people, you’ve heard this term bandied about in popular and business culture, but you’ve not yet taken the time to figure out what it actually means – much less how it affects your business.
I know you’re busy so I’ll give you the quick Wikipedia definition:
Social Media Marketing (SMM) combines the goals of internet marketing with social media sites such as Digg, Flickr, MySpace, YouTube and many others. The SMM goals will be different for every business or organization, however most will involve some form of viral marketing to build idea or brand awareness, increase visibility, and possibly sell a product or service. SMM may also include online reputation management.
Now that you know what social media marketing is, and understand how it affects your business, the next step is to figure out how to utilize it. For this, I can recommend a couple of good articles.
The first article, How to Leverage Web 2.0 & Social Media Sites to Market Your Brand & Control Your Message, written by Jane Copland at SEOmoz explores 30 social media Web sites and (as the title suggests) discusses how marketers can leverage those sites for marketing purposes. Published in early March 2007, some of this information may already be out of date, but it’s still a good overview and Jane has a quick sense of humor which makes reading it all the more enjoyable.
The second article, Think Small, Win Big: Social Media Marketing, written by Carrie Hill, an expert columnist for Search Engine Watch, discusses specifically how small business owners with modest marketing resources (read: time and money) can benefit from social media.
These articles may not make you a bonified expert on social media marketing, but at least you’ll be able to hold your own at the next Chamber lunch.