We shall start this e-book by defining social media marketing and the types of social media websites that are available.
It is completely natural for social networks to be acknowledged by the business professionals who have became interested in finding a way to implement social media websites in their business. Marketing, as a discipline aimed at reaching consumers, was naturally the base for implementing social media in business. Having in mind the number of social media users, marketing professionals saw a great potential in establishing relationship with the customers, as well as an opportunity for promotion. That is how social media marketing as a concept has been introduced.
The purpose of social media marketing is to present a business through social media and to use this as a way to communicate a message to the potential consumers. While the main goal is about promotion, the companies, as well as individuals can find a lot of other benefits from social media marketing.
The common stereotype comes from misunderstanding the term “social media”. Most people think of social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter when they hear the term “social media”, but in fact this term refers to different websites that allow interaction among the users and the exchange of information through a variety of channels.
Depending on the type of social profiles, social processes, type of interaction and type of content being exchanged, six types of social media have been established so far.
- Collaborative projects – This includes online magazines, wikis, question and answer platforms, etc.
- Blogs and microblogs – This includes platforms such as Twitter and Tumblr, where the content is shared in the form of short or long blog articles.
- Content communities – Websites such as YouTube, Vine, etc. where content is shared, after which users can interact by sharing impressions about the content.
- Social networking websites – This category includes the websites people are most commonly identifying as social media in general. Websites such as Facebook and Google+ are in this category.
- Virtual game-worlds – One of the most popular websites in this category is World of Warcraft.
- Virtual social worlds – Game-like design allows users to create virtual identity and to interact with other users through an online platform.
According to the latest statistics, the number of users who access the internet via a mobile device has surpassed the number of desktop users, which obviously shows the overall importance of mobile platforms in the usage of social media.
This kind of trend is something that affects social media marketing as well, since the content and websites have to be adapted so that they are accessible through mobile devices. Furthermore, some companies have recognized value in developing mobile apps that are easy to install and allow simple access to the website and different features. In addition, mobile apps can provide both free and paid features. This is why it is important to consider mobile users and optimization of content for mobile devices when working on social media marketing.
We are witnessing a period where social networks hold an important role in everyday life. Besides being a simple way to communicate with others regardless where they are, social networks have become an important source of information and news. Social networks are becoming an important tool used in various global events, starting from music competitions, sport events, to political elections and campaigns.