To define social media, it is any social interaction between people in which they share or exchange information in online communities and other networks. Experts define social media as a group of applications based on internet that build on ideological and tech foundations of web 2.0 allowing the creation and exchange of content generated by the user. Social media depends on web-based technologies and mobile tech that helps in creating interactive platforms through which individuals and communities create, share, modify and discuss the content created. Such interactions have an impact on the exchanges between organizations, communities and individuals.
Traditional marketing and social media marketing are completely different with regard to quality, the reach of the ad, the frequency, usability of the content, immediacy of the results and the time the information remains in the minds of the people. Social media is short term while the other means are meant for long term results. Market research shows that most internet users spend more time on social networking sites compared to other types of websites available on the internet. Firms and individuals who provide content on social networking sites get the benefits of participation by others in large numbers.
Social media can be:
Social Networks: These allow you to connect and interact with other people who have similar interests and background. Most often such networks allow you to create a profile, add a photograph, interact with other users, set up different types of groups and so on. Popular among them are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter among others.
Bookmarking Sites: Any site that allows you to save, manage links to different websites, and organize other resources over the internet is a bookmarking site. A number of websites allow you to add a tag to your link so that you can easily look for it whenever you want to share the link. StumbleUpon and Delicious are popular bookmarking sites.
Media Sharing: There are some applications and services that let you upload and share pictures, audio and videos. They can also have additional features where you can comment on someone else’s profile. The most popular are YouTube and Flickr.
Social News: There are different applications available and websites that allow people to post various news items or links to other articles. Sometimes visitors are allowed to vote for the articles or news items. The articles or news items that receive the maximum votes are displayed prominently on the website. The community decides which article gets more visibility. Among such websites that are popular are Digg and Reddit.
Micro-blogging: They are services that focus on short updates that are pushed toward people who have subscribed to receive the updates. One of the most popular sites is Twitter.
Blog comments and Forums: There are blog forums that let members converse with each other by posting messages. Blog comments are also similar, yet they are attached to blogs and usually the discussion revolves around the topic of the blog.
Blogging: It is one type of social media. A web log is also known as a blog. It is a discourse or an informational site that is published on the internet and consisting of entries or posts in the descending order. Whenever a writer writes a new passage or a post it appears on top of the last post. It allows a new visitor or a follower to read the newest post first and the remaining later after they scroll down. Till about a few years ago blogs were written by a single person, or a group of people together covering a single subject. However, more recently there are blogs that are written by multiple writers, and edited with the help of a professional editor. A writer writing a web log or a blog is known as a blogger. Multi-blogger blogs from media such as newspapers, universities, and think tanks are using this system of blogging.
Blogs became famous when simple web publishing tools were introduced; that even a non-technical person could read and follow. Before that only a person who was tech savvy with web languages could publish content over the net. Blogging is very popular today and has spouted an industry on its own. Most blogs published today are interactive, and allow visitors to leave comments and interact with others. The visitors to the blog can also speak to each other in private using user interface widgets. This is what differentiates a blog from other static websites. It can also be considered to be a type of social network, where building relations with followers and visitors is possible. There are blogs that are personal diaries, some that are used by brands to talk about certain subjects with a showcase of their services as well. There are others that are meant to be informational. Text, images and links to other sites and web pages are a part of a blog. If that is not enough you also have video blogs, art blogs, photograph blogs and more.
Another type of blogging that is quite popular is micro blogging. This kind of blogging comprises very short posts and a good example is Twitter. A blog that focuses on education is called an edu-blog. Sites that let you set up your blogging account are Tumblr, Word Press and Blogger which is the most famous blog service site today.
How does a blog work? Bloggers have to log into a content manager or editor system to maintain their blog. This system allows the blogger to create new posts, edit old articles and posts, manage comments from users and set up the face of the blog i.e. look and feel. Though blogging tools such as Word Press and Blogger have different systems, their main functions remain the same, allowing writers to manage their blog online. A blog written in Word Press can be hosted on any website; both the tools allow bloggers to host as well as create their blogs using the tools available.
What is writing and tagging of posts? Many blogs focus on one subject matter or even a different set of topics based on an industry or industries. This helps in tagging or categorising each entry for any kind of future reference. For e.g. an education blog may have several blog posts on MBA. Tagging the post as MBA will allow the readers including the blogger to quickly make a note of all the posts simply by clicking on the link that is available on the main page of the blog. The blogger also has the option of writing a post that can be linked with the first page of the blog permanently.
Marketing over the World Wide Web using different mediums is known as online marketing. If you had to define what online marketing was, then the answer would be, advertising that uses the internet to provide promotional messages to consumers either through e-mail marketing, search engine marketing, display ads and even mobile ads. In other words, it also refers to a group of potent tools and methods used to promote products and services over the net.
Online marketing has a wide range of marketing fundamentals as compared to traditional business marketing because of the extra channels and marketing mechanisms that are available on the net.
What are the benefits of online marketing?
- It helps the firm to grow and explore its potential completely.
- Helps in reducing expenses that traditional businesses accrue when they maintain a chain of intermediaries.
- Communication with consumers becomes easy and simple.
- Allows you to maintain the business according to what you feel is right directly without any influence from others in the firm, thereby allowing for better control.
- Improved customer service would mean that the firm is able to speak to the customer directly and help in case he or she faces any difficulty.
- Allows you to gain a competitive edge over other traditional businesses.
- The cost of setup is also less compared to the normal brick and mortar companies.
- Advertising online has a far better reach as compared to traditional means of advertising.
Other names for online marketing are internet marketing, digital marketing, search engine marketing (SEM) and web marketing.