Social Media Marketing

Social Media, it’s the new Social MediaNew interactive and social media tools offer many exciting opportunities through which Web aware organisations are able to add value to their products and services, attract and engage visitors, ultimately achieving greater market and profits.

63 percent of companies are planning to increase their social media marketing budgets in 2009 (21 percent of those plan to increase social media spending by 25 percent or more), despite the current weakness in the economy.

Are you one of them?

Contact Top Page to find out how social media marketing can be effectively integrated into your Internet Marketing and SEO

Social Media Tools

Web 2.0 resources including social networks such as Twitter, Blogs, wikis, consumer generated content, podcasts, RSS, rich internet applications (RIAs), social tagging and bookmarking, publishing and mash-up content all present innovative and powerful new ways in which organisations can share their online messages.

At Top Page SEO we apply a range of new media tools to communicate your business messages to a targeted audience, enhancing Internet profile to fulfil business objectives.

Social Media Defined

James Burchill identifies Social Media as ‘an umbrella term that encompasses the technologies and the activities that people use to share experiences, ideas and information with each other. The term is still evolving. The term “SOCIAL MEDIA” most often refers to activities that integrate technology, social (or human) interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio – better known as “user generated content” [an example of UGC would be videos on YouTube.]

Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, weblogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video. Technologies include: blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, crowdsourcing (crowd outsourcing), and voice over IP, to name a few.

Examples of social media applications are Google Groups (reference, social networking), Wikipedia (reference), MySpace (social networking), Facebook (social networking), Youmeo (social network aggregation), Last.fm (personal music), YouTube (social networking and video sharing), Second Life (virtual reality), Flickr (photo sharing), Twitter (social networking and microblogging) and other microblogs such as Jaiku and Pownce.’

Social Networking is just the same as traditional networking just with a layer of technology to facilitate it. As a component of the marketing mix Social Marketing offers an opportunity to:

  • Reach out and introduce yourself, your products and services to your audience
  • Gain a competitive advantage over your competition
  • Market your company inexpensively.
  • Interact and learn from your customers or prospective customers. Maybe the best way of explaining Social Media is by giving examples of it in action. Mashable.com listed 35 ways in which business benefit from social media. Here they are -Blendtec is famous for its bevy of inexpensive “Will It Blend” videos posted on YouTube (YouTube reviews) and shared by millions.Adobe maintains a list of interesting company related websites and conversations on the social bookmarking site Delicious.Best Western sponsors a blog,”On the Go with Amy,” where the author travels the country writing about her experiences.Cadence recently relaunched its website that now prominently promotes the company’s community.Cisco hosts 12 blogs, a range of Twitter accounts and a Facebook profile addressing a variety of audiences for their global business.

    Coca-Cola Conversations is a blog written by company historian Phil Mooney that focuses on Coke collectibles.

    Dell leverages a variety of social media platforms for customer engagement, including an island in the virtual world of Second Life. Dell also joined Twitter and made more than $1 million in revenue by offering special offers to it’s Twitter followers

    Ford publishes news releases with lots of multimedia content and employs a social media news release format to display them in their newsroom.

    Fujifilm recently launched a social network to build a community of photo enthusiasts around its newest camera.

    GM uses blogs to communicate directly with its customers around topics ranging from design to green tech.

    H&

    R Block created a Facebook (Facebook reviews) fan site to aggregate its social media activities, engage customers and offer tax advice/resources.

    HP used Twitter to power a scavenger hunt at a recent conference.

    HSBC built the HSBC Business Network to connect entrepreneurs using blogs, videos and forums.

    IBM was the first large enterprise to embrace employee blogging and now boasts thousands of blogs related to every facet of its business.

    Intel has also developed many social media touch points with its software communities, which includes blogs, Twitter (Twitter reviews) and virtual worlds.

    Intuit sponsors the Tax Almanac wiki, where anyone can find and contribute to this resource for tax information.

    Jeep connects with customers via a community page with links to photos on Flickr (Flickr reviews), the company’s MySpace (MySpace reviews) and Facebook pages and a list enthusiast groups.

    JetBlue employs social media as part of its training for JetBlue University, as this video explains.

    Johnson & Johnson uses this blog to show another side of the company, with frequent video posts and interviews.

    Lenovo launched “Voices of the Olympics Games” to aggregate posts from the athletes competing in Beijing.

    Marriott CEO Bill Marriott posts regular updates and stories from his travels to Marriott properties around the world to fuel the content for this entertaining blog.

    McDonalds maintains a blog to highlight the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts.

    National Geographic uses Google’s new virtual world, Lively, to bring people together around its new show, LA Hard Hats.

    New York Times is beta testing a Firefox (Firefox reviews) add-on that allows users to share and comment on stories through a decentralized social network.

    Nike started a social community on Loopd to connect athletes interested in surfing, BMX bike racing and similar activities with the brand.

    SAP sponsored a global survey of social media professionals to learn more about social media worldwide.

    Sears partnered with MTV to create a social network around Back to School shopping.

    Southwest Airlines employees share their stories and communicate directly with customers through the “Nuts About Southwest” blog.

    Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz’s blog is the example most often cited for what the CEO blog can be.

    Starbucks started MyStarbucksIdea so that customers can submit ideas for the company which are then voted on by other users, the best of which will be implemented by the company.

    Toyota started its own virtual world to promote its products in Japan (site is in Japanese).

    Visa launched The Visa Business Network application on Facebook to connect small business users and to help them promote their businesses to a larger community.

    Wells-Fargo blogs target two audiences; one examines the company’s history and the other is for students interested in getting their finances in order.

    WWE has a Facebook application, among other social networking tools and widgets, to bring fans closer to the action.

    Xerox blogs address several of the company’s core B2B constituencies.

    Zappos uses Twitter for employees to communicate with Zappos customers about their shared love of footwear. You can use social media for:

    Social media – it’s a happening thing.

    Contact us now Tel:01242 227876 to find out how we can apply all the above and much much more in running successful email campaigns on behalf of our clients,

    TOP PAGE Ltd
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    Gloucestershire
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    UK

    www.top-page.co.uk
    Office: +44 (0)1242 227876
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    email: info(at)top-page.co.uk

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