Do you believe in online marketing? This "internet" thing? Any doubts that there is ROI to be established and earned on the web? (Checks audience. Nods so far.)

So why are we getting all hung up on the "social media" component of online marketing? It's a buzz thing. It's exciting and changing. Whatever you want to call it–social marketing; social networks; word of mouth marketing; user-generated content and reviews; influence sharing; social business–it's all really online marketing with a bit of people power thrown in. But who wants to talk about the basics like email marketing, seo, pay-per-click, display, direct? Terms like demand gen and lead nurturing and CRM are so old and boring. Let's talk about Pinterest and Facebook Commerce and Groupon.

Okay, I DO social media marketing. It's what I've been "trying" to do for about 6 or 7 years. We used to call it "community building." But we are essentially talking about ONLINE MARKETING. And social is the "conversation" or "influence" that is generated by others talking about your business online. Marketing and advertising are YOU talking about your business. Social is THEM, your customers, enemies, potential customers, talking about YOU.

The Cluetrain Manifesto paved the way for the social. People are going to talk online, about sports, business, and probably about your business. If you are not listening and not, more importantly, not engaging in these conversations then you are missing a great opportunity to promote and defend your brand and your services. Companies are still afraid of letting the conversations go native. But even a bad comment is an opportunity to respond and share the truth about your company.

But the truth is a bit harder than setting up your social accounts and hoping that your fans and potential customers come. Social media is not a strategy by itself. Social media is PART of a comprehensive online marketing strategy.

 

Screen Shot 2012 03 02 at 7.50.55 AM Defining Social Media: Online Marketing + Social Networks = Social Media

Click to view larger version on Slideshare.net

With no goal, no content plan, and no tracking of traffic and performance to those goals, then you are not doing social media marketing, you are just doing social. Without measurable goals you cannot know if you are successful.

A good portion of small and medium businesses are still dabbling in social media. But by implementing the disciplines of social media you can improve and exponentially extend the reach of any marketing campaign, online or offline. Without social marketing in place, you are missing the opportunity to build relationships with your customers and potential customers.

Social media requires more than a handful of accounts and a "launch." The results are part of the journey, not merely launch performance numbers. Social media is the conversational part of your overall online marketing plan.

Get a plan. Measure the results. Adjust the plan accordingly. Keep Going!

NOW: We are offering a free annual plan for your business through Fluent Social.

The presentation is available as a downloadable PowerPoint presentation: Social Is Part Of Online Marketing

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)
permalink: http://uber.la/2013/08/defining-social-media/

Other posts about kicking ass in social media:

See all of the Social Media Marketing Videos on the Social U. page.

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