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What is Social Media?

Although it is one of today’s buzzwords, “social media” is a generic term that refers to websites that allow one or more of the following services: social networking, content management, social bookmarking, blogging and micro-blogging, live video-casting and access into virtual worlds. According to their influential article Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media, Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) claim that there are six different types of social media, including:

 

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is the process of gaining website traffic through social media sites. Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself. Hence, this form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth, meaning it results in earned media rather than paid media (more)...

Social Media for Business

So what can businesses do with social media? The answer is much more complicated than initially thought. A “2009 Business Social Media Benchmark Study” found that the most popular use of social media (70%) was to “Maintain company-related account(s) or profiles on social media sites,” while the least popular social media initiative was to “Use social bookmarking,” which came in at 27%. Businesses should look to social media to help them in the following areas (more)...

Social Analytics

Business.com's Top Tools to Measure Your Social Media Success (2010) states that there are five Ws that must be kept in mind when business executives decide upon which tool to select when devising a social media strategy. They are: 

  • Who within the company will be using this tool?
  • What KPIs will be measured with this tool? 
  • Where on the Web will the business be engaging customers? 
  • When should the company be alerted of conversations and mentions?
  • Why is the company engaging social media? 

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