Social Media uses web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue.
1) collaborative projects (e.g. Wikipedia),
2) blogs and microblogs (e.g. Twitter),
3) content communities (e.g. Youtube),
4) social networking sites (e.g. Facebook),
5) virtual game worlds (e.g. World of Warcraft),
6) virtual social worlds (e.g. Second Life).
Technologies include: blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, crowdsourcing, and voice over IP, to name a few.
Web1.0 - Past - static
Web2.0 - Current -Sharing
Web3.0 - Future - semantic web (able to actually interpret the web)
Social media presents an enormous challenge for firms, as many established management methods are ill-suited to deal with customers who no longer want to be talked at but who want firms to listen, appropriately engage, and respond.
One of the key components in successful social media marketing implementation is building "social authority".
Social authority is developed when an individual or organisation establishes themselves as an "expert" in their given field or area, thereby becoming an influencer in that field or area.
It is through this process of "building social authority" that social media becomes effective. That is why one of the foundational concepts in social media has become that you cannot completely control your message through social media but rather you can simply begin to participate in the "conversation" expecting that you can achieve a significant influence in that conversation.
However, this conversation participation must be cleverly executed because while people are resistant to marketing in general, they are even more resistant to direct or overt marketing through social media platforms. This may seem counter-intuitive but is the main reason building social authority with credibility is so important.
A marketer can generally not expect people to be receptive to a marketing message in and of itself.
In an effort to supplant Facebook's dominance, Google launched Google+ in the summer of 2011.
The good the bad and the ugly
Social media is about developing relationships with individuals and having “conversations” with your friends/customers and they are going to express their opinion and conduct their own conversations.
If a company does not engage with its customers, a competitor will.
Toyota - got is Wrong
Toyota tried creating a clever snappy advertisement for its Yaris model through an online competition. The winning entry, an ad called “Clean Getaway”, was selected by popular choice. It was then endorsed by Toyota and its advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, and released to the public. Unfortunately for Toyota the general public did not view it as clever or snappy, in fact they deemed the ad as being incestuous, downgrading and sexist. Toyota quickly reversed and pulled the ad. This was Toyota's first major foray into social media and the outcome was not by any means the desired one.
Mini - Got it Right
Mini, by listening to its customers through social media, discovered that the real reason Mini owners loved their cars was because they saw themselves as a group of people who belonged together; they identified themselves as Mini owners. To them, Mini meant cool, but it also meant community.
And Mini owners were the best promoters of the brand to potential buyers. Following each owners' convention the online buzz went up in forums, photos on Flickr, and videos on YouTube.
An increase in the online buzz meant owners were promoting the brand more rigorously. By tracking online promoter activity Mini was able to note a rise in sales in the following months. "The indisputable fact is that if you get it right and spend time to really understand and appreciate the online audiences out there, there are tangible opportunities,"
So what do the big players do with “unfriendly” reports. They don’t delete them, they respond and take note of what is being said.
Dynamic not static, make your website interactive by...
The final word must be about privacy. Remember all the information you put online about yourself is now mined by criminals and there is even a crime squad specifically set up to try and tackle this growing problem so the best thing you can do is limit the personal information you put out there to the very minimum.