Social media has changed the world of marketing. Social media is all about the ways in which we create, connect, converse and share content online, and can be used as an integral part of an online marketing campaign.
To keep up with increasingly digital audiences, traditional media has had to adapt. This has changed the way content is published, both online and offline, as well as how advertising is sold.
For example, many newspapers now publish their content online as well as in their print publications. Online, they can get instant commentary on their articles, learn what their readers think and use this information to make editorial decisions.
News also comes from citizen journalists; ordinary people who post instant updates to social media about events unfolding around them. Often, news breaks via Twitter users rather than news outlets.
Social media has evolved significantly over the last ten years. Initially, social media was mainly earned media, but brands started to claim ownership of their pages, profiles and channels across the various social media platforms. More and more paid options have also arisen for brands to promote themselves on social media. With an ever-increasing number of players entering the social media space, brands need to spend more and more on promotion on social media for users to see and engage with their content. Social media is a mix of owned, paid and earned media options for marketing. Knowledge of how each of these forms is managed and planned is integral to developing and maintaining a brand.
Working with social media can be broken up into three phases:
- Implementation, which includes content creation and community engagement
The process is cyclical, with the analytics of current content and engagement feeding back into the strategy. Depending on results, this alters the content created and shared, as well as how the brand engages with the community. These changes, in turn, are analysed and the cycle continues.
The next chapter, Social media strategy, addresses the strategic use of social media to achieve a variety of outcomes. This chapter focuses on the different social media platforms available to brands. It discusses the key features, marketing and advertising options, as well as how to access and interpret the analytics of the platform, and ultimately how to select an appropriate platform for your brand.