Social media marketing (SMM), social media optimization (SMO) and word of mouth marketing (WOMM) are new forms of social interactive marketing that are increasingly taking control over brands, the marketing message and advertising away from the business owner and online marketer and putting it in the hands of the consumer. They have created a new marketing and advertising order where the goal is to partner with the consumers or customers so that they may interact with, or call attention to, products or services.
Social Media Tools and Platforms
This new trend in marketing and advertising is a result of the now dominant use of the Internet infrastructure and increasing adoption of social media tools and platforms, such as blogs, online forums, podcasts, wiki’s, online user review sites, RSS feeds and social networking web sites such MySpace, FaceBook and LinkedIn, which have allowed consumers with similar interests to find each other online, communicate better and share information.
Other technologies have helped consumers to determine how they want this content to be delivered to their desktop or portable device. Consumers can now skip ads (Tivo), use software to block ads and pop-ups, filter email messages and delete cookies. On top of this, marketers have to deal with the fact that consumers have become more skeptical about traditional advertising and rely more and more on friends, colleagues and peers for product and service recommendations.
To deal with this new reality, online marketers and business owners must adapt to this new social media environment and find creative ways to promote their brands, products and services. This has already begun as social media tools are used by many marketers to place and spread their marketing message, and to generate large amounts of website traffic using social media tools.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
SMM is primarily driven by off-site activities that are initiated on social media websites, such as Digg, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr and others, to spread a message or content (video, images, text article, audio) on its own through the social network.
Whether the objective is increasing inbound links for more website traffic, achieve top website rankings in organic search results pages or improving brand-awareness and consumer associations, a social media marketing campaign is most effective when paired with a compelling message or unique content, and a prominent profile in the social media.
Social Media Marketing campaigns can vary from creating compelling text-based content that gets bookmarked at Del.icio.us or Furl, or achieves a listing on the home page at Digg to the creation of a video that spreads virally by placing it on YouTube and other video sharing and social networking websites.
Social Media Marketing happens online and still requires a lot of experimentation and testing. Therefore the rate of success is typically lower than for “traditional” online marketing and advertising, but the rewards can be high for relatively low cost.
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Social Media Optimization (SMO)
Social media optimization is a more narrowly defined activity then social media marketing. Social media optimization is often limited to making a website or blog more adaptable to social media.
The idea behind social media optimization is that by adding compelling, dynamic and fresh content on a regular basis, e.g. through Tip Sheets, How To listings, white papers, a podcast, blog post, video and integration with Social Networking sites. A website is more easily and frequently linked to and achieves top ranking and visibility in general and specialty search engines such as Technorati, BlogPulse, podcast directories and video search engines. Other examples of SMO are the implementation of links to social media websites to make tagging, sharing bookmarks (Del.icio.us), and voting for content (Digg, Propeller, Stumbleupon) by visitors easier.
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Business Blog Marketing
Business blogs allow online marketers, business owners and online merchants to engage and communicate directly with their customers to build loyalty, online buzz and brand visibility. Through our Business Blog Marketing program, we offer an end-to-end service that includes business blog strategy consulting, blog design, installation and training, ongoing blog management and analytics.
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Online Reputation Management
What consumers, customers and industry analysts are saying about your company, brand and even company employees in blogs, news groups, forums or social networking websites is quickly indexed by the search engines and retrieved by the public doing research online. By actively monitoring the buzz that is generated about your company, webRulon can capture, understand and report on product issues and opinions that consumers and customers share, and proactively participate in the conversations to defy bad publicity or repair a damaged company image.
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