Getting Social

Getting Social with Your Marketing

A common misconception about social influence marketing is that it’s fundamentally about marketing on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, My Space, and YouTube. But that’s not the case, and Part I lays out the landscape of SIM, places it in the context of other forms of marketing, and then looks at the influencers you want to be reaching.

Putting SIM into Action

very much the practitioner’s part. The chapters in this section also detail how you launch your SIM campaign, how you can encourage your employees to road test your SIM efforts, and how you can easily measure all your SIM efforts.

The Part of Tens

All For Dummies books feature some top ten lists and this book is no different. In this part, I list ten key SIM best practices that you must absolutely pay attention to. Also included are ten common mistakes — mistakes made by the best of us who have been practicing SIM time and again.

When designing Web sites, you display banners and push your Web site listings higher up in the search engine rankings to promote and sell products. It’s easy to forget how people actually buy. It’s easy to assume that the potential customers are lonely people crouched over their computers late at night choosing what products to add to a shopping cart isolated from the real world and their family and friends.

But in reality, that’s not how people purchase online today. Although it might have been the case in the early days of the Web, those days are over now. Using the Internet has become a mainstream social activity. Consumers approach purchasing online differently, too, and as a result, you need to approach your marketing online differently as well. Your approach must incorporate social influence marketing.

Defining Social Influence Marketing

A discussion of any subject needs to begin with a definition, and so here’s the one for social influence marketing: Social influence marketing is a technique that employs social media (content created by everyday people using highly accessible and scalable technologies such as blogs, message boards, podcasts, microblogs, bookmarks, social networks, communities, wikis, and vlogs) and social influencers (everyday people who have an outsized influence on their peers by virtue of how much content they share online) to achieve an organization’s marketing and business needs.

The definition warrants further explanation. Social media refers to content created for and consumed by regular people. It includes the comments a person adds at the end of an article on a Web site, the family photographs he uploads to a photo-sharing site, the conversations he has with friends in a social network, and the blog posts that he publishes or comments on. That’s social media, and it’s making everyone in the world a content publisher and arbitrator. It’s democratizing the Web., shown in Figure is one popular blogging platform.

And then there are the social influencers. Are these people with special powers to influence a large majority of people? Not at all; rather, social influencers are the everyday people who influence the consumer as he makes a purchasing decision.

Depending on the decision he’s making, the social influencers may be a wife (or husband), friends, peers at work, or even someone the consumer has never even met in real life. Simply, the people who influence a brand affinity and purchasing decision are the social influencers. They may do this directly by rating products and commenting or by publishing opinions and participating in conversations across the Web. Anyone can be a social influencer, influencing someone else’s brand affinity and purchasing decisions, and you, the reader, are probably one, too, without realizing it

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