Social media is a term used to describe the phenomenon that has grown during the past several years to a gigantic tidal wave of connectivity through twitters, facebook friends, and pins. Today there are billions of individuals on these social sites, divulging every detail of their daily lives and sharing information on everything.
When people are interested in things they talk about it and that is where social media marketing comes in. Once a product or a service catches on as a discussion topic, it will be spread around among the people who are involved on the social sites. If it is worth talking about, and people are interested in it, they will talk about it, giving the product unbelievable exposure.
There is a problem however, because if a company blatantly promotes a product, it will fall dead in the water. After all, this is a social site, and if somebody boldly advertises then it is not well though of. If the post is advertised, it wont go anywhere. It has to come from a member or a friend or a tweet.
It is possible through some of the social sites, to optimize discussions and find groups of people who have the same interest and market to segments of those groups. A good analogy would be that if a person wants to sell tires, all he needs to do is find people who are driving around with bald tires and he will be successful.
Business is beginning to catch on to the fact that they can start a rumor on the social media site that will catch the interest of people, so that they begin tweeting, friending and pinning. Soon it is a word-of-mouth activity and it has taken on a life of its own. The advertising cost is very small compared to a regular ad campaign. Yet the message is reaching thousands of people in a narrow niche.
The social media marketing concept is still just in its infancy, yet it is already showing just how much power there is this method of getting the word out. As technologies grow, it tends to grow in an amorphous manner, yet seems to become more organized as the process begins to mature.
The rule of advertising is to say clearly, say often, and say loud, then tell them what to do. Many of the activity and purchasing on the social media sites is spontaneous in nature with is perfect for the modern American advertisers. A huge portion of our buying habits is also spontaneous, and a huge market is still emerging.
Marketers are giving away coupons, free products, free meals, and other incentives to entice people to try their product or service in return for their email address. Then they can market to the email address. So far that particular type of plan has been very successful.
There is a steady increase in companies spending for social media marketing as they see increasing results that are favorable to their marketing efforts. There is every indication that this trend will continue as new generations come into the social website community.