Friday, October 29, 2010

Can We Define Social Media Marketing?

There’s still a lot of confusion among marketers and managers in general about what social media marketing really involves. We all know that some businesses (and non-profits) are seeing great successes in social media while others are merely nibbling around the edges, and still others remain firmly skeptical.

With that in mind the other day, I searched for a definition of SMM. I didn’t find many and what I did find was a bit disturbing. It boils down to the fact that most of the definitions were platform oriented. Everyone who “gets” social media marketing strategy understands that platform should be the last decision when planning a campaign, not the first.

So, in my usual fearless fashion, I developed my own. Here it is. I’d welcome all comments and suggestions!

Social media marketing is business use of selected social media channels to understand customers and to engage them in communication and collaboration in ways that lead to the achievement of ultimate marketing and business goals.



Anonymous said...

Definitions are a challenge and I like yours. Since I'm non-profit minded, the word "business" doesn't seem to fit. How do you define 'business' in this sense?

Minttu said...

Hi Mary,

Greetings from Finland! It was nice to meet you at Combi2010 Conference.

You definition about SMM is good. Sharp and precise. Personally, I think the key words in SMM are networking and sharing. And also listening / engaging with the networks.

Minttu Lampinen

MaryLou Roberts said...

I don't usually publish anonymous comments, but yours is so relevant that I did publish it. Your point about non-profits is entirely relevant. I could have said "businesses and non-profits" or I could have said "organizations." But I choose to hope everyone would define business as broadly as I do, to include non-for-profits as well as for-profits. The management challenges are more similar than different; that is, I think, the key issue.

MaryLou Roberts said...

Thank you, Minttu; it was great to meet you also and to learn about Marketing Flow--a very interesting business concept. And your comments are right on target! Thank you!