When the first edition of Social Media Marketing was published, we were excited, proud, and frankly – a little scared! It was the first textbook on social media marketing. TAA, Textbook Authors Association, recognized the second edition with the Textbook Excellence Award! And here we are with the third edition!
When social media marketing first entered the marketer’s toolbox, the focus was on organic participation and relationship development. The media space itself was free, though, of course, there were labor costs involved. Now, social network sites have developed complex algorithms to customize each person’s experience. For marketers, this means that while the organic participation is still preferred by consumers, advertising (paid media) must be part of the social media marketing mix. That’s not the only development either. Technological capabilities have evolved in ways that influence how we access the social Web, the content we can create, and the experiences we can participate in and share. The penetration of smartphones and other connected devices is a major aspect of these developments.
When we first developed this book, most universities did not have a course on social media marketing. Today, many do and a select few have recognized that social media warrants its own concentration! This text provides the content you crave. Very simply, you need to know more about social media than you do already. You need to know how to harness the power of these tools to succeed in business, nonprofit organizations, and pretty much any kind of situation that involves buyers and sellers, makers and users. Unlike the many trade books on this topic, you also need to understand how social media marketing fits within a brand’s overall marketing strategy and the unique benefits it can provide.
There are so many applications out there—where to start? We’ve organized the book around four zones of social media —communities, publishing, entertainment, and commerce. We call this framework the Zones of Social Media Marketing. There are social media channels that serve multiple zones (Facebook is a prime example), but the zones capture the primary intent for participants in each zone. Social communities are about relationships and community engagement. Social publishing is about sharing knowledge (whether by media, government, organizations, experts, or everyday people). Social entertainment is about entertainment opportunities hosted in social media channels and with social media tools. Social commerce is about selling and buying and how social media plays a role in the purchase process. This framework will help you to make sense of the complex world of social media.
We’ve worked hard to bring current examples and “real-world” applications to the mix. That’s a tough job when the landscape changes even as you write the book. The book includes the latest popular social communities and the most relevant research – both from industry and academic scholars – to help us to understand how to market using social media.
The book is divided into five sections:
- In Part 1: Foundations of SMM introduces the framework, the rationale for social media marketing, segmentation and targeting of social media buyers, influencers, and the characteristics and structure of networks and communities.
- In Part 2: Social Media Marketing Strategy and Planning explains the strategic planning process for social media marketing campaigns and the planning for tactical implementation.
- In Part 3: The Four Zones of Social Media are covered in detail in terms of why marketers use each zone, what strategies are possible, and how brands have benefitted. Across the four zones, we address paid, earned, and owned media options.
- Want a teaser? You’ll learn about fans and fan communities, social games and TV, online digital video, influencers, conversational commerce and chatbots, and more.
- In Part 4: Social Media Data Management and Measurement explains the role of social media in marketing research, social intelligence systems, and metrics and analytics for assessing the effectiveness of social media marketing efforts.
- In Part 5: Social Media Marketing in Practice is the “case zone,” featuring cases from professors around the world designed to spark discussion and application opportunities for students.
- The text ends with a sample social media marketing strategic plan.
What’s more – every chapter includes a mini-case highlighting the chapter content and providing the metrics used to assess campaign effectiveness and a critical reflection case emphasizing an ethical concern to enhance student social media literacy and ethical decision-making. Whether it’s filter bubbles, algorithms, bots, privacy, or cyberbullying, the critical reflections cover the potential dark sides of the social world in which we live.