The big news in my world this week: Social Media Marketing, the text I’ve been writing with Michael Solomon, went to press! As some of you know, writing SMM has been a major focus in my life now for the better part of two years. The book will be available January 17, 2012 and you can learn more at zonesofsmm.wordpress.com. For now, let me offer you a glimpse into the framework that makes this book special.
The book divides social media marketing into 4 zones, which can be viewed in the following illustration and are defined below:
Zone 1: Social Community – Social communities describe channels of social media focused on relationships and the common activities people participate in with others who share the same interest or identification. Thus, social communities feature two-way and multi-way communication, conversation, collaboration, and the sharing of experiences and resources. All social media channels are built around networked relationships, but for social communities the interaction and collaboration for relationship building and maintenance are the primary reason people engage in these activities. Many of the channels in which you already participate likely reside in this first zone. The channels in the social community zone include social networking sites, message boards and forums, and wikis. All emphasize individual contributions in the context of a community, communication and conversation, and collaboration.
Zone 2: Social Publishing - Social publishing sites aid in the dissemination of content to an audience. The channels of social publishing include blogs, microsharing sites, media sharing sites, and social bookmarking and news sites.
Zone 3: Social Entertainment – The zone of social entertainment encompasses channels and vehicles that offer opportunities for play and enjoyment. These include social games and gaming sites, socially enabled console games, alternate reality games (ARGs), virtual worlds, and entertainment communities. At this stage in the development of social media, social games are by a substantial margin the most advanced channel in the social entertainment zone. Yet another aspect of social entertainment is entertainment communities. Though social entertainment is still developing as a channel, we anticipate that social entertainment communities will develop around other traditional areas of entertainment in the near future—film, art, and sport.
Zone 4: Social Commerce – Our fourth zone is social commerce. Social commerce refers to the use of social media to assist in the online buying and selling of products and services. Social commerce leverages social shopping behaviors when online shoppers interact and collaborate during the shopping experience. Social commerce channels include reviews and ratings (on review sites or branded e-commerce sites), deal sites and deal aggregators (aggregate deals into personalized deal feeds), social shopping markets (online malls featuring user-recommended products, reviews, and the ability to communicate with friends while shopping), and social storefronts (online retail stores that sometimes operate within a social site like Facebook with social capabilities).
For instructors and students, Prentice-Hall (an imprint of Pearson Education) is developing a companion website, now live at www.zonesofsmm.com. Please contact me if you have any questions about utilizing this text at your university or in your classroom, and be sure to visit zonesofsmm.wordpress.com for great resources to accompany your teaching!