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ECOM 322: Social Media Marketing
2nd Semester/2020-2021
Project Assignment
In this project, you will work individually to provide social media consulting. You own a
Social Media consulting company, and your company has been selected to work with a new Saudi
organization (business or non-profit) of your choice (select a business of any industry). And they
are planning to market and present their products or services on social media such as Instagram,
Twitter, Snapchat, Foursquare, Facebook, YouTube and Blog…. etc.
The goal is to assess where the business is, in terms of their social media use and activities,
while providing a sense of what you [As social media marketer] could do for them to develop their
Social Media Marketing Plan [SMMP].
Within the SMMP, the student should decide what social media platform should be used,
setting social media marketing goals and what content will be shared and create accounts on
popular social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Foursquare, Facebook,
YouTube and Blog…. etc.
For this part of the assignment, you need to write a report that describe the following aspects
of the business.
1.
Brief overview [Brand Summary & Social Media Accounts] [1.5 marks]
▪ Find creative store/business name [Doesn’t exist].
â–ª Describe the industry and company.
â–ª Create proper social media accounts [such as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat]. And
provide screenshots of the accounts that you’ll use across all social platforms.
â–ª Explain the competitive advantage in order to show how the company can realize
significant gains by using SMM and what do you want to achieve with social media?
2. Audit your social media platforms performance [2 marks]
â–ª After creating your social media accounts, share it with your colleagues.
â–ª All students are required to participate/engage [likes, comments, tags or share] and provide
screenshots.
â–ª Social media marketing statistics will give you the vision you need to improve your plan,
check your account’s statistics [ex: Twitter analytics, Instagram Insights] and attach a
screenshot to your report.
▪ After that, you must analyze the company’s use of the social media by examining their
presence on the following social media platforms:
Metric
Sentiment
Reach
Company
Posts
Feedback
Average response
time to feedback
Platform 1
Platform 2
Platform 3
Note: you can use any free online Sentiment Analysis tools to evaluate your social media presence.
3. Social media benchmarking [3 marks]
â–ª
Review the social media accounts of five local competitors and pay attention to their tone
and personality and analyze your competition’s social media platforms, base your analysis
on what you’ve observed on your competitor’s social media accounts across all platforms.
For each competitor answer the following questions:
â–ª
How your competitors use each platform?
â–ª
What type of content are they posting? And social media platforms used?
â–ª
What content is getting the highest engagement [e.g. retweet, likes, comments]?
â–ª
How many followers do they have?
â–ª
How often do they post [daily, weekly or monthly]?
â–ª
Do they respond to comments? And how?
â–ª
Are your competitors successful on these platforms?
Note: You can use any free online third-party platform for further analysis.
4. SWOT Analysis [1 mark]
â–ª Conduct a social media SWOT analysis for your business (At least 3 points for each
element/factor).
â–ª After completing SWOT analysis, think about the results and act accordingly, how can a
SWOT analysis help your business?
5. Define your social media marketing goals [1.5 marks]
â–ª Based on the finding from your social media audit, write the goals and strategies section
of your SMMP.
â–ª How are you going to get people to engage with your business on social media?
6. Research your target audience [1 mark]
â–ª
Research to determine the target audience of your business.
â–ª
You will create three marketing personas that represent the organization’s target audience.
â–ª
Which platforms might best help you achieve your goals? [Select at least 4 platforms].
7. Develop your social media brand/business standards [2 marks]
â–ª Establish your business voice and tone and figure out how to speak with your target
audience.
▪ What’s your business’s personality? Try to pick out 2 or 3 traits that define your style, and
also list 2 or 3 that your style is not.
â–ª Write a clear and detailed description of your brand/ business posting guidelines.
â–ª What logos, positioning, and sizing will you use?
â–ª What fonts and colors will you use?
â–ª How your brand/ business will respond to public complaints, competitors, and questions
from followers?
8. Implementation [Content Ideas] [4.5 marks]
In detail, develop actionable social media tactics to implement each of the social media
platforms.
For each social media platform [based on the previous selection (point #6)]:
â–ª
Determine the purpose/goal
â–ª
Ideal time for Posting
â–ª
What types of content will you create and share on each channel? And what types
of content will help you driving people to your website and local store?
â–ª
What percentage of your posts will be promotional, if any
â–ª
How many hashtags will you use in your Twitter and Instagram posts (List 3 or 4)?
â–ª
Regarding influencer marketing strategy, select 3 influencers and evaluate the
following:
â–ª
â–ª
The influencers you will employ and why you selected them
â–ª
Social media platforms they are using
â–ª
The nature of their followers
â–ª
The media and messages you will ask your influencers to promote
Create a social media content calendar plan for your business and attach a
screenshot to your report.
â–ª
How to integrate paid advertising in your content marketing strategy?
Note: Provide screenshots of your work.
9. Evaluation and Measuring [1.5 marks]
â–ª
Choose four metrics to measure the success of your social media campaign? [Explain].
â–ª
How do you know if your social media activities are effective?
10. Budget [1 mark]
â–ª
How much your business should spend on its social media marketing budget? you should
include the following: Content creation, Tools, Paid advertising, Paid partnerships
(Influencer campaigns), Employees and training, Management and any important
resources.
11. Conclusion [1 mark]
â–ª
Conclude your report.
12. Reference list
â–ª List all the sources you have used in the process of researching your work.
Assignment Guidelines:
â–ª
This assignment is an individual assignment.
â–ª
All students are encouraged to use their own word.
â–ª
Your Assignment must include:
â–ª
Cover page and make sure to include the cover page with all information required.
One mark will be deducted if there is no cover page.
â–ª
A title that well represents the content of your report.
â–ª
Table of contents.
â–ª
An opening paragraph.
â–ª
The main body of your report, which required analyzing a company’s use of social
media [All points must be related to the concepts raised throughout the course].
â–ª
A “References” section listing all sources included. And ensure that you follow the
APA style in your report.
â–ª
The minimum number of required references is 5.
â–ª
Use Times New Roman, 12 font size, 1.5 line space and adjusted text.
â–ª
A mark of zero will be given for any submission that includes copying from other resource
without referencing it.
â–ª
Your report length should be between 2000 to 2400 words.
â–ª
Assignment must be in word format only no PDF.
â–ª
Your file should be saved as: Your Name – CRN – ECOM322-Project Assignment – Part 1.doc
â–ª
You must check the spelling and grammar mistakes before submitting the assignment.
â–ª
Up to 20% of the total grade will be deducted for providing a poor structure of
assignment. Structure includes these elements paper style, free of spelling and grammar
mistakes, referencing and word count.
Presentation Guidelines
â–ª
Prepare a presentation describing the work done during the semester.
â–ª
The suggested duration for the presentation is 10 minutes with 5 minutes followed by Q&A.
â–ª
You are free to choose any slide format and you should make sure having a proper number
of slides; so that you are able to finish on time (Template is attached in the blackboard).
Citations:
â–ª
Any information that you use in your SMMP that has been derived from a published
source (including our textbook) must be properly cited.
Project Submission:
Submission
First Submission
Second Submission
Presentation
Due Date
End of week 9
20/03/2021
@11:59 P.M.
End of week 13
17/04/2021
@11:59 P.M.
Submission:
18/04/2021
During Week 14
Point Covered
Marks
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 12
10
7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12
10
Presentations of students’
Project Assignment
5
Note: Submission will be through the Blackboard.
Saudi Electronic University
College of Administrative and Financial Sciences
E-commerce Department
Student Name: Hussain Alyami
Student ID: 170362754
Course Title: Social Media Marketing
Course Code: ECOM322
Academic Year/ Semester: 2nd Semester/2020-2021 CRN: 21930
Assignment Name: Project Assignment – Part 1
Instructor Name: Abdulaziz Alredainy
Student Grade: out of 10
Grade Level:
1. Store name is Bike4u Rental Van.
Bike4u company is entertainment company that primary offers a customer to rent or buy a bike.
We don’t have a physical store; our plan is to have a van and locate it somewhere in Riyadh then
update the customer on our Social media accounts where we are so that they come and enjoy the
ride with our bikes. We will work in the entertainment industry which is a huge and profitable
industry in Saudi Arabia specially with the percentage of the youth and children which is 67% of
the population.
It is a brand of sports bikes, it has a prominent name in the Saudi market, it is a new company, but
it is working on advanced strategies to attract the Saudi market to it, the company’s headquarters
is in Riyadh. The company seeks to achieve the largest amount of publicity for its spread and
attract customers to it, the company targets young people who like to ride Calf, athletes, and racing
enthusiasts, the company has social networking sites on Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram, and it
has a large fan base compared to its still new name in the market.
In addition, Riyadh residents enjoy great luxury in terms of housing, clothes, going to parks and
cycling enthusiasts. The area we are in is one of the best areas to promote cycling; we use the finest
materials in the manufacture of wheels and the finest accessories.
The company does not deal with individuals only, but it deals with the largest suppliers, so it relies
on them as agents throughout Saudi Arabia, who promote the bicycle brand. It works to produce
50% as a share allocated to suppliers only; it depends on the spread of the brand name and making
it in front of the consumer always.
The competitive advantage of the company is that it works to provide the best quality at the best
price. Activists and athletes are looking for a bike that can run on the road with strength and
durability without fear of accidents, and the company specializes in racing bikes, so the company
works to improve this type and constantly renew it to suit the hardships of the road.
The company relies on Snapshots, Twitter and Instagram in marketing and Instagram is considered
one of the most important companies that market the company’s products in an attractive way
through promotional advertisements. In a short time, the company was able to obtain a large fan
base, so that parents encouraged their children to buy bicycles and teach them to ride. It is a way
to save time and effort and save cars.
2. Audit your social media platforms performance
Instagram:
Tweeter:
Snapchat:
Company
Sentiment
Reach
Instagram
214
254
896
good
1 hours
snapchat
25
473
120
good
1 hours
twitter
369
589
250
good
Posts
Feedback
Average response
Metric
time to feedback
1
hours
3. Social media benchmarking
1. How do your competitors use each platform?
1- Wheels_bikes
Competitors use the Instagram platform, as most athletes are constantly present on this platform,
and few of them promote on Twitter, they see that it is only news and cannot attract us athletes or
young customers who like racing, as for Instagram, they do pay promotional campaigns because
it attracts Huge number of customers through ads.
2- bikectrl
3- yalla.bike
4- Mewo_bikes
5- Spin rental
2. What type of content are they posting? And social media platforms used?
Our competitors in the challenge have a similar brand of bikes to us, but most of them provide
inferior and unreliable product content, and most of them do not have a rental system,
3. What content is getting the highest engagement [e.g. retweet, likes, comments]?
Likes are the ones that get the most engagement, but there is no target audience, all of them are
advertising companies only
4. How many followers do they have?
32,4k followers – 828 followers – 4586 followers – 3167 followers – 17k followers
5- How often do they post [daily, weekly, or monthly]?
From 1 – 2, There are competitors who publish more than three posts, or competitors publish one
post, and there are competitors who do not publish posts daily, but every two days of 1-2 posts.
6- Do they respond to comments? How?
No, they do not have time to respond to messages
7. Are your competitors successful on these platforms?
They are popular but less popular in the market
4. SWOT Analysis
Strength point:
•
The ability to attract young people to us through our ads
•
Bicycle shapes are attractive to young people
•
The company has strong suppliers in the Saudi market
•
The company has big promotions on our sites
Weakness:
•
High rental costs and advertising
•
Negative comments from our competitors to discredit the company
•
The marketing method was not successful at some times and did not reach a large number
of the target audience
Opportunity:
•
The lack of quality competitors in front of the company.
•
The lack of many ads in the market promoting bicycles.
•
The lack of websites that offer bicycles on social media.
•
The industry is new and getting more attractiveness between the youths.
Threats:
•
Focusing on a specific group, which is only the youth
•
The looks of the company’s competitors and their attempt to question it
•
Low prices in the market compared to the company’s prices and the quality of raw
materials.
This helps the company to analyze the Saudi market and the target market, to obtain the largest
amount of information that prevails the company to attract customers to it..
5. Define your social media marketing goals
•
Focusing on the target customers and reaching the largest audience base interested in the
activity.
•
Reaching big profits in a short time
•
Excellence in the new brand in the Saudi market and its access to the global market
•
Obtaining distinguished comments from customers who have experience with the
company’s services.
•
Displaying the company’s most important offers and prices, and making it possible to
purchase and deliver via the Internet.
How will you get people to engage with your business on social media?

Developing an effective marketing plan: by setting steps to be taken by providing services at
appropriate times, publishing at the time users are available, holding contests and offers on our
own pages, and continuously making discounts and marketing them.

Knowing the return from my work, is it prosperous or not: The results of the strategy must be
monitored and whether the goal has been reached or not.

Choosing a suitable social networking site for my business and our region: choosing the place
is more important than the project, as the company did, because it is located in Dammam and
targeted this site because of the presence of a large number of people in it.

Interest in interacting customers: look at the target customers, keep track of current customers
and those who follow the company continuously, do work for them with their own offers, and
communicate with them continuously to inform them of all new developments in the company.
6. Research your target audience

Target audience: Youth, athletes, and cycling competitors

Three Marketing Personalities:

Popular influencers: such as blogger accounts and social media representatives.

Professional influencers: Those with gym, sports and cycling experience and a passion for
cycling.

Limited influencers: People with a certain number of followers who can promote the
company and its products to their audience and influence them.
6.
The target audience lives in Saudi Arabia, especially the Riyadh region, and is divided into:
•
Youth from 10-20 years old
•
Contestants over 20 years old
•
Men and youth from 15 to 60 years old
In addition, the best platform for targeting is the Snapchat platform and Instagram because we
have great popularity in these platforms.
12. References
1. Doroh, Efemena & Monye, Benedict. (2013). Entrepreneurship & Small Business
Start-Up. 10.2118/167527-MS.
2. United States, (1966), Federal-State Market News Reports, Consumer and Marketing
Service.
3. Reid, Gavin & Smith, Julia. (2000). What Makes a New Business Start-Up Successful?.
Small Business Economics. 14. 165-82. 10.1023/A:1008168226739.
4. Jay, Levinson, (2014), Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days, Entrepreneur Press.
5. ‫الهيئة العامة لإلحصاء‬. (2021, March 28). Retrieved March 27, 2021, from
https://www.stats.gov.sa/en
Social
Media
Marketing
A S t r at e g i c
Approach
Second Edition
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Social
Media
Marketing
A S t r at e g i c
Approach
Second Edition
Melissa S. Barker
Donald I. Barker
N i c o l a s F. B o r m a n n
Mary Lou Roberts
Debra Zahay
Australia • Brazil • Mexico • Singapore • United Kingdom • United States
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Social Media Marketing: A Strategic
Approach, Second Edition
Melissa S. Barker, Donald I. Barker
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Listen
Brief Contents
Tune
Preface xi
About the Authors xii
Acknowledgments xiv
Chapter 1 | The Role of Social Media Marketing 1
Chapter 2 | Goals and Strategies 22
Chapter 3 | Identifying Target Audiences 41
Chapter 4 | Rules of Engagement for SMM
60
Chapter 5 | Social Media Platforms and Social Networking Sites 77
Chapter 6 | Microblogging 99
Chapter 7 | Content Creation and Sharing: Blogging, Streaming Video,
Podcasts, and Webinars 113
Chapter 8 | Video Marketing 141
Chapter 9 | Marketing on Photo Sharing Sites 157
Chapter 10 | Discussion, News, Social Bookmarking, and Q&A Sites 175
Chapter 11 | Content Marketing: Publishing Articles, White Papers,
and E-Books 193
Chapter 12 | Mobile Marketing on Social Networks 206
Chapter 13 | Social Media Monitoring 227
Chapter 14 | Tools for Managing the Social Media Marketing Effort 249
Chapter 15 | Social Media Marketing Plan 269
Appendix | XYZ Coffee Company Social Media Marketing Plan 303
Index
319
Copyright 2017 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. Due to electronic rights, some third party content may be suppressed from the eBook and/or eChapter(s).
Editorial review has deemed that any suppressed content does not materially affect the overall learning experience. Cengage Learning reserves the right to remove additional content at any time if subsequent rights restrictions require it.
v
Tools
Contents
Preface
Goals
Strategies
xi
About the Authors xii
Acknowledgments xiv
Chapter 1 | The Role of Social Media Marketing 1
What Is SMM? 2
The Seven Myths of SMM 4
The History of SMM 11
Why SMM Is Different 14
Careers in SMM 15
What Are the Characteristics of a Successful Social Media Marketer? 18
Best Practices for SMM 19
Notes 19
Chapter 2 | Goals and Strategies 22
What Is a SMM Plan? 23
SMM Planning Cycle 23
Listen and Observe: Five Stages 25
Listen and Observe: Listening Centers 28
Setting Goals and Objectives 31
Determining Strategies 35
Linking Goals with a Call to Action 36
Self-Promotion vs. Building an Army of Advocates 37
Best Practices for Developing a Social Media Strategy 39
Notes 39
Chapter 3 | Identifying Target Audiences 41
The Importance of Targeting in SMM 41
The Targeting Process in SMM 42
Targeting Ads and Posts on Social Platforms 51
Best Practices for Targeting Branded Posts 56
Notes 57
vi
Copyright 2017 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. Due to electronic rights, some third party content may be suppressed from the eBook and/or eChapter(s).
Editorial review has deemed that any suppressed content does not materially affect the overall learning experience. Cengage Learning reserves the right to remove additional content at any time if subsequent rights restrictions require it.
Chapter 4 | Rules of Engagement for SMM 60
Permission vs. Interruption Marketing: Developing the Social Contract
Initial Entry Strategy: Passive vs. Active 64
Principles for Success 64
SMM Ethics 68
Making Ethical Decisions 70
Global Perspective 71
Best Practices: Following the Rules of Engagement for SMM 72
Notes 75
61
Chapter 5 | Social Media Platforms and Social Networking Sites
77
List of Social Media Platforms 77
A Brief History of Social Networks 79
Benefits of Marketing with Social Networks 82
Marketing with Social Networks 85
Why Use a White Label Social Network? 90
The Future of Social Networks 90
Notes 95
Chapter 6 | Microblogging 99
What Is Microblogging? 100
A Brief History of Microblogging 100
Different Uses for Microblogging 101
Building Your Brand Online 103
Building a Twitter Following 105
Best Practices for Crafting an Effective Twitter Channel 107
Marketing with Microblogging 109
Notes 111
Chapter 7 | Content Creation and Sharing: Blogging, Streaming
Video, Podcasts, and Webinars 113
Creating a Content Strategy 113
Blog History 116
What Is a Blog? 117
Creating and Promoting a Blog 117
Everyone Is a Publisher 120
Marketing Benefits of Blogging 122
Linking a Blog to Marketing Objectives 123
Monitoring the Blogosphere 123
Video Streaming in the Social Media Mix 123
CONTENTS
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Editorial review has deemed that any suppressed content does not materially affect the overall learning experience. Cengage Learning reserves the right to remove additional content at any time if subsequent rights restrictions require it.
vii
A Brief History of Podcasting 125
Creating and Sharing Podcasts 125
Marketing with Podcasting 127
Hosting Webinars 129
Marketing with Webinars and/or Podcasts 131
Best Practices for Blogging, Podcasting, Video Sharing, and Webinars 132
Notes 136
Chapter 8 | Video Marketing 141
Viral Videos—Numa Numa and the Old Spice Guy
Consumer Use of Video 143
Benefits of Marketing with Online Videos 145
How to Create Appealing Video Content 150
Notes 154
142
Chapter 9 | Marketing on Photo Sharing Sites
The Growing Importance of Visual Marketing 157
A Brief History of Photo Sharing 161
Benefits of Marketing with Online Photos and Other Images
Marketing with Photo Sharing Sites 169
Best Practices in Marketing through Photo Sharing 170
Notes 171
157
165
Chapter 10 | Discussion, News, Social Bookmarking, and Q&A Sites
175
The Evolution of Online Discussions 176
Marketing with Social News and News Aggregation Sites 177
Marketing with Social Bookmarking and S-Ecommerce 182
Marketing with Q&A Sites 185
Future of Discussion Boards, Social News, Social Bookmarking, and Q&A Sites 186
Best Practices for Online Discussions on All Platforms 188
Notes 190
Chapter 11 | Content Marketing: Publishing Articles, White Papers,
and E-Books 193
Publishing and Distributing Articles 194
Creating White Papers and E-Books 196
Marketing with Articles, E-Books, and White Papers 199
Best Practices in Crafting Articles, White Papers, and E-Books 201
Notes 204
viii
CONTENTS
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Editorial review has deemed that any suppressed content does not materially affect the overall learning experience. Cengage Learning reserves the right to remove additional content at any time if subsequent rights restrictions require it.
Chapter 12 | Mobile Marketing on Social Networks
206
Mobile in the Lives of Global Consumers 208
How Many People Use Mobile to Access the Internet and Social Platforms? 208
Which Networks Do They Access? 209
Which Devices and Which Services Are Winning and Losing in the Shift to Mobile?
What Part Do Apps Play in Mobile Use? 212
What Kinds of Activities Do Consumers Conduct on Mobile? 213
Are Consumers Making Purchases on Mobile? 215
What Will the Impact Be of Having a Buy Button on Social Networking Sites? 217
Mobile-First Strategy 218
Location-Based Marketing 220
Mobile Customer Experience 222
Best Practices for Social Mobile Marketing 223
Notes 223
Chapter 13 | Social Media Monitoring
210
227
The Importance of Social Media Monitoring 228
Listening and Tracking 228
Measuring 229
Measuring 232
Evaluation 238
Evaluating the Impact of Social Media Activities 239
Metrics and Analytics Best Practices 246
Notes 247
Chapter 14 | Tools for Managing the Social Media Marketing Effort
What Are Social Media Marketing Tools? 250
Choosing the Right Tool for the Job 251
Single-Purpose Tools 253
Single Platform Tools 257
Multiple Platform Tools 258
Purchased Services 260
Consumer Tools for Productivity and Engagement
Notes 267
Chapter 15 | Social Media Marketing Plan
249
264
269
Creating an Informative and Eye-Catching Title Page 270
Automatically Generating a Table of Contents 270
Writing a Compelling Executive Summary 271
Composing a Brief Overview 273
Observing Social Media Presence 274
Conducting a Competitive Analysis 275
Setting Goals 279
CONTENTS
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ix
Determining Strategies 279
Identifying the Target Market 280
Selecting Platforms 281
Implementing 281
Monitoring 291
Tuning 294
Budgeting 294
Calculating Return on Investment 298
Getting C-Suite Buy-In 299
Notes 299
Appendix | XYZ Coffee Company Social Media Marketing Plan
303
Executive Summary 305
Brief Overview 306
Social Media Presence 306
Competitive Analysis 307
Goals 309
Strategies 310
Target Market 310
Platforms 311
Implementation 311
Monitoring 314
Tuning 317
Budget 317
Return on Investment 317
Notes 318
Index
x
319
CONTENTS
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Preface
Strategies
S
ocial Media Marketing: A Strategic Approach is built upon an eight-step planning
cycle that helps ensure the development of a winning SMM plan. This model
incorporates the conceptual foundation and practical techniques necessary for
creating a comprehensive and effective SMM plan. The model also provides a
framework for developing a personal brand, a subject given chapter-by-chapter coverage
in the second edition.
This planning cycle begins with observing an organization’s current goals, presence
and competition on the social web, followed by the establishment of SMART social
media objectives and effective strategies to achieve them. The next step is to define an
organization’s target markets and campaign-specific audiences on the social web. This
process makes it possible for a company to identify the social media platforms with the
highest concentrations of its target audiences and determine how they are participating
on those platforms, which enables the organization to select the optimal social media
platforms for reaching its target audiences.
Interaction on the social web is guided by informal rules of engagement and general
principles of appropriate behavior (social media ethics). Marketers must be aware of
these precepts before attempting to participate in social media or risk alienating the very
market segments they hope to connect with and influence.
With these guidelines in mind, as well as the company’s social media goals, strategies,
target audiences, and prime social media platforms, marketers can craft actionable platform-specific marketing tactics. The execution of these tactics allows an organization to
implement its social media strategies across multiple platforms and realize the company’s
marketing goals. The bulk of this textbook is dedicated to learning how to create and
deploy specific marketing tactics using online platforms and the mobile web.
Social media tools that make the process more efficient as well as more effective are
given detailed coverage. In addition, extensive consideration is given to monitoring and
measuring the progress made in reaching social media objectives and demonstrating
return on investment. Feedback, both qualitative and quantitative, provides the means to
continuously adjust and improve the elements of an SMM plan to maximize the chances
of success.
The final chapter draws upon all the preceding material in the textbook to demonstrate and explain how to develop a formal SMM plan with multiple references and
illustrations from a real world sample plan (presented in its entirety in the Appendix).
Hence, this textbook provides a rich and robust cumulative learning experience with
deep contextual relevance that endows the reader with an enduring understanding of
the process of effective SMM planning. This process provides the social media marketer
with a strong foundation for dealing with the ever-changing audiences, platforms and
technologies of the social web.
xi
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About the Authors
Goals
Listen
Tune
Melissa S. Barker
Melissa S. Barker is a digital marketing consultant and public speaker, currently
working with Jive Software, Puppet Labs, and Gates NextGen Open Source
Courseware Grant. She has coauthored five textbooks, including the best-selling
Internet Research Illustrated. In 2010, she created the first accredited social media
marketing certificate in Washington State. She teaches search and social media
marketing, as well as other related courses at Spokane Falls Community College.
Melissa holds a B.A. in public relations and advertising from Gonzaga University, and
an M.B.A. from Willamette University (expected in 2016). She has held key roles in
digital marketing management at Siber Systems, Own Point of Sale, Integra Telecom,
Jive Software, and Oregon Public Broadcasting. Melissa has become a recognized
authority on LinkedIn, and a sought-after speaker at conferences, such as InnoTech
and ITEXPO. For more information, visit: www.linkedin.com/in/melissasbarker
Donald I. Barker
Donald I. Barker has authored, coauthored, and contributed to forty cuttingedge and best-selling textbooks on subjects ranging from computer operating
systems and expert systems to Internet research and social media marketing. He
holds an M.B.A. from Eastern Washington University. As an assistant professor
of information systems at Gonzaga University, he won the Best Theoretical Paper
Award at the International Business Schools Computer Users Group’s Annual
North American Conference. In addition, he received several Jepson Scholarship
Awards for notable publications in the field of artificial intelligence. As a senior
editor of PC AI Magazine, he wrote the popular Secret Agent Man column. For
more information, visit: www.linkedin.com/in/donaldibarker.
Debra Zahay
Debra Zahay is professor of marketing and chair of marketing, entrepreneurship
and digital media management at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. She
holds her PhD in marketing from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign,
Illinois, an MBA from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, a JD from
Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois, and an AB from Washington University
in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Zahay is also the president of Zahay, Inc., a digital
marketing strategy and education consulting firm.
Dr. Zahay has been teaching internet marketing, search and social media
marketing, data management, and related topics at the university level since 1999
and has taught full-time at Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois, Northern Illinois
University in DeKalb, Illinois, North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North
Carolina, and DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.
Dr. Zahay researches how firms can use customer information to increase
firm performance. Some journals in which she has published include Journal
xii
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of Interactive Marketing (Best Paper 2014), Journal of Product Innovation
Management, Decision Sciences, and Industrial Marketing Management. She coauthored the third edition of the Cengage textbook Internet Marketing: Integrating
Online and Offline Strategies with Mary Lou Roberts, solo-authored a book with
Business Expert Press, Digital Marketing Management: A Handbook for the Current
(or Future) CEO. Active in her profession, she is a long-standing member of both
the American Marketing Association and the Academy of Marketing Science, where
she has served as track chair. She has served as conference co-chair for the Direct/
Interactive Research Summit. She serves on the editorial board of the both the
Journal of Marketing Analytics and Industrial Marketing Management and is editorin-chief of the Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing.
Mary Lou Roberts
Mary Lou Roberts is professor emeritus of management and marketing at the
University of Massachusetts Boston. She holds a PhD in marketing from the
University of Michigan. After retiring from full-time teaching, she continued to
teach Internet marketing and social media marketing at the Harvard University
Extension School for a number of years.
Other books include Internet Marketing: Integrating Online and Offline
Strategies (third edition with Debra Zahay, 2013), Direct Marketing Management
(second edition with Paul D. Berger, 1999), and Marketing to the Changing
Household (with Lawrence H. Wortzel, 1984). In addition, she has published
over fifty papers and conference proceedings in the United States and
internationally. Her research has received awards including a Robert B. Clarke
Best Paper award and a Dean’s Award for Distinguished Research.
She has served as a convener, chair, and reviewer for many US and international
journals and conferences as well as serving on the boards of directors of
professional and nonprofit organizations, including the American Marketing
Association and Mass Audubon. She has consulted and provided training sessions
for corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations
Dr. Roberts is active on social media. In addition to the Google+ and Facebook
sites that support both students and instructors in Internet marketing and
social media marketing, she has several Pinterest boards and personal
accounts on other sites, including Instagram. She posts professional updates
on LinkedIn and SlideShare and tweets on a regular basis.
Janna M. Parker
Janna Parker is assistant professor of marketing at James Madison University
where she teaches strategic Internet marketing. She holds a DBA in marketing from
Louisiana Tech University. Her previous academic appointment was at Georgia
College and State University where she taught integrated marketing communications,
social media, and other related topics in undergraduate and graduate courses.
Dr. Parker’s research interests are retailing, advertising, and social media. She has
published in Journal of Business Ethics and Journal of Consumer Marketing. She is
active in many professional organizations and has served as a reviewer and track
chair. She is the director of social media for the Academy of Marketing Science.
About the Authors
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xiii
Acknowledgments
Goals
Listen
Tune
We are indebted to the instructors, students, and reviewers that made the first edition of
Social Media Marketing: A Strategic Approach a success. In addition, we are grateful to
our ever-supportive editor at Cengage Learning, Mike Roche. He brought us together to
create the second edition, and has been a dependable source of information and encouragement. Ted Knight, of J. L. Hahn Consulting Group, managed the production process,
with skill and good humor.
Professors Barker and Barker, Zahay, Roberts, and Parker have been teaching Social
Media Marketing since its early days as a marketing and communications discipline.
Being in the forefront of a rapidly evolving discipline has its challenges, as well as its
rewards. Our students have contributed important knowledge and insights about the
­ ractitioners
working of social platforms, and the activities of social media users. Busy p
have given generously of their time and expertise to assist us and our students in
­understanding the real-world practices that make successful social media marketing a
reality. For all these sources of information and inspiration, we express our profound
gratitude, and our best wishes for a productive social media journey together.
xiv
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Listen
Dedication
Tune
To our families for enduring the hassles of living with an author; to our students for their
enthusiasm and insights; to the many practitioners who have been supportive. MSB/
DIB/NFB/MLR/DZ/JP
xv
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CHAPTER
1
The Role of Social Media
Marketing
Social media marketing (SMM) has
emerged as a vital business force offering
vibrant career options. It offers important
benefits to marketers but some aspects
are still not widely understood. SMM has
experienced dramatic growth in recent
years and is poised for substantial growth
and change in years to come.
Social media is growing by leaps and bounds. It is estimated that by 2016
there will be around 2.13 billion social media users around the world. That
is up from 1.4 billion in 2012 and it represents over 63% all Internet users.1
Marketers are working hard to reach this huge social media audience. This
book is intended to help both students and businesses understand the social
media landscape and the changes that are taking place and to learn and how
to approach it strategically.
Many businesses struggle with social media because they lack a definite
plan. They start with an end in mind instead of creating a strategy and
objectives. A company might start a Twitter account or a Facebook page,
but it is not likely to see results unless there is a clear understanding of its
marketing objectives. Like any form of marketing, a strong strategic plan
for social media is required for success. This book contains chapters on
establishing strategic goals and objectives and monitoring plan achievement
as well as a chapter on the SMM plan itself and a sample SMM plan.
The advent of social media has also posed a challenge to traditional
marketing methodologies. Marketing budgets are increasingly focused on
digital, and the jobs of marketing professionals have changed as a result.
Learning Objectives
After completing this chapter, students will be able to:
• Explain why social media is important to businesses around the
world
• Define SMM
• Explain the seven myths of SMM
• Relate a brief history of SMM
• Explain characteristics of SMM
and ways in which it differs from
traditional offline marketing
• Describe typical positions that are
available in SMM
(Continued)
1
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Advertising has increasingly moved to the Internet and to the mobile web,
with even long-time print magazines such as The Atlantic shifting to a largely
digital-based revenue strategy.2 For many firms, the focus is now online,
which makes knowledge of SMM especially valuable for students and/or
soon-to-be job-seekers.
This book is organized into two core sections: the first four chapters
will lay the foundation for engaging in social media, including marketing strategy and
objectives, targeting specific audiences, and the background rules of social media. The
remainder of the book will encompass more detailed elements of SMM and how to
adapt the strategy to specific platforms and international audiences. By creating a solid
marketing plan and choosing the right tools, a business can expediently and successfully
navigate to its marketing goals and objectives.
• Discuss the characteristics of a
successful social media marketer
• Identify best practices for SMM
What Is SMM?
There are many definitions of SMM. This one from technology marketing site Mashable
is straightforward and covers most of the important issues:
Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention
through social media sites.
Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that
attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks.
A corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because
it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand
or company itself. Hence, this form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth,
meaning it results in earned media rather than paid media.3
SMM has a number of important aspects:
1. Creating buzz or newsworthy events, videos, tweets, or blog entries that attract
attention and have the potential to become viral in nature. Buzz is what makes SMM
work. It replicates a message through user to user contact, rather than the traditional
method of purchasing an ad or promoting a press release. It emulates word of mouth
(WOM) in the physical world and consequently can have a great deal of impact.
A classic example, one that alerted many marketers to the power of social media,
is “United Breaks Guitars.” It all started when musician Dave Carroll’s guitar was
damaged on a United Airlines flight (Figure 1.1). He spent the next 9 months trying to
recover the $1,200 it cost to have the guitar repaired. As he tells the story, phoning and
emailing only got him the run around. So he, with the help of musician friends, created
a video at the cost of $150. On July 6, 2009, he posted it on YouTube. Within 24 hours
the video had over 150,000 views; 24 days later it had over a million views and major
news organizations as well as social media users had picked it up.
United contacted him agreeing to pay the repair costs and offered $1,200 in flight
vouchers, which he declined. Two years later he estimated that his message had reached
as many as 100 million people, courtesy of all the media mentions. All this created a
storm of negative publicity for United.4
It is important to point out that no one can control, or even do a good job
predicting, when a social media post will go viral. But marketers understand that they
need to pay attention, perhaps even to improve their customer service.
2
Chapter 1 | The Role of Social Media Marketing
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AP Images / The Canadian Press / Andrew Vaughan
Figure 1.1
Dave Carroll with His Guitar
2. Building ways that enable fans of a brand or company to promote a message
themselves in multiple online social media venues. Corporations or brands can create
pages on major social platforms where they can offer followers information and
promotions like coupons. They can reach huge audiences on these platforms as will be
shown in the next section of this chapter. As we will discuss in Chapter 3, these huge
audiences can be segmented using profile data and behavioral data from the platform
to reach targeted audiences or to attract paid advertising.
3. It is based around online conversations. SMM is not controlled by the organization.
Instead it encourages user participation and dialog. A badly designed SMM campaign
can potentially backfire on the organization that created it. To be successful SMM
campaigns must fully engage and respect the users. Each type of platform, as discussed
in Chapter 5, has its own way of engaging followers. How to conduct SMM in ways that
bring positive response instead of public backlash is the subject of Chapter 4.
4. Social media is part of a larger media ecosystem of owned, paid, and earned
media, which represents a way for marketers to leverage their own brand efforts.
These media are defined in Figure 1.2.
As you can see, paid media describes the traditional print and broadcast media,
which are now joined by paid advertising on social media platforms and blogs. Paid
advertising on social platforms is not a major focus of this book, although it will be
discussed briefly in Chapter 4.
The Internet gives brands the opportunity to own their own media outlets
ranging from their websites to their Facebook and LinkedIn pages. It has made
each brand its own publisher, responsible for content of many kinds and for its
dissemination. Much of the focus of this book is on creating content and marketing
campaigns on different types of social platforms. Only the marketer’s owned
platforms are within her direct control.
The most valuable media of all in this ecosystem is earned media. When people
begin talking about a brand and its content, they spread the word with no additional
effort on the part of the marketer. Even more important, this digital WOM confers
much credibility on the brand, especially if recognized experts or influentials are
talking on Twitter, Facebook, their blogs, and other channels. Like traditional public
Chapter 1 | The Role of Social Media Marketing
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3
OWNED
MEDIA
EARNED
MEDIA
Traditional
advertising – print,
television, radio,
display, direct mail, paid
search, retail/channel
Corporate web site,
campaign microsite,
blog, brand community,
Facebook fan page,
mobile, etc.
Word of mouth,
Facebook comments,
Twitter (@mentions,
@replies), Vine, Blogs,
forums, review sites
General Consumers
Customers
Super Fans
Figure 1.2
Source: http://blog.hootsuite.com/converged-media-brito-part-1/
PAID
MEDIA
Paid, Owned, and Earned Media
relations, the brand cannot control the nature of this conversation but positive
WOM in earned media can give the brand a significant boost.5
The combined impact of these aspects of SMM makes it quite different from
traditional marketing in the offline media. As a result a number of myths have
grown up around SMM, which help to explain both misconceptions and challenges
of the discipline.
The Seven Myths of SMM
SMM is one of the best ways that businesses can drive sales, build relationships, and satisfy
their customers. Although social media has increased in popularity over the years as a
marketing tool, there remain some common misconceptions about SMM. The following
are seven of the most common myths that business professionals have regarding SMM.
Social Media Myth #1: Social Media Is Just a Fad
Wrong Social media continues to grow by virtually any measure you use. Figure 1.3
shows the number of active accounts for the world’s 10 largest social media networks as
of August 2015. The chart shows Facebook in the lead with almost a billion and a half
active users. It also shows huge user bases for a number of messaging apps that are not
widely used in the United States like the Chinese platform Tencent QQ. Twitter, Skype,
and Google+ all made the top 10. Most surprising is Instagram in tenth place. Over
300 million active users is not bad for a platform founded in 2009!6
Businesses want to invest their time and energy in marketing tools that will be useful
in the long term, versus wasting limited resources on a flash-in-the-pan technology or a
fad. Some business professionals question whether social media will remain a powerful
marketing and communications tool or if it will eventually fall by the wayside. To resolve
4
Chapter 1 | The Role of Social Media Marketing
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1490
QQ
832
WhatsApp
800
Facebook
Messenger
700
QZone
668
549
WeChat
Twitter
316
Skype
300
Google+
300
Instagram
300
0%
200%
400%
600%
800% 1000% 1200% 1400% 1600%
Source: http://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-bynumber-of-users/
Facebook
Figure 1.3 Number of Active Users of Global Social Media Platforms as of
August 2015
this issue, it is helpful to look at the foundations of social media, which are built on
age-old concepts of community, socialization, and WOM marketing.
The “social” component of social media has been part of human interactions since
the dawn of time. People are inherently social creatures to some extent. What has
changed is the media by which people are able to express social impulses. As technology
has advanced, so have the media available for social behavior. Initially, social interactions
were limited to in-person meetings, then mail and letters, then telephones, then email,
and now social media, or web-based social interactions.
The underlying premise of social media—that people are social and want to connect
with other people—has been stable over time. The difference is that people are now able
to connect with each other in a more efficient and scalable way. Facebook allows users
to see what friends from high school are up to without ever speaking to them. Photos
of friends and family from across the world can be viewed on photo sharing sites. In
these and many other ways, social media allows people to keep up to speed with many
connections in quick and efficient ways.
Like the Internet, social media is a not a flash in the pan because of the human
desire to socialize and because the media of the Internet continue to evolve at a rapid
rate, providing new and attractive means for people to interact. Although social media
will only expand in the foreseeable future, specific social media platforms (technologies
or platforms such as Facebook and Twitter) change considerably over time and other
platforms rise and fall in popularity. The social media marketer must be alert to ongoing
changes in the social media environment.
In the face of all this change, marketers will focus on the platforms most used by
their target audiences. Figure 1.4 shows an interesting contrast between the platforms
used by B2C marketers, with Facebook in the lead, and B2B marketers, where LinkedIn
holds first place. This reflects the different audiences for B2C and B2B marketing.
Notice, however, that Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the top three platforms in
both market spaces,7 just in a different order.
Chapter 1 | The Role of Social Media Marketing
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5
2%
4%
1%
3%
4%
4%
4%
19%
9%
41%
65%
10%
30%
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
Pinterest
Figure 1.4
YouTube
Instagram
Social review
sites
Forums
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Google+
Pinterest
Forums
report-2015/
1%
Source: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-media-marketing-industry-
1%
3%
Social Media Platforms Used by B2C and B2B Marketers
Social Media Myth #2: Social Media Is
Just for the Young
Wrong Many social media skeptics still think that social media is a tool primarily for
the young: kids, teenagers, and college students. The reality is that older users are among
the fastest growing demographics on most social media sites. Pew reports that in 2012
it found for the first time that over half of all adults age 65 and older were Internet users
and that 46% of them used Facebook. Older adults are more likely to own a tablet or an
e-book reader or both while only 13% owned a smartphone in 2014.
90
18-29
80%
78
65
30-49
60%
50-64
46
40%
65+
20%
0%
2006
Figure 1.5
6
2007
2008
2009
18-29 Age
50-64 Age
30-49 Age
65+ Age
2010
2011
2012
2013
Source: http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/04/03/usage-and-adoption/
100%
Social Media Use by Age Group
Chapter 1 | The Role of Social Media Marketing
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The age disparity in social media use continues to exist as shown in Figure 1.5.
Young adults are still the most likely to be social media users, but use among older
adults, especially those in the 50–64 age group, has grown rapidly in recent years.8
The growth in social media usage rates among older adults carries over into the
mobile sphere according to comScore. The young are still the heaviest users of mobile
social media as well as the fastest growing group of users. However, among tablet mobile
social media users, adults aged 55 and over represent the fastest growing group.9
Social networks are increasingly being adopted by older populations and are
becoming incredibly diverse, with users spanning all age and income brackets. This
diversity means that most businesses, if they are willing to look, can find their target
consumers on social media sites. It also means that they should not simply try to appeal
to a large, heterogeneous audience. They need to hone targeting skills for their own
messaging and for paid advertising.
11%
1 to 2 Years
10%
26%
33%
2 to 3 years
15%
36%
3 to 4 years
16%
40%
4 to 5 years
23%
More than 5 years
28%
0%
Strongly Agree
37%
Agree
43%
51%
56%
42%
42%
65%
70%
10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
industry-report-2015/
Less than 12 months
Source: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-media-marketing-
Social Media Myth #3: There Is No Return
on SMM
Wrong But that’s not to say that measuring the return on SMM is easy. It requires
careful planning, careful execution, consistent monitoring, and the discipline to
analyze and gain business insights from monitoring data. This textbook has a chapter
dedicated to planning and one to social media monitoring that shows how the two
marketing elements work together to make it possible to measure social media return on
investment (ROI).
Although ROI is a specific monetary value determined by an established method,
social media return is measured in a variety of different ways and is not always as clearcut as financial ROI. Figure 1.6 indicates that 70% of marketers surveyed in 2014 agreed
or strongly agreed that SMM helps them improve sales. Those who have been using
SMM the longest are most likely to support the statement with agreement becoming
stronger the longer they have been social media marketers.10 Sales are the ultimate
measure of marketing achievement, so this data makes a powerful case for SMM. That
being said, there are many ways of measuring success that stop short of return on
monetary investment.
Figure 1.6 Marketers Who Agree or Strongly Agree that SMM Helped Them
Improve Sales
Chapter 1 | The Role of Social Media Marketing
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7
There are a lot of lists of “best” or “favorite” social media campaigns. CIO magazine
published its own list of the best of 2014, and just 3 examples of the 12 listed show the
many ways in which social media marketers measure success. Selected examples are:
• At or near the top of everyone’s list of the best of 2014 is the Ice Bucket Challenge.
The challenge was started by a single victim of ALS, simply to raise awareness of
this devastating disease. Celebrities took it up and the ice bucket videos quickly
went viral. The ALS Association took it up as an official fund-raising activity and
reported that $220 million was raised. Most of that money went to research and a
year later researchers were identifying gains already made.11 Another measure of
success is that the challenge was repeated in the summer of 2015. Sequels are rarely
as successful as originals, but the renewal of the challenge was itself newsworthy.
• Coke’s Share, a Coke campaign, was started in Australia and had expanded to over
50 countries by the time it went viral in the United States in the summer of 2014.
Names replaced the Coke logo on soda cans and consumers were invited to visit
Shareacoke.com, personalize virtual Coke bottles, and share them with their friends
on social media. The campaign reported over 125,000 posts on various social media
platforms with 96% of the consumer sentiment either positive or neutral.
• Taco Bell began its campaign for a Taco emoji during the winter of 2014. It
petitioned the Unicode Consortium, which regulates emojis. A petition on
Change.org gathered over 30,000 signatures. “This campaign was an attention
grabber because it pulled cleverly from two culturally relevant tech trends:
emojis and community activism,” says Wire Stone’s [senior strategist Lily] Croll.
The campaign kept the chain’s core product in the social media conversation and
received mainstream press attention.12 In June 2015, the consortium released code
for a taco emoji, seemingly guaranteeing it a spot on the emoji keyboard.13
While there are many ways to measure marketing achievement and various metrics
may be appropriate based on the objectives of a given campaign, in the end sales
represent the definitive accomplishment for marketers.
Social Media Myth #4: SMM Isn’t Right
for This Business
Wrong Figure 1.4 has already shown that both B2C and B2B marketers use social media.
The same is true of businesses in all economic sectors, although there are issues in
sectors like financial services where both disclosure and security issues affect the ways
in which social media can be used. Likewise, businesses both large and small use social
media. Since most social media platforms are free, SMM has a special attraction for
small businesses, including local retailers and services businesses.
Figure 1.7 shows that for all marketers the top benefits of SMM are increasing
exposure, increasing traffic, creating loyal fans, and generating business intelligence.
Each of those benefits applies equally to B2C and B2B. The fifth benefit, generating sales
leads tends to be a more formal process in B2B but B2C marketers are also interested in
identifying potential purchasers. Likewise, thought leadership is a term more commonly
used in B2B but all marketers want to be known for their product quality and expertise.
Improved search rankings and strong business partnerships are important to all
marketers. Notice that, important as they clearly are, increasing sales and decreasing
marketing expenditures rank at the bottom of this list of benefits of SMM.14 The greatest
benefits tend to occur early in the sales cycle, not at the point where purchases are being
made or sales are being closed.
Given the power that social media endows consumers with, it is little wonder that
users are increasingly screening out traditional advertising media and focusing their
attention toward social media where they control the content. Many businesses have
8
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77%
Increased traffic
69%
Developed loyal fans
68%
Provided marketplace insight
Generated leads
65%
58%
Improved search rankings
Grown business partnerships
55%
Established thought leadership
55%
Improved sales
51%
50%
Reduced marketing expenses
0%
Figure 1.7
10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
Source: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-media-marketing-industryreport-2015/
90%
Increased exposure
Benefits of SMM
based their success on marketing through television, radio, newspapers, yellow pages, or
direct mail. However, these methods are losing their power in the marketplace. People
are watching less traditional TV and are instead viewing videos and television online.
Radio is being replaced by online streaming music on sites such as Pandora.com and
Spotify. Newspapers are in dramatic decline, while blogs such as the Huffington Post
are growing in popularity. The printed Yellow Pages are more likely to be used to hold
up a computer monitor than to locate a business, with the abundance of online white
page and yellow page directories. Direct mail coupons end up in the garbage because the
same coupons can be found online and on mobile sites. To keep up with their changing
audiences, marketers find it necessary to join the social media tsunami.
In some instances, social media can have a powerful impact in an industry or in a
situation where it seems unlikely to be useful or both. In addition, it will probably take time
for the full impact of SMM to be felt. Such was the case with JetBlue Airlines that operates
in an industry known for being near the bottom in customer satisfaction rankings.
In February 2007, JetBlue’s corporate image was dealt a serious blow when weather
and “…a shoestring communications system that left pilots and flight attendants in the
dark, and an undersized reservation system,” caused about 1,000 flight cancelations
within 5 days, stranding thousands of passengers on Valentine’s Day.15
In an effort to reach out to customers, CEO Neeleman appeared in an unscripted
YouTube video, apologizing for the airline’s mistakes and announcing a “Customer Bill of
Rights,” which outlined steps the airline would take in response to service interruptions.
The airline’s apology was disseminated on traditional offline media as well as on social
media, with the whole incident receiving considerable attention in the news media. The
admission of complete responsibility for the incident and an acknowledgement of the
pain it caused passengers, coupled with a credible promise to fix it, amounted “to the
perfect business apology—in fact, it is likely to become a generally accepted standard for
how business errors should be handled.”16As a consequence, the video apology received
a significant number of comments, most of which were positive because it felt authentic
and genuine.17 Recognizing the power of social media to connect with the traveling
public, JetBlue set out to develop a full-fledged SMM strategy.
The centerpiece of that social media strategy has become JetBlue’s Twitter account,
which grew from a mere 700 followers, as of March 7, 2008, to approximately 1.1 million
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9
followers by August of 200918 and almost 1.96 million in the late summer of 2015.19
This kind of growth is nothing short of phenomenal and can be directly attributed
to the company’s social media strategy of first using Twitter to see what people were
saying about them, then responding to questions, and finally engaging in full blown
conversations with their customer base.20
More important than sheer number of Twitter followers is the impact on the airline’s
corporate image. J.D. Powers 2015 study of airline customer satisfaction found that
“JetBlue Airways ranks highest in the low-cost carrier segment for a 10th consecutive
year.”21 In addition, the 2015 Temkin Customer Experience Survey announced that
“JetBlue took the top spot [in the airline industry] with a rating of 75%, placing it 52nd
overall out of 293 companies across 20 industries.” The airline industry itself ranked
twelfth of the 20 industries covered in the survey.22
The HubSpot blog explained that there are three teams who tweet from the
@JetBlue account—the marketing team, the corporate communications team, and
Laurie Meacham’s customer commitment team. According to her, “employees don’t
feel pressured to hit a response goal by sending quick responses to every single tweet
that comes in. We want our employees to engage smartly, and for the conversations to
be organic and natural. We look for opportunities to add value and connect with our
customers, not just respond to every single mention that comes our way.” With some
2,500 mentions on Twitter each day, it behooves JetBlue to use its social media resources
wisely in pursuit of their corporate goals.23
Social Media Myth #5: SMM Is New
The technology is new but the principle is not SMM is not really new. Most of the
marketing principles, based on social, behavioral, and economic concepts, have been
around for many years, but new technology and media are changing the role those
concepts play in modern marketing efforts. For example, brands are very excited about
the potential to harness online conversations on blogs, Twitter, and social networks. The
behavior—talking about brands and businesses—isn’t new and is more generally called
WOM marketing. The difference is that these conversations are now public, online, and
viewable for the indefinite future.
The newest aspect of social media is the technology that enables open and
transparent online conversations. Some companies don’t want to “get on” social media
because they are afraid of what consumers might say about them. The reality is that
consumers are already on social sites, talking about businesses on their Facebook pages,
blogs, and Twitter accounts, whether a business acknowledges this or not.
Social Media Myth #6: Social Media Is Too
Time-Consuming
Social media does require a consistent time commitment One of the biggest business
concerns about using SMM is the amount of time and resources it will take. The time
and the human and technology resources required to manage SMM depends on the
size of the business. Large companies that have thousands of online mentions a day will
have to dedicate more resources to social media than a small business. However, large
businesses can devote more technology to social media efficiency, like the Cisco listening
center described in Chapter 2. The time commitment required to manage social media
will also depend on the specific social media strategy and approach used.
Most of the concern about time and resources comes from small- and medium-sized
businesses. After the initial setup and strategy, these businesses should be able to manage
their social media programs effectively with only a few hours per week. Social media
doesn’t have to be time consuming when done right. The problem is that many people
log on to Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn and become addicted to checking out what
10
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friends are up to, exchanging messages, or generally spending far more time than
necessary for business promotion.
There are three key ways to limit the time investment in SMM. The first is to look
for underutilized employees who can spend some of their time on SMM. For example, a
receptionist may not be busy the entire day, and many retail stores and restaurants have
downtimes during which human resources are not fully utilized.
The second opportunity is to leverage efficiency tools. There are a number of sites,
such as Hootsuite, TweetDeck, and CoTweet, which make managing social media easier.
By using these tools, social media efforts can be streamlined. We will discuss these tools
in detail in Chapter 14.
Finally, using mobile devices is a key way to boost efficiency in SMM. This is
especially helpful for publishing multimedia content. Smartphones (a Blackberry, an
iPhone, or an Android phone) can take a picture or video and instantly post it onto
Facebook, Twitter, or a blog in only a minute. This speed makes managing SMM even
easier and less time consuming. The importance of mobile in SMM will be discussed in
Chapter 12.
Social Media Myth #7: Social Media Is Free
Wrong Many businesses are excited about social media because the media itself is free.
Nevertheless, while most sites do not have a fee for usage, social media isn’t really free.
First, there is the cost in terms of personnel time and technology resources, as well as the
fee of using consultants or agencies involved in building and executing the social media
strategy. Social media takes time, as indicated in the previous section, and that alone
means it is not free.
Second, similar to other media and advertising, in addition to costs from posting
content, there are also costs to producing and creating content. Imagine if it were free
to run TV commercials. Companies would run lots of commercials, including more
bad ones that drive fewer sales. Free access means no barrier to entry and greater
competition for consumer attention. Good commercials would still have costs for
creativity and production in order to produce a sequence memorable enough to be
recognized and remembered. In a similar way, strong social media strategies may entail
costs for top-quality creative or development efforts, depending on their scale.
Finally, many businesses engaging in social media invest in a guide or consultant to
help them through the process. Consultants can help businesses get off to a quicker start
and avoid common pitfalls, as well as save time and money.
Regardless of whether or not there are actual out-of-pocket expenses associated
with social media, the resource and time costs should not be forgotten. As time spent
on social media is not free, it must be allocated wisely in order to generate maximum
results. Hopefully, this text will provide the tools necessary to get the most impact out of
time spent on SMM.
The History of SMM
Currently, social media is said to have reached critical mass with 73% of adults in the
United States having a profile on a social network.24 Still, this trend emerged from
humble beginnings, as illustrated by the social media timeline in Figure 1.8. Using a
loose interpretation, one could say that the first social media existed as soon as the first
postal service was created, which allowed people to communicate across great distances
instead of just face-to-face. However, SMM in the most relevant sense for this book
became viable with the development of the Internet in the late 1960s. The early Internet
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11
Source: http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/evolution-social-media/503697
Figure 1.8
12
A Social Media Timeline
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was created for the use of professors and researchers working for the Department of
Defense. Those researchers began using the ARPANET (the Advanced Research Projects
Agency Network, a core of what would become the Internet) resources for nonwork
purposes, and usage quickly began to grow. Early online marketing efforts would soon
follow; the first spam email message was sent in 1978!†
The earliest ancestor of today’s diverse social media platforms is most likely
USENET, developed by Duke University graduate students Jim Ellis and Tom Truscott
in 1979. Users can post articles, which are organized into newsgroups depending on the
topic. Other users can subscribe to newsgroups they find interesting; often some post
responses to an article they read, forming a thread. Unlike bulletin boards or online
forums that have an administrator or central hub, USENET is a conglomeration of
separate servers run by different organizations or Internet service providers (ISPs),
which exchange articles and threads with each other. In this way, articles posted by one
user can reach many others eventually, and people can comment and have their voices
heard. These are the core principles of social media.
Following USENET, there was an explosion of different web-based services designed
for people with common interests to share information. The WELL (Whole Earth
‘Lectronic Link) was created in 1985, starting out as a dial-up bulletin board system
(BBS). This quickly developed into a dial-up ISP in the early 1990s, dramatically
expanding its user base. Its online forums are still hosting discussions today. Other
dial-up BBS systems like CompuServe and Prodigy were fulfilling a similar function by
hosting user-driven discussions about various topics.
The growth of social media paralleled the increasing development of computing and
Internet transfer technology. While in the 1990s most Internet users were on dial-up
connections with speeds under 56 kilobytes per second, within 10 years broadband
technology such as DSL and cable Internet became available, increasing transfer speeds
by thousands of times. As more data was transferred quickly, social media networks
became more advanced and included elements other than just plain text. In 1999 Napster
was developed, allowing users to quickly share media files such as music and video with
each other. Wikipedia was established in 2001 and continues to be a leading source of
relevant user-contributed information.
Figure 1.8 chronicles the development of major social media platforms. The years
2003 and 2004 were highly significant for social media with the creation of MySpace,
Delicious, Second Life, and Facebook. The photo-sharing site Flickr was created in
2004 and YouTube for sharing videos in 2005. Twitter came along in 2006. Some of the
original platforms have gone into serious decline during this brief period and do not
even show in Figure 1.8. New platforms continue to arise, each seeking to draw in more
online participants and develop its own market share. As a result, the history of social
media platforms is still being written.
The groundbreaking texts for social media as a serious academic and marketing
field were also being written during that same time period. The possibilities for brandrelated online social interaction and community were being explored. Since the mid2000s, a slew of instructional books have been published, focused on specific areas of
SMM, search engine optimization, and other web-based marketing tactics. Some experts
have made their careers out of this developing field; Guy Kawasaki, Chris Brogan, and
†
The first mass email message was sent to 393 people out of the 2,600 ARPANET users at the time in
order to advertise a new computer model created by Digital Equipment Corporation. It was sent by Gary
Turk. For more information, see: NPR News (2008, May 3), “At 30, Spam Going Nowhere Soon,” hosted
by Andrea Seabrook (transcript online, retrieved September 8, 2011, from http://www.npr.org/templates/
story/story.php?storyId=90160617); Tom Abate (2008, May 3), “A Very Unhappy Birthday to Spam, Age
30,” San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 8, 2011, from http://articles.sfgate.com/2008-05-03/
business/17155925_1_spam-e-mail-world-wide-web
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13
David Meerman Scott, to name just a few, have become household names in SMM.
Obviously, this is a rapidly evolving field and it has corresponding job opportunities to
be discussed in the final sections of this chapter.
Why SMM Is Different
A common misconception is that SMM just means using new online social media sites
to do traditional marketing, but this is often not the case. The traditional marketing
approach, emphasizing the four Ps (product, price, place, and promotion), has become
second nature to many professionals. While the traditional marketing perspective still
has important lessons for future marketers, in the new terrain of social media, it has to
be adapted or in some areas changed completely.
Several aspects distinguish SMM from so-called traditional marketing. The first is
control vs. contributions. Traditional marketing seeks to control the content seen by the
audience. Old school marketers attempt to dominate the territory and try to exclude
their competitors’ messages. On the Internet, and in social media especially, control over
content consumed is in the hands of consumers and marketers ignore that truth to their
detriment.
SMM emphasizes audience contribution and relinquishes control over large parts of
the content. Effective social media marketers can sometimes influence what participants
say and think about their brand, but rarely can they control the conversation entirely.
Indeed, the very nature of social media can make controlling the conversation seem rude
and domineering. Avoiding this pitfall makes knowledge of social media important even
for persons engaged in traditional marketing.
The second important distinction between traditional and SMM is trust building.
Firms cannot fully control the content that users will create, so to build their image,
companies must develop trusting relationships with their audience. Unlike traditional
advertisements in which consumers expect some exaggeration or spin to be applied to
the product’s image, on social media it is important to be earnest and down- to-earth. All
communication must be authentic, in tone and in context.
The importance of trust emerges from how social media messages are consumed.
In traditional marketing, the signal is one-way: from the firm to potential customers.
However, social media involves many-to-many communication with brands being only
one participant. The audience’s attention cannot be taken for granted; deliver boring,
inaccurate, or irrelevant information and they will look elsewhere. Unlike an advertising
campaign with a set beginning and end, social media is an ongoing conversation.
Companies that bend the truth will be eventually held accountable and have to explain
their actions. This pattern appears in numerous case studies throughout the book.
On social media, trust is slow to earn but very easy to lose. Successful social media
marketers consider building trust with the audience to be of paramount importance.
SMM is a unique combination of marketing creativity and technology. We see
examples of creative use of marketing technology on an almost-daily basis. The TV
commercial pictured in Figure 1.9 is only one example.
In just 30 short seconds, the TV spot shows celebrities ordering pizza using a variety
of technologies.25 Richard Sherman Tweets, Eva Longoria uses her TV remote, Sarah
Hyland shows how she uses a pizza emoji to text her order, and Clark Gregg orders
his with a tap on his smartwatch. Domino’s calls it “AnyWare.”26 These various online
technologies are being featured in a commercial on traditional TV. That is another
key theme of this book. SMM does not exist in a vacuum; it is part of digital marketing,
which, in turn, is part of the overall marketing effort.
14
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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdyOI7m3hwo
Figure 1.9
Richard Sherman Tweets to Order a Domino’s Pizza
The Domino’s pizza ordering system is only one innovative use of technology from
one brand. There are new and different SMM efforts visible on an almost-daily basis.
The pervasive and ever-evolving nature of social media means that SMM offers an
interesting set of career options.
Careers in SMM
Throughout this chapter, we have documented the phenomenal growth of social media
and the accompanying growth of SMM. From virtually nothing in 2003, social media
has grown to be measured in billions—from billions of users to billions of dollars in
sales influenced by social media. Clearly that growth has not occurred without growth
in the number of jobs in the field. Numbers are hard to come by because many social
media marketers have transitioned from other jobs in their company and because many
marketers work only part time on social media, but one has only to look at the online job
boards to verify that a talent hunt is ongoing.
Developing Your Personal Brand Online
“We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most
important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”1 So says famed
strategy consultant Tom Peters, author of a book entitled The Brand Called You. In
this book, published in 1997, he makes a powerful argument for personal branding
and marketing. Peters continues to update his views on personal branding on his
personal website. The website links to his blog, which has a category Brand You.2
1
Martinuzzi, Bruna (July 9, 2014). “How to Build an Unforgettable Personal Brand.” Retrieved on
March 27, 2015, from https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/
how-to-build-an-unforgettable-personal-brand/
2
(n.d.), tompeters!. http://tompeters.com/
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15
Any person taking this course probably already has some kind of an online
presence. How widespread that presence is, how positive it is, and how helpful
it will be to your ongoing career development are all important questions. We will
explore the topic of personal branding in topic boxes in almost all the chapters in
this book. Each will focus on the role of the chapter’s content in your own personal
branding process.
We will use the basic model popularized by Dan Schawbel in his books, website,
and blogs and in his writing for Forbes and other business publications. Having
only recently attained the age of 30, Dan has made himself into a successful
business using the personal branding techniques he espouses.
His model has four stages:
Step #1 Discover. In the first step, you will learn about yourself and the
distinctive characteristics that will make your brand unique. This is a journey of
personal discovery and self-assessment, and it should be an honest evaluation
of your strengths and weaknesses and the career-related skills you possess or
need to develop. As you go through this process, you may want to develop a
personal value statement that succinctly describes who you are and what you
have to offer.
Step #2 Create. In the second step, you will create a personal marketing
portfolio to support your brand. The portfolio should include your resume in
both offline and online formats. It also includes supporting documentation like
cover letters and recommendations. The portfolio must have a home, preferably
one that can easily be found by hiring managers. Creating a personal website
is an excellent approach. Both Wix3 and Weebly4 are free and easy to use and
allow you to develop a site that will be a good home for the content you create
in this and other classes. You may also want to create a blog or use another
Internet platform to create and disseminate content that reinforces your brand
image.
Step #3 Communicate. By the time you reach the third step, you have
developed your personal characteristics and skills and you possess a portfolio
of content that supports your brand. You have identified the audience(s) you
need to reach with your brand message and where and how they consume
content. Now you are ready to distribute and promote this content to the
important stakeholders in your career space.
Step #4. Maintain. In the final step, you will continue to create and disseminate
content that supports your brand. You will put tools in place and develop a
routine for using them to monitor the development of your brand and to ensure
its security on the web and in whatever offline environments it resides.
Each of these stages will be discussed from various perspectives as we move
through the book.
It is important to remember that social media is not the only foundation on
which your personal brand rests. This model is from Me 2.0. You can see that it
encompasses offline tools like public relations and networking as well as online
tools like search engine optimization in addition to social media.
3
4
16
http://www.wix.com/
http://www.weebly.com/
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Dan Schawbel’s Octopus Model of Relevancy
Search Engine
Optimization
Career
Development
Entrepreneurship
Personal
Brand
Public Relations
Marketing/
Branding
Human Resources
Networking
Source: Schawbel, Dan (n.d.). Me 2.0 Revised and Updated Edition, Kindle Ediion, Loc 715.
Social Media
There are numerous writers who deal with the topic of developing and taking
advantage of a personal brand. We will reference many of them as the personal
branding discussion continues. One who concentrates on personal branding and
related subjects is Professor Denny McCorkle. His website is Digital Self Marketing
Advantage, and you might want to follow him on one of the channels listed on the
site. Another is Professor Theresa Clarke who publishes The Marketing Career Info
Weekly on content curation site Paper.li. You can find the link to subscribe
@TheresaBClarke.
T…
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