Social media marketing: discussions and relationships

Friday, 09 June 2017

«The voice – the authentic expression of an individual lies in the craftsmanship of our hands as well as in our words – is experiencing a rebirth on the Internet. Indeed, the Internet is a conversation carried out in several different formats – web pages, e-mails, forums, mailing lists – that allow new possibilities for human relationships. Business usually does not like this, because conversations are unpredictable, confusing and uncontrollable. But there is no way to silence human voices. Wisest companies will learn how to participate in this conversation».

So, in 1999, Rick Levine, author, with Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger of the Clutrain Manifesto. Ninety-five theses (or better, clues) that aroused strong echoes, not just in marketing environments.

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Markets are conversations

«Markets are conversations». The first thesis, on which the entire text structure is based. A thesis that moves from afar, says Locke: «The ancient markets pulsed to the sound of life: the conversation. They sold handmade products that conveyed the trademark of the person who made them».

A conversation that was interrupted, because «mass production led to mass marketing and mass media: interchangeable manufacturers, products and consumers […]». Then the capsizing, back to that conversation, no longer confined to the ancient markets but widespread on a global scale. Thanks to the Internet, «indomitable and pulsating to the sound of the human voice».

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In 2015, Searls and Weinberger published 121 New Clues. «We were right in the first place: the markets are conversations», clue number 52. That is true. They were right. Eighteen years have passed since the Cluetrain Manifesto, markets are now conversations, more than ever, and the most fertile ground where they are realized are social media.

We must therefore understand how to participate in these conversations. Because being there is not enough, we mean on Facebook, Twitter and so forth. We have to participate, we have to build relationships, and we must do it with the awareness that «the aim of the conversation is not to push you towards a product that we do not want to hear about» (clue number 53).

Social media marketing: a definition

There are many definitions of social media marketing. One, in our opinion, stands out for clarity and synthesis, is that one created by Hootsuite Media experts. Here it is:

Social media marketing is the use of social media to increase brand awareness, identify target audience, generate contacts, build significant relationships with customers

A clear and synthetic definition that, however, opens the doors to a world absolutely not simple. Making social media marketing is challenging, it takes time, study, investment, and continuous updating.

Please, beware of who proposes definitive guides. We have selected some influential and useful resources to approach social media marketing in a conscious manner.

Before we point you out, we want to share with you the main evidences of the 2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Social Media Examiner, to identify benefits, trends and challenges of the industry as they appear from social media marketing every day.

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Social media marketing: benefits and trends

The 2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report is the ninth annual Social Media Examiner report, one of the most authoritative sources in the sector. About 5.710 marketers who, in January 2017, responded to questions from experts led by Michael Stelzner. 4% of the panel was made up of people working in tourism.

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Most of the participants, 69%, were between the ages of 30 and 59. And the female represented 60%. Regarding the countries, 49% of the participants came from the USA, 8% from the UK, 6% from Canada, 4% from Australia and 4% from India.

So let’s summarize the main evidences of the study:

  • visual content has become essential, with 85% of marketers using them and 73% planning to increase their use
  • live videos are a hot topic, with 61% of marketers using services like Facebook Live and Periscope, and 69% want to know more about them
  • Instagram is growing, with 54% of marketers using it, 63% planning to increase their use, and 71% want to know more about them
  • Facebook is the most important social network for marketers, with 62% of them employing the creature of Mark Zuckerberg; it follows LinkedIn, with a percentage of 16%
  • there is uncertainty about the effectiveness of marketing made on Facebook, with 40% of marketers who are not sure if their work is working and 53% who have decreased the exposure to News Feed of the blue social network
  • ads dominate on Facebook, with 93% of social marketers using Facebook Ads and 64% planning to increase their use
  • strategies and engagement are the main areas that marketers want to master, 91% of them want to know the most effective social strategies and the best ways to engage the public
  • social media are important for business for 92% of marketers who participated in the survey

And which are the benefits that social media marketing brings to the business?

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Social media marketing allows you to:

  • gain exposure and traffic
  • develop a fan base and improve customer retention
  • get market insight
  • become a reference point
  • increase partnerships
  • improve sales

The 2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report also allows us to find out which social media networks are most used by marketers

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… and which are the social media networks that invest more in terms of advertising

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It is a mine of information, the study of Social Media Examiner. Have a look.

Social media marketing: useful resources

Here are, in the end, the resources we have selected to help you understand social media marketing in all its aspects, in a concrete way.

Social Media Examiner

2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report

edited by Social Media Examiner

Hootsuite Social Blog

edited by Hootsuite Media

Resource Library

edited by Hootsuite Media

Ninja Marketing (Social, ITA)

Hubspot Blogs (Social Media)

Enjoy the journey with 6Tour!

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