Social marketing or social networking?
Many clients are talking about all things social. Friends and colleagues are interested as well.
Amidst the endless attention and hours spent on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, many
don’t seem to understand the difference between “social marketing” and “social networking”.
Here’s my take…
Social marketing is part of an overall marketing strategy to help attract potential customers to your website and sell product. This can include Google ad words, blogs, e-newsletters, e-coupons, news releases and other vehicles to build traffic. It is a “push” strategy encouraging those to take action.
Social networking is a method to connect and communicate with other like-minded individuals whether it be discussions on business, food, sports or politics.
This is done by joining online groups and organizations, and commenting on issues of the day posed by the administrator or other members.
One can use social networks for business advice, job search or just for fun.
Some use social networking as part of a social marketing strategy. But it is more of a “pull” strategy where you establish yourself as an expert in a certain area and hope others tell their friends about your business. But be careful. Too much of a hard sell may cause the administrator to bar you from participating in conversations or even cause your removal from the group.
I recently participated in an interesting online group discussion on LinkedIn on social marketing. I was one of over 40 who responded that day.
Interestingly, one response came from a bed and breakfast owner in Ireland. She wanted some ideas on how she could generate some traffic in a tough economy.
She wanted a private response and I was glad to do it. I actually had some fun throwing out a few things she might try. Hope they work for her.
The Ireland response is the perfect example of social networking. Though we are oh so far apart we are oh so connected.