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Social media marketing
Internet marketing primarily consists of a few categories in various stages of consumer engagement. Search engine marketing, search engine optimization, affiliate marketing, banner/text ad marketing, email marketing and please use whatever buzz word you want for the sixth category. OK. I'll say it. Social media marketing. And, there's probably another stage or two of marketing I left out.
The end goal with all of these methods is to drive traffic to a Web site and convert a consumer into a sale. Remember those two points traffic and sales. I'm not talking about branding or other components, because in different ways all of the above categories mentioned achieve this, some more obtrusive than others, some more effective than others. I'm strictly talking about the four Ps here: product, place, pricing and promotion.
Product and pricing is pretty much self explanatory. The place in this case is an online point of purchase, but it could also be an offline point of purchase. Lastly we get to the final P, Promotion.
The principles of social media marketing are the same as everything else, with the exception of communities that ultimately form conversations. Social media marketing in general is a two-way marketing method, where as the rest are all one-way marketing methods.
Promotion → Communication → Online Communities = Social Media Marketing.
Facebook, Twitter, and the other social networking platforms are the core tools of social media. These facilitators of the message are used to create conversations and build communities around a brands product or services. Brands that foster, encourage, and contribute to the conversation are the ones who are creating brand awareness, brand identity, and ultimately increasing sales. Brands that create content that tells a story and enables a community to rally behind it, and spread the message are the ones who understand the essence of social media marketing.
Key aspects of social media marketing.
Content created by and published by the user for the user is social media marketing. Brands can be the catalyst for the content starter, but it's the consumers contribution that will carry the message.
Creating buzz in the form of video, tweets or blog postings that enable and drive consumers to share and spread the message. Content that is replicated by the end users is priceless word of mouth marketing. Re-tweets is a good example of this.
Buzz creates virility, and this is the core element of social media marketing. Create the message that will get people talking and rest assured it will spread like a wildfire.
Build the platforms that enable conversations and form communities. Facebook fan pages are a good example of this, so is Twitter, and blogs as well. These platforms enable the end user, your consumer, and your brand to promote your message. Communication always two-way is the glue that
binds social media marketing. Contribute to the conversations, never try to control them because it can backfire. The last thing you want is the wrong message spreading, and once it spreads off your platforms it can be a fire that you can not put out.
Empower the crowd
Create compelling content, tell a story and contribute to the conversation. Empower your users to rally behind your message, spread it, share it and talk about it, and you will have the anitodte for a sucessful social media marketing campaign.
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What is Twitter?
Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from Twitter.com, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests.
Where did the idea for Twitter come from?
Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.
How is Twitter built?
Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes.
We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.
How do you make money from Twitter?
There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.
In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within Twitter.com, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet.
At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.
Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on Virginamerica.com that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.
What's next for Twitter?
We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users.
We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.