Social Media Marketing Is Not Social Media Marketing
People keep talking about social media marketing. I have no idea what that means and it really makes no sense. It’s just as much social media marketing as putting a billboard up is billboard marketing. Social media is simply the medium upon which we perform, what I like to call, recommendation marketing.
What is Recommendation Marketing?
Recommendation marketing is simply facilitating a way for people to recommend products to one another. Whether it be a friend or a stranger, consumers tend to respond better to a recommendation than an ad.
This recommendation is powerful, because a good review is seldom alone. Usually, the product is followed by many more, meaning that a single person isn’t recommending the product, ma
One of the most obvious ways it’s done, is with the “email-this” button. Inviting users to email products to their friends is the most powerful of recommendation marketing.
It’s important to understand that this doesn’t happen often. However, receiving a recommendation from a friend can lead to a sale.
Think about an offline sale, and the power your friends have over you when they tell you they bought something and really liked it. The only difference is, online when a friend recommends a product it also takes you straight to the store.
Social media also creates a way for us to get ratings from people that have already used the product. Although not as powerful as a friend’s recommendation, people use ratings to rank and finalize their products.
When a market is full of potential items to buy, consumers can turn to user ratings to decide if the product is worth it.
After ratings, social media has introduced the idea of user generated reviews. It’s an interesting phenomenon that consumers are willing to trust, untrained, anonymous reviews, and yet it’s true.
A good product generally has many good reviews too. Some reviewers go much more in depth than others, but each review is a vote of confidence towards the item. Potential consumers count this as a recommendation towards the product, with each one bringing them closer to buying it.
Recommendation marketing is nothing different than what already occurs on the offline world. The idea of social media marketing is misleading, instead it’s just a new way to facilitate something in a new medium.
What makes social media special is that it requires an understanding of the community and its tools. Since it’s a new field, innovation is still possible, so smart marketers stand out. In the end we’re all just using social media to get our products recommended and sold.