Social Media Marketing (SMM), that is, marketing and public relations via social Web sites as Facebook, MySpace, blogging, on-line video and podcasts, are becoming the preferred tools for today's smart marketing or PR person. These new tools are especially important to those of us who are entrepreneurs, consultants or owners of small (especially niche) businesses.
There's been a big swing from so-called, interruption marketing - that is, TV/radio commercials, and blanket (non-targeted) ads by companies hoping to interest people in buying their products....to more social, personal approaches where the general public is able to interact directly, and more informally, with the companies seeking their business.
I'm currently reading the brand new book out by David M. Scott, The New Rules of Marketing & PR (2nd Ed.), published just this year (ISBN 978-0-470-54781-6, 270 pages). Scott says that the Web has changed all the old rules of marketing and PR. Things like "marketing meant advertising and branding, the need to appeal to the masses, interrupting people to get their attention, advertising is "one-way"...company to consumer, advertising was all about selling products, dependancy on "the media" to feature your products, and on and on.
With the Web and associated blogging, user groups and things like Facebook, all those old ideas are out the window. The new rules include: (from the book) "marketing is more than just advertising, PR is for more than just the mainstream media audience, you are what you publish, people want authenticity - not spin, people want participation - not propaganda." Scott also makes the point that companies need to drive the purchase decision through "great online content." Blogs, online video, e-books, news releases, etc., are of more interest to people trying to make a purchase decision.
Scott has divided the book into three major sections; How the Web has changed the rules of marketing and PR, Web-based communications to reach buyers directly and an Action plan for harnessing the power of the new rules.
As I get through the book, I'll continue to add additional points, but for those of you who running small businesses, or are consultants, etc. this is a "must have" addition to your library. Highly recommended.