Suggestion: don’t just call it all social media marketing. Call at least part of it community management.
Why? Because words and phrases get worn out. Or they get clogged like a motor boat’s propeller in a swamp. And social media marketing has been worn out by too many people with too many fake names talking up too many products with too many fake offers.
I’m not at all against social media marketing; it makes perfect sense in some contexts. The big brand using social media to deliver messages, for example, is social media marketing. And Marketing is not a dirty word. Marketing is getting people to know, like, and trust your brand, so social media ought to be one of the tools.
But community management is a better way to describe the business role of developing personality, relationships with people, and conversation. Marketing is getting people to know, like, and trust. Social media belongs there. Social media should be part of the marketing mix, especially for smaller businesses, individual businesses, and expert businesses.
But there is a part of social media that differs from most of the rest of the marketing mix because it’s inherently conversational. Conversation means as much listening as talking, and no shouting.
Furthermore, the conversation is social media isn’t just a simple dialog, with two people at a time; it’s multidimensional conversation, with a lot of different people involved, at different levels, and different times. Authenticity, meaning real people, real opinions, and real participation, makes a huge difference.
And that, essentially, is community. So at least a subset of social media marketing is community management. It’s helping people, solving problems, expanding the community, and managing issues. It’s building the sense of belonging, involvement, commitment, and caring.
What do you think?