Recently I posted my working definitions of social media and social media marketing and got good reader feedback both on- and offline. I modified the definitions and used them to kick off a social marketing strategy document for review with my VP. This document was one part disquisition, one part tactical plan, and eleven pages overall, so I decided the definitions could be fairly terse.
Here's where I landed. What do you think?
A category of communications that let people create, share, and discuss materials online. Social media includes internet-only services like social networks, video sharing sites, and blogging services, but also simpler tools like commenting and polls that can be embedded on regular sites. Social media users share their photos, videos, stories, comments, and perspectives with each other, leading to multi-way online conversations. This engagement builds shared meaning and relationships among participants.
Social media marketing
A category of Internet marketing that leverages the power of social media to connect companies to customers and customers to each other. Social media marketing seeks to build awareness and shared understanding of a company’s brand through multi-way conversation. It relies on word-of-mouth tactics that let constituents create, distribute, and discuss content about a company’s offerings—stories that become available in real-time and remain findable via search engines later. Social media marketing is an indirect method of acquiring leads and customers. It’s not a direct-response approach, but rather one that helps build brand awareness, affinity, and traffic. As a reward for its engagement with social media, a company can enjoy increased exposure; inexpensive, ad-hoc customer feedback; real-time targeted market research; and enhanced customer affinity and trust.