When people talk about Social Media Marketing, the first thing in their minds is Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other social networking sites. I have to tell you, this is totally wrong.
Let us define what actually and social media and social media marketing are by breaking down these terms.
Social - According to Dictionary.com, social means seeking or enjoying the companionship of others; friendly; sociable.
Media - Media are means of communication, as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Myspace, etc that reach or influence people widely.
While Marketing - From Wikipedia, we know that marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
This means social media are platforms for people to interact, to communicate and to socialise. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Myspace are not social media marketing, they are social media. While social media marketing means, you apply marketing strategies on social media.
A lot of people can't differentiate between social media and social media marketing. For example, when talk about Facebook marketing, most people advice you create Facebook Fan Pages and invite people to "Like" you pages without using any proper marketing strategies and without evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing strategies. But what actually we need is:
1st - We need to understand what Facebook users want, we need to understand their behaviour on Facebook.
2nd - We need to develop marketing strategies to communicate with them, to engage them, e.g contest, publish high quality content, etc.
3rd - We need to evaluate our marketing strategies.
Without three things above, you are not doing social media marketing, you are just joining and HOPE you can get sales from social media.