Strategic Social Media: From Marketing to Social Change
The social media revolution has undoubtedly brought limitless guides on how to maximizethe new technology towards a desired outcome. The inherit definition of social media is grounded in its ability to support interactive dialogue across various media platforms (Baruah, 2012). However, the majority of social media references measure success by its ability tomaximize profit or become a viral sensation.As socialmedia scholarswewonder, if the entire premise of socialmedia is the ability to hold a conversation online, wouldn’t a successful socialmedia endeavor be to successfully engage the intended audience through interactive dialogue rather than top-down diffusion? Thus, the idea for Strategic Social Media: From Marketing to Social Change was born.
Inspiration was further ignited by a futile search for a textbook to use for a college-level social media course.While numerous socialmedia texts intend to offer a step-by-step “how to”manual in socialmedia marketing practices, few provide theoretical explanations for the role social media play in facilitating behavior change in audiences. It was important to create a reference that covers the many opportunities that social media affords users in breaking down barriers with institutions of power, achieving greater transparency, and encouraging dialogue to mobilize users. Our hope is that this book provides a balance between best socialmediamarketing practices and the application of traditional communication, behavior change, and marketing theories.
Social media are able to inspire human behavior change, whether that behavior change is intended to inspire marketing decisions or social change. We believe it is important to provide social media strategies that readers can apply to any past, present or future social media platform. The intersection of theory, practice, and mindfulness will help practitioners make better decisions regarding brand objectives and the world they impact, and make them more valuable than a professional who is only familiar with social media tools and marketing business models.
This book is divided into five distinct sections: 1. Socialmedia landscape; 2. Social media users and messages; 3. Social media business models and marketing strategies; 4. Social responsibility and cause marketing; and 5. The future of social media technologies.
We begin by exploring the role of social media in today’s convergence culture by asking questions such as: What is the current social media landscape? How are individuals and organizations utilizing newmedia tools? The section introduces three primary functions of social media – diffusing information, providing a sense of community for audiences, and mobilizing users into action. These functions will build the foundation for all social media strategies outlined in later sections of the book.
The second section of the book focuses on constructing socialmediamessages that reach intended audiences and ignite dialogue and behavior change. It examines how social media alter the way we view the audience. Rather than viewing users as a passive entity who only consume online messages, we favor theoretical assumptions about how users participate and negotiate in the information-exchange process. By transforming socialmedia messages frommodes of information diffusion towards more interactive sites formobilization, we are able to establish a sense of community among users.
Third, the book examines various social media businessmodels and marketing strategies. Classicmarketing literature has focused on how to best compete with similar products. This section explains the importance of collaborating and communicatingwith your competitors to promote mutual gain. It also offers insights on how to best evaluate and monitor social media marketing efforts.
Next, this book explains why marketing for social good is more important than ever. By examining case studies in public health, civic engagement, and cause marketing, we identify the potential of social media to make a positive difference on the world. Social media users demand increased transparency with how products are manufactured, sold, and reviewed by other consumers. By taking control over social media narratives, practitioners are able to increase their return on investment, while also promoting social good.
Finally, this book explores the future of social media landscape. The section explains how to integrate traditional media with new, incorporates a more sustainable mindset, and argues for a general framework for socialmedia scholarship. The book concludes by offering insights onWeb 3.0 and the future social media technologies.
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|November 3, 2016|
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