What is Social Media Marketing? It’s almost easier to define what it isn’t anymore these days. It occurs almost every where you go and on everything you see. Some people would go to the obvious one, Facebook, and you would be right. Facebook was one of the biggest tools of Social Media Marketing. Other “tools” have emerged in Social Media Marketing, like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Yelp, YouTube and so on. One of the very first tools of Social Media Marketing was the “Blog,” which began to spring up in the late 1990s. Blogs usually consisted of one person making posts which would appear as a webpage that anyone on the internet could pull up. Recently blogs have been incorporating “Multi-Author Blogs.” I believe that blogs have lost a bit of flavor to the giants of Social Media Marketing like, Facebook and Twitter.
These giants of Social Media Marketing have nearly taken over the world, literally. I will use Facebook as my example as it is the most familiar to most people. Whenever you watch television and a commercial break comes on, almost every commercial has some tie in to Facebook, sometimes even Twitter. At the end of the commercial we have all heard that sweet little voice say, “Like us on Facebook.” I imagine that many companies who started using this excelled over their competitors. Soon after many companies began attaching twitter to their bag of tools. Increasing business revenues has not been the only thing that Facebook has done to shape the world around us, it has actually overthrown government.
In small part Facebook was one of the tools used to overthrow Egypt’s rule in early 2011 and was again used in Libya a few months later. Both of these countries attempted to block their people’s internet usage and were succesful for the most part. However, there were a few who had ways of getting information out these countries through those media platforms. Social Media has gone beyond what email used to be able to do, everyone could see the narrative and pictures of an oppressed people, not just one individual like email. As this media reached the world, the world responded in out rage and it forced political leaders to respond as well. President Obama enacted a “No Fly Zone” over Libya which prevented Qaddafi from reinforcing his army with mercenary thugs. There are many other events that have been covered by social media: Kony 2012, The protest on Wall Street, 2008 Presidential Election and so many more.
Social Media Marketing is used by almost everyone in one form or another. Some people use Social Media just for connecting to friends and family, businesses use it to make profits higher and some people use it to start a revolution. It was started by the people and businesses tried to use it to their advantage. Those companies may have had some success but will never come close to what the collective group of the people have been able to accomplish. The people own social media as it should be.