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What is social media? Don’t you mean virtual marketing, not viral marketing?

Every year Merriam-Webster Dictionary adds new words to it’s lexicon. New for 2009 are words like webinar and edamame, but Merriam-Webster Dictionary has not yet added “social media” or “viral marketing.” They are too new for many to know what they mean without further explaination. I only heard them myself a few months ago. So, what is social media? Wikipedia.com defines social media as “primarily Internet-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings.” Internet users may not be familiar with the label “social media”, but more than likely they are familiar with social media websites – youtube.com, flickr.com, twitter.com and facebook.com to name a few.

  What about “viral marketing”? The first time I read it, I was sure it was a misprint and the author ment virtual marketing. I stand corrected. Again, referring to wikipedia, viral marketing “refer[s] to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness.” In other words, if you put yourself in a place where people will see you, they may start talking about you and investigate you or your company further which may or may not produce sales of your product or services. In essence it’s a nicer way of advertising your business. Instead of Crazy Eddie screaming in your face to buy, buy, BUY viral marketing peaks user’s interest and invites them to learn more.

 Aren’t places like Facebook.com and Twitter.com just useless venues to waste time? Who wants to know what I ate for breakfast today doesn’t sound like your cup of tea? Think outside the box a bit. What if instead of telling people what you’re doing or going to do you tell them bits of information about your business? If they find that interesting they may follow you to see what you’re going to say next. What are benefits of chiropractic adjustment? I may tell you in a Tweet or two or three, or a whole series of tweets. What is the lastest application built to utilize twitter, there are users posting Tweets all the time. Just use the search feature on Twitter to bring up a listing of Tweets that have been posted recently about your subject. It gets better. Have a new idea you want to test and get reactions to? Tweet it, then look to see who responds and how they react. If you find a large number of people expressing interest in your post, you can expand more on that topic and work with it more within your company. Then you create a following.

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Kim Wesley

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