Social media is one of the essential forms of marketing today—social media functions around communication, relationships, and technology. Many people use social media for commercial and personal purposes, and all of these elements fall into social media zones. The four social media zones are a social community, social publishing, social commerce, and social entertainment.
Social community is the channel of social media that brands use for social interactions. Its key factors are for sharing, socializing, and conversing. This social media zone focuses on creating relationships, and people sharing the same interest in a topic. Social communities need to be multi-way or two-way form of communication, sharing of experiences, or conversation. The main goal for people engaging in these activities within social communities is for the collaboration and interaction of relationship maintenance and building. Many of our social media channels today reside in the first zone of social communities like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Message boards, wikis, social networking sites, and forums are all channels used within the social community zone.
Social Publishing has to do with spreading and disseminating information or content about a specific topic to an audience. The key factors are editorial commercial and user-generated for social publishing. Most channels used during social publishing are new sites, media sharing sites, micro sharing sites, blogs, and social bookmarking. YouTube, Tumblr, Flickr, and BlogSpot are all social publishing channels. Many brands can use social publishing to show their audience their products and services, and what they can offer them.
Social Entertainment are channels that are used for enjoyment and play and entertainment. The main factors for social entertainment are games, music, and art. Social games, entertainment communities, gaming sites, and virtual worlds are all included. At this zone in the development of social media, social games are the most advanced channel within social entertainment. Marketers know that entertainment communities will develop in the future around more traditional areas like sports, art, and films. Channels used within this zone are social media channels like Instagram, Myspace, and Come2play, and some of the entertainment channels are Pandora and Spotify.
Social Commerce is the use of social media to assist in the online buying and selling of services and products. This provides brands with an opportunity to reach customers all around the world, which can increase a company’s earning potential if they can implement an active social media strategy. Some key factors of social commerce can be human resources, retailing, sales, and CRM. These channels include ratings and reviews, deal aggregators, and deal sites such as TripAdvisor, Groupon, and Yelp. All of these can be review sites or branded e-commerce sites, online retail stores that sometimes operate within a social site like Facebook with social capabilities, and aggregate deals into personalized deal feeds. Social commerce leverages social shopping behaviors when online shoppers collaborate and interact within their shopping experience.
In my current position as a social media coordinator for a local boutique fitness studio, we use all of these tactics for our marketing strategies to affect a successful matter. Most importantly, we use social community and social publishing for marketing our studio; those are the two zones we put the most work into. These are essential factors that social media marketers need to follow to surpass their competitors and gain more loyal consumers.