Social Media, Marketing, and “social authority”
Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable communication techniques. Social media is the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue.
One of the key components in successful social media marketing implementation is building “social authority”. Social authority is developed when an individual or organization establishes themselves as an “expert” in their given field or area, thereby becoming an influencer in that field or area.
It is through this process of “building social authority” that social media becomes effective. That is why one of the foundational concepts in social media has become that you cannot completely control your message through social media but rather you can simply begin to participate in the “conversation” in the hopes that you can become a relevant influence in that conversation.
Of course, there are many ways authority can be created – and influence can be accomplished – including: participation in Wikipedia which actually verifies user-generated content and information more than most people may realize; providing valuable content through social networks on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter; article writing and distribution through sites such as Ezine Articles and Scribd; and providing fact-based answers on “social question and answer sites” such as EHow and Yahoo! Answers.
As a result of social media – and the direct or indirect influence of social media marketers – today, consumers are as likely – or more likely – to make buying decisions based on what they read and see in platforms we call “social” but only if presented by someone they have come to trust. That is why a purposeful and carefully designed social media strategy has become an integral part of any complete and directed marketing plan but must also be designed using newer “authority building” techniques.