What Nick manages to encapsulate is essentially the quite simple concept of how social media marketing works and takes place. It’s so simply conveyed however and with such clarity that it makes immediate sense (though the accompanying blog post really is worth a read).
As Nick explains, the diagram centres around two distinct areas – the destination:
“Traditionally marketing efforts have focussed around ‘The Destination.’ Ad space is bought to push people to a main site / microsite and this could be anything from Paid Search to TV to Print. It’s all about ‘go here now!’ There is a direct correlation between ad spend and ‘Destination’ traffic… This is changing though. New ‘Destinations’ are being created, it’s no longer just a main site or a microsite. Facebook Fan Pages are being used as an activity hub with paid ads driving traffic … Alternatively the Destination could be a YouTube channel … or other social platform.” (my emphasis)
…and the conversation:
“The democratisation of tools of production and distribution mean anyone can create and publish. The emergence of social platforms means anyone can get an audience for their thoughts and content. The Conversation is therefore about the mechanics of sharing.
“If advertisers can successfully participate in the Conversation then it becomes less about paid pushing. The Conversation is about engaging rather than broadcasting, and if done successfully it changes the equation. Instead of having to pay to recruit every visit, consumers can be co-opted as brand ambassadors who then will freely relay the advertiser message with consequent Destination traffic the result. Thus when people talk about ‘going viral’ what they actually mean is ‘successfully harnessing The Conversation to drive incremental attention / site traffic.’”
Nick goes on to explain how social media marketing depends on creating the content that can “kickstart” and drive the conversation that will in turn drive traffic to the destination.
Of course, the reality is never quite as straightforward as these models suggest, but this is still a welcome and much needed visualised representation of what many agencies, brands and businesses are trying to get to grips with.
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