The world of today provides us with many conveniences. We’re able to want something, and it’s within reach reasonably quickly. We can have cravings for different foods, and they’re delivered or want to watch re-runs of our favorite sitcoms and stream them on demand. We can even be homesick for our families in different parts of the world and pick up a multitude of devices and see what their up to via social networks. 3.8 billion people in the world are active on at least one social media platform and use it to keep connected, informed, or entertained.
The opportunity for businesses to tap into this resource pre-date the conception of popular networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or methods like paid social ads. Yet the ever-changing landscape of the digital world has made social media marketing an integral channel in brands communicating and engaging with customers and advertising their products or services.
Get In the Zone
Not all social platforms provide the same benefits or use the same features to engage with its users. Each social network falls into distinct Social Media Zones based on the type of participation. Zone one is called Social Community, where members seek relationships with others. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram traditionally fall into this zone and are used to share information, engage in conversation, and socialize with other users. Zone two is Social Publishing, which allows data to be dispersed and to an audience. The audience can share or comment on the published content like blogs. Zone three consists of Social Entertainment, which focuses on events and activities solely for amusement like Spotify or games like Farmville. Zone four is a category for sites that promote Social Commerce, where shopping features, marketplaces, and storefronts allow members to purchase, review, or access deals like Amazon or Yelp. Each social media site mentioned was initially designed to offer a specific set of features like image sharing, two-way communication such as status posting and commenting, or video sharing. As the social media landscape matures, we are seeing an integration of features that will allow businesses to utilize the platforms for a variety of marketing purposes, thus platforms falling into multiple zones.
Henry Ford Hospital Tweeted
The healthcare industry typically used traditional marketing methods to bring awareness to their facilities for patient acquisition purposes. As social media has become more prevalent in daily life, it has become a new component of marketing strategies within healthcare systems. Hospitals have seen the importance of engaging with their community members through new channels. A great example if this is how in 2009, the Henry Ford Hospital used Twitter to live-tweet about a robotic partial nephrectomy. This social media campaign was used to bring awareness to the hospital’s capabilities and to peak interest of other medical professionals and the hospital’s community. Since the campaign did provide live updates of the surgery, the specific use of this tweeter stream would fall into zone three of social entertainment. It provided followers with emotions of suspense and fed curiosities of those who wondered what the operating room is like.
The zones of social media provide new insight into how different social platforms interact with an audience. Each platform offers multiple features that can tap into various benefits and should be utilized when executing your business’s social media campaigns. The days of postings photos without rhyme or reason are behind us.