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Introduction to Social

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

What it means to be social

People often use the terms ‘social media’ and ‘social’ to mean the same thing, but they are incorrect. Social media refers to the platforms and the applications where people are being social, whereas social refers to the interaction between people. A lot of brands think they’re being social, but in reality they’re just posting traditional ads on social media platforms. You can use three criteria in order to determine whether something is social or not.

  • Is what you’re posting a two-way or multiple-way interaction? If you’re just posting to and outwards at someone, that’s not very social.
  • Is the intent of your post to connect with people or build upon relationships? If you just want to push a message, that’s not very social either.
  • Is the intention to add value to all parties participating? If it’s done only for your benefit, it’s not very social.

Wired to connect

Human beings are wired to connect. In his 2013 book titled Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect scientist Matthew Lieberman presents proof that social connections are as fundamental to human beings as food and water. This module is all about finding out what makes your audience tick and how to reach them through social media.

Role of a social media marketer

As a social media marketer, you use social media tools to connect to your audience socially, which should result in you selling products as well as getting subscribers and likes. But your fundamental role is to encourage and participate in interactions on social media. This means a lot of listening, as well as having discussions and positing questions that encourage two-way conversations. This will lead you to connect to people and build relationships with them, while all the time adding value to the parties participating.

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Tara Hunt

Tara Hunt is an executive-level digital marketing professional with over 20 years of experience. She is the founder of Truly Inc., the author of one of the first books on how the social web is changing business, and a professional public speaker. Tara has created and executed proven digital and social strategies across multiple industries. She specializes in relationship and inbound marketing, with a passion for data-driven strategy.

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

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    Social Research
    Tara Hunt
    Skills Expert

    The Social Research module introduces key social media concepts, including the Digital Marketing Institute’s 3i Principles for successful digital marketing, and the role and responsibilities of the social media marketer. It then dives into the topic of social research and explains its importance to digital marketers. It equips marketers with the research tools and techniques needed to engage in effective audience research, competitive and industry research, and cultural research. It also explains how marketers can gain valuable insights from their research data.