Social media encompasses a vast range of activities - social networking, blogger outreach, word of mouth, content dissemination, user generated content (UGC), crowd sourcing, interactive advertising and more.
Social media, as its name suggests, enables the socialisation of views and ideas amongst friends and strangers, driving communities to cluster, multi-way conversations to flow, and allows consumers to project their views direct to the world by voting, commenting or sharing.
It’s a very versatile and powerful discipline which brands use as a direct channel to understand how consumers are feeling and to communicate with them (as well as those who dislike the brand) to respond to their needs (and change their perceptions).
Social media is broadly split into three areas: Paid, such as advertising on a social network; Earned, such as a genuine blogger review of a new product or service; and Owned, a brand’s official page in a social network.
At the IAB, the Social Media Council seeks to grow the social media sector, and to encourage best practice. Challenges currently on our radar include defining a ubiquitous tool and approach to measurement, shaping evolving policy issues and helping advertisers to start or rescue their social media strategy and presence.