‘The Zen of Social Media Marketing’

In my Networked Rhetoric class at Stanford, my research project looks into the world of social media marketing.  Specifically, I’d like to look at how social media marketing is useful for profit-based companies.  However, this general topic is too large for a 10-page paper, and I will need to narrow it as I continue.  My main idea to narrow my project is to focus on a single case study.  Then I will explore how the company used social media to market their company, the consequences of this, and then to come up with general strategies or ideas other companies can live by when looking into social media marketing.

After conducting preliminary research, I discovered a book called “The Zen of Social Media Marketing” by Shama Kabani, a Businessweek “Top 25 Under 25” Entrepreneur.  In this book, Shama describes social media marketing as “the art and science of…leveraging the internet to get your message across so that you can move people to action.”  In her book, she focuses primarily on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  To a lesser extent, she also talks about websites, blogs, search engine optimization, and video.  While some of her tips are basic (“check your friend requests every day”), she provides good strategy as well (“revolve your efforts  around your home base [your website]”).

However, this book did come with several downfalls.  First, it is focused on the small business owner, not other types of businesses like technology startups or large corporations.  Next, she also only devotes a mere two pages when discussing blogs, which can be vital for some businesses social media campaigns.  However, reading this book also opened my eyes up to another potential way to narrow my topic: focus on social media marketing for small businesses.  Several of the sources I have found through my research seem to focus on small businesses: “YouTube for Business”, “Facebook Marketing”, and “Socialnomics.”  To avoid merely just summarizing all of these books though, perhaps I could focus my topic on how Stanford-student startups can benefit from all of these small business social media marketing techniques.  As you critique, please comment on the validity of this narrowed topic.


About Andrew Martin

Stanford '13 Product Design. Research Assistant @ Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab. Interests: Behavior Design, Entrepreneurship
This entry was posted in CCR exchange: Student Research, Networked Rhetoric: Section 2, Stanford Networked Rhetorics class. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to ‘The Zen of Social Media Marketing’

  1. melisuss says:

    This sounds interesting, particularly because of the market you hope to get to through facebook and other social networking sites. It may be beneficial to get your name out there as a startup, but who are you trying to target? The people I know who use FB a lot are usually college-age people, for instance. I think you can also try targeting men or women, according to what people may have up on their info.

  2. Pingback: Researching Networked Culture | The Cross-Cultural Rhetoric Blog

  3. cedawson says:

    Hey, this topic sounds like it has a lot of potential. So, I like that you’ve found this book by Shama Kabani and have taken away a lot of it. Narrowing down your focus is certainly in order– although you can do it in a variety of ways. Focusing on Stanford-based startups is certainly a good option because I think it would be worth it to investigate how students who grew up with these resources can utilize it to their advantage when starting their own companies. The internet has really equalized the field of marketing– you no longer have to spend $$$ to get your message out to millions; one YouTube video uploaded for free can reach a wide audience if it were to go viral. I think it would be interesting if you could do your own experiment and set up a fake (or real) website for a company you want to start, then advertise through all the networks and see how many hits you get.

  4. Jun Yang says:

    When I read the word ‘zen’ i the title of the book, I was expecting some sort of special twist to the kind of advice given by the author but from your description, it seems more like a marketing gimmick. I think the big thing for you to consider is: it’s almost obvious that social media marketing will be useful, so what will your argument be to make your paper and presentation unique? Focusing on Stanford entrepreneurs will be very exciting since you will have the opportunity to interview them but at the same time most of their endeavors will be web based, so social media marketing might already be a forgone conclusion or necessity.

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