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.