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SAP’s Signature Napkin Series #7: Marketing Subject Matter Expert – Walter Pike


Following is a blog authored by SAP as a responsive musing on the napkin’s content:

Trending in Marketing – The Spread of Ideas across Social Media

With the development of social media over the last few years, the rules of marketing have changed. While marketing primarily focuses on spreading ideas about brands, products and services, the traditional strategies are no longer applicable.

Social media is an interactive medium; it is not simply a platform for broadcasting to an audience that has already been built up; it’s no longer a one-way street. To utilise it properly, it’s vital that you understand how it works. Social media is a form of community that has developed in a certain way and the key to reaching it is to understand how this community works. With 92% of marketers agreeing that social media is important for their business it seems that there’s a lot of competition out there so it’s important to get it right.

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Social media is about more than just follower numbers; interaction is the key. But it’s also not just about how you, as a business, interact with your audience, but how that audience relates to their audience. Different members of the social media community conduct themselves in different ways. Some people are quietly influenced by simply observing conversations; others become a kind of bridge between different communities and play the role of influencer, rather than just being influenced.

New strategies need to include the ability to understand consumer behaviour, whether by analysing data or observing the psychology behind social technology. In this way ideas can be spread among the people who care, who can then be empowered and inspired to convey that message on. This is how any ideas are distributed through social media; whether they are ideas about brands, social issues or political campaigns.

It’s important for strategies to have specific goals and a clear message. It’s also important to understand the different environments of each platform; whether it’s the casual atmosphere of Facebook, or the more professional setting of LinkedIn. When it’s done right, the results can be incredible. Studies show that 53% of Americans who follow brands in social media are more loyal to those brands.


Social media has opened up a whole new world where you are suddenly able to engage with your audience on an entirely different level than before. Social media makes your business more accessible to the right people, and gives the customer a more personal, higher quality customer experience. With every social media platform being another opportunity for more customers, the possibilities are endless.



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