I have read many blogs and articles on the subject of social media and as a result, I have become captivated. Today I consider myself a student of social media. Since almost all authors hold themselves out as social media experts, I am convinced that social media is very broad and will mean different things to different experts.

The concept is similar to the days of the wild wild west in American history, specifically when the Government distributed land to settlers. I must admit that I am not an expert on that particular part of American history, but I did see a Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman movie about life back in that specific time period.

Today anyone can coin their own version of social media. But more important, if they can communicate and apply their unique SM knowledge to business strategies, there will be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for the very few.

Based on my knowledge of the business world, here is my view of social media and how it can be applied to traditional business tactics to generate substantial revenue with limited capital expenditure.

Social media is similar to that of a traditional TV advertisement campaign; one that is designed with objectives of generating publicity among a target group of consumer, develop awareness and stimulate word of mouth conversations about a particular product or service. If effective it will ultimately convert these prospects into satisfied customers.

So why do we need SM when a traditional advertisement campaign can get the same results?

The short answer is that advertising, specifically a television Ad campaign is very expensive. And I am not sure of its reach in this new era where TV viewership is rapidly losing momentum to the Internet. New studies have indicated that the Internet has become social with Facebook; Twitter and a whole slew of social networking sites that are heavily visited.

The appeal of a SM campaign is that a small company on limited budget can generate the same results of a very expensive TV advertising campaign if that message generate a buzz among the target customers in the market of cyber space. Also, web 2.0 technologies have made the Internet interactive, so business can interact directly with potential customers in real time.

The easiest way to gain more customers is to deliver a premium product or service below your competitors. But that’s where the challenge comes in; you must generate a profit in executing this particular campaign or it will become an effort in futility.
That is why you need a custom designed strategy to be successful. Because even though the concept appears to be simple and effective, significant time and effort must be placed in the planning, execution and administration of the campaign.

There is certainly a vast supply of free SM tools that will help you design your own ad campaign; however you must take into account the time that will be allocated along with the associated cost to determine the best path to undertake.

Otherwise you can outsource that function to the student of social media.