Boost Advertising with Earned Social Media

By Mikal E. Belicove|For|May 19, 2010

Your brand gains exposure in two ways–through advertising and earned media. Advertising is everything you pay for to promote your brand, including advertisements on TV and radio, in newspapers and through social media venues (such as Facebook). Earned media is what results from other business efforts and achievements, such as delivering innovative products, high-quality customer service or winning an industry award. For an example of earned media, just look at how much positive press and word-of-mouth Apple received before it advertised–or even revealed–its iPad.

The same is true, perhaps even to a greater degree, in social media. Not only can you can pay for Facebook ads to increase your business or product visibility, you can also earn social media by maintaining an engaging Facebook Fan Page and having positive interactions with customers. Both are essential. Advertising brings customers in through the doors, earned social media retains those customers and transforms at least some of them into valuable brand evangelists.

The Nielsen Company divides Facebook’s social media into three distinct types:

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