What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service.

Most of these social media platforms have their own built-in data analytics tools, which enable companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of ad campaigns.

Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of Internet marketing that utilizes social networking websites as a marketing tool. The goal of SMM is to produce content that users will share with their social network to help a company increase brand exposure and broaden customer reach.

SMM should not be directly confused with social media optimization (SMO), which like SEO utilizes specific techniques, methods, and key terms to promote web traffic and awareness. Whereas SEO works through search engines, SMO works through social media.

That is where social media has a potential advantage on Google in the future. But Google is looking to close that gap, as evidenced by some of their adjustments: Google Wave: This is Google’s collaboration tool to combat Twitter and Facebook. Some have dubbed it “21st century e-mail.”

Digital marketing is an umbrella term for the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium.

Companies address a range stakeholders through social media marketing including current and potential customers, current and potential employees, journalists, bloggers, and the general public. On a strategic level, social media marketing includes the management of the implementation of a marketing campaign, governance, setting the scope (e.g. more active or passive use) and the establishment of a firm’s desired social media “culture” and “tone”.

To use social media effectively, firms should learn to allow customers and Internet users to post user-generated content (e.g., online comments, product reviews, etc.), also known as “earned media”, rather than use marketer-prepared advertising copy.

While social media marketing is often associated with companies, as of 2016, a range of not-for-profit organizations and government organizations are engaging in social media marketing of their programs or services.

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