39. What is Social Media Marketing ?

Social media marketing refers to the process of implementing a marketing strategy using social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. The objective of such marketing is to engage people on these sites and drive them to a website with a relevant message which could be about content on the website, offers etc. In short, gaining traffic or attention through social media sites is the objective of a good social media campaign.

Social media often becomes a ground for discovery of new content and can help build links that in turn support Search Engine Optimisation. The biggest advantage of using social media platforms is sheer ability to reach out to a huge number of people with a small investment.

The process of engagement or interactions is fundamental to the success of social media marketing. A message on social platforms easily spreads from one user to another user and then further on because to the receiver it appears to come from a trusted source who is part of his / her social network. This form of communication results in better brand awareness and adds to credibility.

In the context of using the social web (another term quite popular with digital marketers), social media marketing results in positive engagement or interactions which means that those engaged in sharing the communications be it prospects, existing customers or stakeholders, are all participants rather than viewers. Thus for a brand social media results in acquiring advocates who promote the brand / product / service. Thus each participant becomes part of the marketing team, as others read their comments or reviews and join in.