What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is a form of advertising in which a brand introduces products and services to new audiences through online platforms.

Written by Matthew Urwin
Published on Dec. 16, 2021
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Image: Shutterstock / Built In
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Hannah Carlson | Aug 11, 2022

An effective social media marketing strategy delivers relevant, optimized content to targeted audiences through the social channels where they are already present, with the ultimate goal of converting consumers in these audiences into customers and strengthening their brand’s overall voice in digital spaces. 

What are the types of social media marketing?

  • Facebook and Instagram are big-name sites when it comes to social media, but brands have an array of other online platforms at their disposal.

While some platforms are more popular than others, organizations need to find the channels that best suit their needs. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn and Twitter are examples of social networks, which connect people with similar interests, passions and backgrounds. Organizations can leverage these spaces to bring more attention to their brands quickly. However, they can also set themselves apart by exploring social network alternatives

If a brand wants to spark in-depth conversations, community blogging sites such as Medium and Tumblr offer an avenue for nuanced content that can subsequently be shared on social platforms. Meanwhile, YouTube and other media sharing platforms better accommodate visual communication. Selecting the right tools is crucial to shaping a company’s brand. Whether it’s one of the top social media sites or a more niche setting, businesses have plenty of options for personalizing their approach.

What are the advantages of social media?

  • Besides reaching larger audiences, organizations have the opportunity to form stronger relationships and boost brand loyalty.

Social media and online networks have created unprecedented paths to forming connections between companies and customers. Businesses can build rapport with social media users by sharing deals on products, responding to comments, discussing company operations, and most importantly, sharing the brand’s unique voice. In fact, giving a behind-the-scenes perspective solidifies trust and transparency, winning over more followers in the process.  

Social media platforms have also become valuable resources for organizations due to their cost-effectiveness. When companies engage with their followers, people start to associate an identity with the company. As a result, loyal buyers are likely to share content and generate extra brand awareness on their own. Many platforms start out as free, adding to the list of benefits that businesses enjoy from social media marketing.


How do I get started with social media marketing?

To jump into social media marketing, you have to first know your audience and what platforms will be best utilized to reach them. Companies need to tailor their approach to their brand and their target audience, resulting in a healthier social media presence. 

To nourish online relationships with customers, businesses need to narrow their focus to specific audiences and channels. Picking only one or two platforms allows companies to focus more energy on those channels and showcase a reliable presence to their target audience. Posting content regularly and responding to comments are also keys to success. When consumers feel like they have access to a brand, it can create more trust and a sense of community

However, the larger a social media presence becomes, the more resources a brand will need to invest in its engagement efforts. Unless the social presence is small, it can be difficult for one social media manager to handle all social media tasks. If needed, a business should be willing to invest in a small team of professionals to maintain focus on both immediate tasks and growth opportunities. With multiple employees addressing comments, producing posts and everything in between, a social media strategy becomes easier to execute and more engaging for customers.

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