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What is Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing is the process of engaging with potential buyers via social media channels with the goal of increasing brand awareness and/or boosting sales.

The general premise of social media is that through a specific digital platform, users connect with one another—thereby developing a “community”—and share content. Popular social media platforms include (but are not limited to):

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • LinkedIn
  • Blogging platforms (such as Blogger, Tumblr, Joomla, or WordPress)
  • Snapchat
  • Flickr
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Digg
  • Delicious
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • SlideShare

Each of these platforms operate slightly differently, appeal to different audiences, and support different forms of content (e.g., video, images, short or long-form written content, etc.). In order to leverage social platforms effectively, companies often conduct research to understand which platforms are most commonly used among their target audiences.

Via these platforms, companies can engage with specific communities and share content. Companies often conduct research to understand what messages and/or offer will pique target audiences’ interest and compel them to take a desired action. Companies can also use social media platforms as listening devices to understand what their audiences are interested in.

Social Media Marketing is sometimes referred to as "social marketing," although social marketing traditionally means the application of marketing strategy and tactics to social causes.