Social media describes a host of websites, apps, or other platforms built around social networking and online communication. When engaging in social media, users create profiles through which they can post, share, and create content of various types. In addition, they can interact with friends, family, groups, and brands. It’s the latter—that interaction with brands—that is at the heart of social media marketing (SMM) tactics. Through SMM, companies can find new customers and better engage with existing ones.
Although there are many social media platforms available that cater to different audiences, some of the most popular social media sites include: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Periscope, Slack, Tumblr, and Snapchat.
Depending on a brand’s audience and its goals, it may utilize one or—as is often the case, many—of the above platforms in its SMM strategy. SMM simply means using social media to expand reach, increase exposure, and generate rapport with consumers. SMM and other marketing techniques often go hand in hand: For instance, social media is an excellent tool for the link building that boosts both search engine optimization (SEO) and organic search engine marketing (SEM). In addition, social media is a key distributor of the content that fuels content marketing initiatives. To brands, though, social platforms do more than just host their promotions and serve as placeholders for content—they provide details such as demographics, geographical information, and personal preferences that allow companies to more accurately target their audience and hone their messaging.
Brands that excel at SMM know how to create content that is not only targeted but also highly sharable. It’s also not uncommon for companies to turn to SMM to help humanize their brands, interacting more casually with consumers. The goal of SMM is to turn customers into brand advocates who will then share their positive experiences with others.
IMA has assembled a list of social media marketing technologies on Martec showcase for your review.