What Is Social Media Marketing?

What Is Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites.


Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself. Hence, this form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth, meaning it results in earned media rather than paid media.


Social media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access. Increased communication for organizations fosters brand awareness and often, improved customer service. Additionally, social media serves as a relatively inexpensive platform for organizations to implement marketing campaigns.


Social networking websites allow individuals to interact with one another and build relationships

social media bundle

Social media itself is a catch-all term for sites that may provide radically different social actions. For instance, Twitter is a social site designed to let people share short messages or “updates” with others. Facebook, in contrast is a full-blown social networking site that allows for sharing updates, photos, joining events and a variety of other activities.


 Why would a search marketer — or a site about search engines — care about social media? The two are very closely related.


Social media often feeds into the discovery of new content such as news stories, and “discovery” is a search activity. Social media can also help build links that in turn support into SEO efforts. Many people also perform searches at social media sites to find social media content.

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is such a broad term that many people who are looking to boost the image of their company ask “What is social media marketing?”This is a common question, mostly because it is an umbrella term.


The definition of social media marketing is hard to truly describe, but a popular definition says that it is the methodical use of marketing with other technological concepts and techniques to achieve specific goals for a company. In simple terms social marketing, means building a business through many different media, like viral videos and blogs, because these give your company exposure.


While social media marketing was originally developed from the desire companies had to capitalize on commercial marketing techniques, it has recently developed into a more integrative and comprehensive discipline that draws on a wide array of technology, from the traditional to the most cutting edge methods out there.


Not all types of social media marketing working immediately. While you may have to wait a minimum of three months to see any kind of change, it is worth it in the long run when you see what social marketing can do for your business.


Aspects That Fit Into The Social Media Marketing Definition

There are so many social media marketing techniques that fit into the social media marketing definition. The techniques offered by many social media marketing companies can be the foundation which can build your company up to the level you’ve always dreamed of it being. Visit our Social Media Marketing Services page to learn more about what we offer, including:


  • New Blog Creation
  • Monthly Blog Copywriting
  • Blog SEO
  • Reputation Management
  • Social Networking
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Podcasting
  • Viral Video Marketing

Let’s not conflate “social media usage” with “social media marketing”.


  • Being on social media doesn’t mean that you’re doing social media marketing.
  • Posting on social media doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing social media marketing.
  • Responding to customers on social media doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing social media marketing.


When does it count, then? Let’s begin by by exploring some counter-examples.


“Is X social media marketing?”


  • You make a really good video on YouTube, and it goes viral.
  • You did something really funny in your offline store. Customers took pictures of it, and that went viral on Facebook and got you a bunch of new sales.
  • Your customer support rep sent someone a highly personalised response in the form of a cute limerick, and it made front page of Reddit. Lots of new signups.


Is any of that social media marketing? Only if it was deliberate.


  • Free-rider problem. All the above cases benefit from social media’s existence, but have little to do with the deliberate management of social media. A social media manager who claims credit for these things is practically enjoying a free ride… unless he masterminded it in advance.


  • The inverse is also true. You can’t blame a social media marketer if a customer’s horrible experience goes viral. That’s the nature of social media. Every individual has equal power to publish information, so word can spread really far and really fast, beyond the influence of the most charming, talented social media marketer.


Social media marketing is best interpreted as one facet of a much broader marketing strategy.


  • It doesn’t make sense to think about social media in a vacuum. The stuff you’re going to be posting ought to be synchronized very intimately with the rest of your overall content strategy. Your blog, your videos, your infographics, whatever you have.


  • “Specialized social media marketing” feels like premature optimization. You could optimize it, and if you have a large marketing team, you might have a specialized “social media marketer” You’ll need a pretty big team before it makes sense to have someone with a deep specialization in the finer nuances of social media. You’re probably better off having SEO or content specialists.


  • Content first. It makes much more sense to have a sort of “central content factory” or a “distributed content network” (depending on how many people you have in your team). Social media is then a channel to monitor and massage the propagation that content.


  • Social media as a channel to be observed and managed. Do this well and you’ll maximize the returns on our inbound marketing. The actual management is relatively trivial (be thoughtful, be fun and spontaneous, don’t be insensitive) compared to the hard problem of creation of quality content (requires creativity, deep thought, lots of knowledge and experience).


Final verdict: Use the term with precision! (Or skip it altogether.)


  • We’ve gotten very pedantic about the term “social media marketing”. But this is necessary, for the purpose of intelligent discussion! Otherwise it becomes a weaselly term used to propagate vague, imprecise ideas that don’t actually mean anything. It’s very annoying.


  • You probably need somebody to manage your social media presence. This could be you, this could be an in-house employee, and it could be some 3rd party solutions provider. We recommend keeping it in-house. (Social media also happens to be a great opportunity to do market research and analysis, and the returns on that might ultimately be worth more than your social media marketing efforts- but that’s outside of the scope of this post.)
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