Is Social Media Marketing?

social media marketingSocial media marketing. Just think about the phrase. It’s pretty much the holy grail of marketing right now, and with good reason – it works! But wait just a second. “Social media marketing” carries a whole lot of weight with it, doesn’t it? Does your usual marketing strategy involve customer service? What about gaining feedback for present products and services, or recruiting ideas for future plans? Social media is pretty clearly more than just marketing. Let’s take a look at how a good social media marketing campaign actually surpasses mere marketing and advertising.

Social Media Marketing Is Research

If your business already has a solid social media strategy, you’ll know that social media done right is a two-way street. You give followers information, and in response, you get to learn about them. You can gather information about users’ likes, their location, their circle of friends, their age, and a whole boatload of demographic and interest-based information. Facebook even uses this incredible bulk of information to draw advertisers into buying ad space on the social network.

Social Media Marketing Is Customer Service

Unlike traditional marketing, social networks offer a sort of forum space for your followers to pursue customer service without going through the “press a button that doesn’t exist on your phone to talk to a real person” process. In addition to being a space for marketing, social media may be a fantastic place for your business to extend an additional arm of customer service through answering brand fans’ questions, problem-solving, and responding to criticism.

Social Media Marketing Is Tech Experimentation

The digital sphere is constantly evolving, and so is social media. Three years ago, who would have imagined the incredible proliferation of short-form social media sites, from Twitter to Instagram to Vine to who knows what will be next? Social media presents an opportunity for marketing professionals to get more involved in the technological side of things, as well as a chance for them to find out which forms of media work best for their respective field.

Social Media Marketing Is Community Building

From user-generated social content to shared innovation, social media provides a way to create a community around a brand that goes far beyond the reach of what traditional marketing could ever achieve. And buzz that makes consumers feel more connected to your brand is never a bad thing. In fact, social expert Brian Solis recently defined the top stage of integrating social media into a long-term business strategy as reaching a point where businesses are able to “[create] holistic consumer experiences with converged media,” and to use those socially mediated experiences to drive business impact.

Social Media Marketing Is Marketing

And lest we forget, social media marketing is marketing. Finding new customers and clients, creating a brand image, and telling a story about your product or service are all crucial ingredients for a solid social media strategy. But with some of the bells and whistles that come with a good social media campaign, and by understanding that social media is more than just marketing, you can take it to the next level.

How does your business use social media as more than marketing?

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Beans graduated from Smith College in 2011 with a BA in History of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, and has worked as a farmer, a cook on a food truck, and an archival assistant. Outside of writing and editing for CEM, Beans enjoys reading voraciously, watching space documentaries, and baking vegan treats. Currently, Beans lives in Salt Lake City, UT.

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