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.
Facebook remains the most popular social media platform among marketers, but less than half agree that it's actually effective, according to Social Media Examiner's 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report.
Nearly 100% of professionals polled reported using the network in business-to-consumer marketing while 89% said they used it to communicate with other businesses. Despite these astronomical numbers, 57% of the marketers either don't think their Facebook posts make a difference or aren't sure.
Twitter came in as the second most popular site — 83% of marketers reported using the microblogging service — while LinkedIn took third. Only 28% take advantage of Instagramwhile a mere 1% have incorporated Snapchat into their work. The top six platforms have stayed relatively steady since 2012.
Instagram represents by far the best platform for marketers to interact with consumers, according to a recent study from Forrester Research.
Looking at 2,500 posts on seven social networks, Nate Elliott, marketing analyst for Forrester, found that engagement on Instagram roughly 60 times higher than Facebook.
While brands seek out their "Oreo"-moment with real-time marketing messages, they're now looking beyond just Facebook and Twitter. With the rise of Vine, companies are using the platform to promote their own products instead of relying a 30-second commercial spot, which makes sense considering the average human attention span is 7 seconds (just one second less than a goldfish).
Did you know 20% of the terms typed into Google have never been searched for before? Now you do.