Social media marketing is the process of using social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, etc.) to promote products or services online. The goal of social media marketing is to increase brand awareness and reach potential customers by posting text, images, or videos directly on social media channels.
A big benefit of social media marketing is that companies can track important metrics such as their progress, engagement level, and return-on-investment through built-in data analytic tools on the social platforms. Brands can also directly ask questions, receive complaints, and generally interact with customers. This is because customers can post user-generated content (UGC) in the form of comments and product reviews, rather than using branded copy. Consequently, social media marketing enables brands to have more transparency.
Social media marketing campaigns reach a broad audience all at once. However, it is important to create content that works well on each platform. One platform might be more suitable for a blog post, while another may see more success with videos.
Social media marketing vs. influencer marketing
Social media marketing and influencer marketing have slight differences. Social media marketing typically refers to brands using their brand-owned social media accounts to promote themselves. Brands write their own text-based posts, produce their own videos, create their own infographics, and so on to post on their branded social channels.
On the other hand, influencer marketing is focused on influencers promoting a brand on their personal social channels and receive free products or monetary compensation in return. The purpose of influencer marketing is to allow influencers to post about a brand in their authentic voices and give a truthful review of certain products or services. Influencers are able to reach target audiences that brands alone cannot reach, which drives engagements through the credibility these influencers have already established on their platforms.