Social Media Marketing

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Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service. Although the terms e-marketing and digital marketing are still dominant in academia, social media marketing is becoming more popular for both practitioners and researchers.[1] Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools, enabling companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of ad campaigns.

Social Networking Websites

Social networking websites allow individuals, businesses, and other organizations to interact with one another and build relationships and communities online.[2] When companies join these social channels, consumers can interact with them directly. That interaction can be more personal to users than traditional methods of outbound marketing and advertising. Social networking sites act as word of mouth or more precisely, e-word of mouth.[3] The Internet's ability to reach billions across the globe has given online word of mouth a powerful voice and far reach.

Social Bookmarking Sites

Websites such as Delicious, Digg, Slashdot, Diigo, Stumbleupon, and Reddit are popular social bookmarking sites used in social media promotion.[4] Each of these sites is dedicated to the collection, curation, and organization of links to other websites that users deem to be of good quality. This process is "crowdsourced", allowing amateur social media network members to sort and prioritize links by relevance and general category.[5] Due to the large user bases of these websites, any link from one of them to another, the smaller website may in a flash crowd, a sudden surge of interest in the target website. In addition to user-generated promotion, these sites also offer advertisements within individual user communities and categories.

Purposes & Tactics

One of the main purposes of employing social media in marketing is as a communications tool that makes the companies accessible to those interested in their product and makes them visible to those who have no knowledge of their products. These companies use social media to create buzz and learn from and target customers.[6] It's the only form of marketing that can finger consumers at each and every stage of the consumer decision journey. Marketing through social media has other benefits as well. Of the top 10 factors that correlate with a strong Google organic search, seven are social media dependent.[7]

Marketing Techniques

Social media marketing involves the use of social networks, consumer's online brand-related activities (COBRA), and electronic word of mouth (eWOM) to successfully advertise online.[8] Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter provide advertisers with information about the likes and dislikes of their consumers. This technique is crucial, as it provides the businesses with a "target audience". With social networks, information relevant to the user's likes is available to businesses; who then advertise accordingly.[9]


  1. Elements of strategic social media marketing: A holistic framework - ScienceDirect
  2. E-marketing education in transition: An analysis of international courses and programs - ScienceDirect
  3. A Network Perspective of Digital Competition in Online Advertising Industries: A Simulation-Based Approach
  4. Cheapest SMM Panel In The World, Get The High Quality Service
  5. Digg Ads Are Here: Will Users Bury Them Into Oblivion?
  6. Social Media Marketing: How Do Top Brands Use Social Platforms? Charts
  7. - Rubic group company - Website Design, Online Marketing
  8. Introducing COBRAs: Exploring motivations for brand-related social media use
  9. How to Create a Winning Social Media Marketing Strategy?