What Really Is Social Media Marketing?
While some persons were yet to grab the whole Internet revolution and the disruption it brought to their normal way doing things, it kept birthing more things that are still causing greater shifts in human lives and activities. Social Media is one of such products.
Social Media has not only come to stay, but has redefined how we understand and engage in everyday activities. And like every innovation, it is only normal for humans to seek how to make the most of it. Hence, the concept of Social Media Marketing can easily be understood as one of those ways we have come to adapt social media to serve our interests and pursuits.
Clearly, you can see that there are two major concepts embedded in one; Social Media and Marketing. Was marketing at the core of the social media innovation? I doubt so. But when something is created to serve an aim, we soon begin to realise several other things it can do.
Because of how common social media has become, it is easy for many persons to assume an understanding of Social Media Marketing. In fact, most persons would claim they are into social media marketing without knowing exactly what it is and how to go about it. The assumption is that Social Media Marketing is just the same thing one does with their regular social media profiles; making posts and trying to get people to see and like them.
I would like you to have a deeper understanding of the concept so you can do it better and achieve more results. But first, let us examine briefly the two phenomena that make it up.
What Is Social Media?
What comes to mind when you hear, “Social Media”? For most persons it would be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and maybe Snapchat. But in a general sense, Social Media refers to those online platforms that allow people to socialise. To socialise, according to Merriam-Webster, is to “talk to and do things with other people in a friendly way.” So, those online platforms that allow this to happen fall under the umbrella of social media. However, a few of these platforms have gained popularity so much that they have become synonymous with the concept itself.
What Is Marketing?
I wouldn’t attempt to get into scholarly definitions of marketing, so I would like to still take what Merriam-Webster says: “the activities that are involved in making people aware of a company’s products, making sure that the products are available to be bought, etc.”
What that means is that marketing involves the things you do to reach to potential customers and make purchase of your products possible. Now that would automatically tell you many things are involved, including research, PR, branding, advertising, promotions, customer service, distribution, etc.
If you want to examine different views on what marketing is, you can check out these 72 definitions given to marketing by different persons. It could help expand your understanding of it.
Now, What Is Social Media Marketing?
To try marrying social media and marketing, we could say that Social Media Marketing is the use of social media platforms for marketing purposes. Expanding further, that would mean using social media platforms to reach and win potential customers, including using it for such core marketing activities as I mentioned two paragraphs earlier.
This may seem sketchy. I have compiled several views and definitions of social media marketing from industry experts. Check them up here. But now you know that it is more than just making posts online and expecting them to yield results.