Social media marketing

Social media marketing is one of the key types of digital marketing channels. It involves using social media across the big six platforms relevant to most businesses which are:

  • Facebook (including Facebook Messenger)
  • Instagram (owned by Facebook)
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Snapchat
  • YouTube (owned by Google)

The visual in this article shows the opportunities for social media for customer lifecycle marketing.

Many opportunities for social media marketing are also popular in niche community sites, e.g. for sports fans or other interests. It is defined in the latest edition of our text book as:

Social media marketing Organic sharing and paid advertising using social networks and their messaging services to gain awareness and response from target audiences. Also involves facilitating and monitoring customer-to-customer and customer-to-company interactions and participation on social networks and other online communities where user-generated content is created.

Social network sites (SNS)

If you are researching social media research, in academic papers, social network sites are sometimes known as Social Network Sites (SNS), but this acronynm isn’t widely used in industry where they are collectively termed ‘Social Networks‘.

Given it’s one of the biggest opportunities we’ve seen in years, social media marketing is an exciting opportunity, but, if there’s no strategy or it’s unmanaged, it won’t be as effective as it could be and can even be damaging. So, this course is aimed at helping you develop a strategic approach towards your social media marketing.

What happens in social media in one minute?

This infographic summarises our challenge with social media… On one hand, it shows the opportunity from the popularity of social media, but on the other, it shows the difficulty of getting cut-through…

There is also the challenge of reputation management. As people will discuss your businesses and your brand online this has to be managed as far as practical.

The latest statistics on the popularity of social media

The best single source for these is DataReportal , A source showing latest compilation of the popularity of social media created by Simon Kemp and the team at Kepios and partners Hootsuite and We Are Social.


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My latest books

Full details on Amazon:

Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice
8th edition

Digital Marketing Excellence
6th edition

About Smart Insights

Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of digital marketing advice site Smart Insights. We’re a publisher and learning platform that helps our 150,000 active members in over 100 countries plan, manage and optimize their digital marketing activities by applying the actionable advice in our planning templates, guides and interactive e-learning tools.

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