Social media marketing is 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 across their social networks. The resulting electronic word of mouth (eWoM) refers to any statement consumers share via the Internet (e.g., web sites, social networks, instant messages, news feeds) about an event, product, service, brand or company. When the underlying 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, this form of marketing results in earned media rather than paid media.
Social networking websites allow individuals and businesses to interact with one another and build relationships and communities online. 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.
ocial networking sites act as word of mouth. Social networking sites and blogs allow followers to “retweet” or “repost” comments made by others about a product being promoted. By repeating the message, the user’s connections are able to see the message, therefore reaching more people. Because the information about the product is being put out there and is getting repeated, more traffic is brought to the product/company.
Social networking websites are based on building virtual communities, that allow consumers to express their needs, wants and values, online. Social media marketing then connects these consumers and audiences to businesses that share the same needs, wants and values.
Through social networking sites, companies can interact with individual followers. This personal interaction can instill a feeling of loyalty into followers and potential customers. Also, by choosing whom to follow on these sites, products can reach a very narrow target audience.
Social networking sites also include much information about what products and services prospective clients might be interested in. Through the use of new semantic analysis technologies, marketers can detect buying signals, such as content shared by people and questions posted online. Understanding of buying signals can help sales people target relevant prospects and marketers run micro-targeted campaigns.
In order to integrate social networks within their marketing strategies, companies have to develop a marketing model. In a marketing model (SNeM2S) based on social networks is provided. The model includes the following steps:
- Selection of potential social networks to use;
- Definition of a financial plan;
- Definition of organizational structures to manage the social network in the market;
- Selection of target;
- Promotion of products and services;
- Performance measures
Social networking is used by 76% of businesses today.[when?] Business retailers have seen 133% increases in their revenues from social media marketing.