What Social Media Marketing Is All About

What the discovery of fire was to the stone-age people, the invention of the internet is to modern civilization. Communication technology and societal existence has undergone a sea-change after the internet was created, which allows people all over the world to communicate using a single platform- the World Wide Web. Nowadays, the age of e-mails has given way to the age of social media and social networking sites.

Social media is media designed to be circulated through social communication, created using highly accessible publishing techniques. Social media can also be defined as a group of Internet-based applications that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Businesses often refer to social media as user-generated content (UGC) or consumer-generated media (CGM).

Social media marketing, very simply, refers to the utilization of social media for marketing, sales and advertisement purposes. Social media comprises social networking sites, blogs, online communities, wikis, and a host of such net applications. Common social media marketing tools include Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, Orkut, YouTube, and Wikipedia.

Social media marketing discards all traditional methods of marketing and sales. Social media marketing strategies include creating a “buzz” about an event in the form of a blog, a post, a tweet, a video, a podcast or an entry that gradually becomes the topic of conversation and becomes almost viral in its spread. Internet users are directly involved in the marketing process. User participation and dialogue is greatly encouraged in social media marketing.

Success of a social media marketing campaign greatly depends on the respect the company gives to the users. More often than not, it is the user who seals the fate of a social media marketing ad campaign. Major brands like Apple, Microsoft, HP, Converse, Reebok, Nike and many others have large scale social media marketing operations. Replication of a message through user-to-user contact is far more useful than the traditional methods of advertising, and consequently social media marketing has become a buzzword in the present day.

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