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. Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools, which enable companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of ad campaigns. Companies address a range of stakeholders through social media marketing, including current and potential customers, current and potential employees, journalists, bloggers, and the general public.
Social networking websites allow individuals, businesses and other organizations 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. Social networking sites act as word of mouth or more precisely, e-word of mouth. The Internet's ability to reach billions across the globe has given online word of mouth a powerful voice and far reach.
The easiest way to view social media management is to consider that it includes 3 major social media disciplines: social listening, social analytics and social engagement. Social listening is when you gather everything that is being said about your brand. Social analytics help you understand all the social media chatter and relate it to possible business changes. Social engagement is the act of interacting, usually 1-on-1 but occasionally at scale, with customers over social channels. Most businesses take on social engagement to close the loop with customers on their issues.
Social media is too big, and too important, to leave to chance. It is a critical channel for building brand awareness, generating leads and staying connected with customers. In 2016, 78% of Americans had a social media profile, and people increasingly use social channels to interact with brands. They also use social media to ask for recommendations, praise the products and services they love, and complain about bad customer experiences.
Social managers must schedule posts, respond to questions, manage communities and participate in conversations. Leading companies combine their social customer service effort with their social media management programs. Social customer service includes routing customer service issues to the right department, updating customers about outstanding issues and closing the loop with the customer by seeing issues through to resolution.