What is Social Media Marketing?

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. Wikipedia

Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate 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. Hence, this form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth, meaning it results in earned media rather than paid media.

Social media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access. Increased communication for organizations fosters brand awareness and often, improved customer service. Additionally, social media serves as a relatively inexpensive platform for organizations to implement marketing campaigns.


The emergence of social media and the steady decline of mass media are the two biggest marketing stories of the decade. Both print circulation and TV viewership have been falling consistently since the turn of the century; TV viewership, for instance, is down almost 50% since 2002.

In contrast, social media has reported massive gains since the early days of MySpace, with social media usage among U.S. adults increasing by 800% over the past eight years.

For marketers, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. The rapid transition from mass to social media presents the opportunity to create impactful, relevant marketing messages. This data-powered personalized marketing approach is not only much more effective, but also more cost-efficient and scalable.

Is Conventional Marketing or Personalized Marketing More Effective?

Conventional marketing is like trying to hit a thousand bull's-eyes with one arrow. For too long, marketers have accepted absurdly low conversion rates for the deployment of an an email or banner ad, with a singular message for a massive audience. This typically requires significant upfront investment and large-scale deployment, without a guarantee that those marketers are even reaching the most appropriate customers.

Personalized marketing using social data-triggered programmatic techniques, on the other hand, can be scaled from an extremely narrow, niche audience ("18-22 year old males in Portland who like Daft Punk") to an audience numbering in the hundreds of thousands ("18-22 year olds who like electronic music"). By looking at a group of users' behavior data and social profile, marketers can create tailor messages for higher relevancy and, ultimately, effectiveness.

The Three-Step Personalized Marketing Process

Every personalized marketing campaign is a three-step process:

Data Collection: The first step to collecting user data is to implement social login. Social Login provides a permission-based way for users to register and sign-in to your web properties via their existing social profiles, so your business can collect and analyze the relevant data points you need to better understand your customers.

Data Segmentation: Raw data itself is quite meaningless for marketing purposes. Crunching this data and deriving meaning from it is the crucial second step in the personalized marketing process. This includes analyzing the data to identify customer identity and behavior and using it to create powerful personalized marketing campaigns.

Data Conversion: After data is collected and segmented, it needs to be converted into actionable insight. This means tying the data you've collected and analyzed into the marketing platforms you currently use, such as CRM software, advertising networks, email marketing platforms and more.

For far too long, marketers have relied on old technologies and tactics to attract customers and boost conversions. We've accepted abysmal conversion rates as the norm, but now we possess the technology and the insight to transform our marketing efforts.

Social networking websites allow individuals to interact with one another and build relationships. As well, Social media has grown into its own career path. And while there are resources that teach social media tactics, they don’t explain the traits that make for a successful social media manager. This makes it difficult for someone who wants to take a career path in social marketing and for hiring managers to hire an effective social media manager.

Social media managers have a variety of responsibilities including:

- Managing a publishing calendar
- Scheduling posts
- Curating content
- Engaging with customers and partners
- Listening to networks for brand mentions and keywords
- Reviewing analytics and determining next steps
- Following up with connections and on projects.
- Check in with the rest of the company for announcements to publish and
- Running experiments to optimize social media posts
- And that’s not even all of it.

If we think about software engineering, we can’t teach someone C++ and expect her to be an effective engineer. She must learn and develop the mental frameworks necessary to work through problems.

Likewise, we can’t teach someone to put sentences together and expect him to be an effective writer. He must develop his own methods of thinking and understand who he’s writing for. At the very least, hiring someone to be your social media manager means they are a creative, self-starter, with experience in producing social media results.