Monday, October 19, 2009

What is Social Media Marketing?

Image by marttj

Social media marketing (SMM) uses social media platforms to positively influence consumers toward a company’s brands, products or services. In other words, the goal of social media marketing is to create a “buzz” online, so that complementary content about a brand, product or service goes “viral,” with consumer-generated media endorsements spreading like wildfire across the Internet (--think of a highly watched YouTube video extolling the virtues of a product or service).

It is not hyperbole to say that social media marketing is fundamentally changing the way businesses communicate with consumers. In fact, social media marketing has become so powerful it is now driving search engine results. Today, people are using highly accessible social media tools to find, create, and share content online. Social media enables people to collaborate and form consensus opinions, connecting and forming relationships in ways never before possible. This presents a new challenge and opportunity for business—to positively influence this ongoing conversation about the company’s offerings.

Think of it this way, social media marketing is the 21st Century digital “word-of-mouth” advertising. However, instead of discussing a company’s offering in person or over the phone, Internet users have turned to social media platforms to express their opinions. Popular social media platforms include blogs, (which can be found using blog search engines such as Technorati and BlogPulse), micro-blogs (e.g., Twitter and Jaiku), social networking sites (e.g., Facebook and LinkedIn), video and image sharing sites (e.g., YouTube and Flickr), podcasts, bookmarking (e.g., and StumbleUpon), wikis (e.g., Wikipedia), and social network aggregators (e.g., Mybloglog and Plaxo).

Some useful resources for defining and better understanding social media


  1. This is best definition of social media marketing I've seen. It not only explains what SMM is, but why it's so important. Great resourses!

  2. I agree with you that it is a great definition of social marketing media. I think SMM will indeed change the way business is done. It allows almost instant feedback from customers and will help better market your product

  3. I now have a greater understanding of what exactly social media is and how it works. It will most definitely change the way business is done and is and will continue to provide more efficient way to communicate and overall service people.

  4. I've seen SMM myself, but didn't realize how vital it is to companies nowadays! Terrific definition.

  5. Social Media Marketing is the wave of the future. It is a way for the company to tap into the public without spending a ton, and allowing for priceless feedback. After reading this I have gained a much broader knowledge on SMM. I do find that it will positively influence consumers to look toward a company's brands, products, or services. I liked how you stated that it can create a "buzz" for your company. Indeed it could do this. It is a way to network your company and get it out there. It will be a challenge, but a much needed one. It enables like you said a great "word of mouth" opportunity. It gives the company a way to spread the word to the consumers and at the same time gain feedback and comments on how to improve there company for FREE. :) Wonderful definition. Thanks.

  6. Thank you for the great definition of Social Media. SMM is truly “the 21st Century digital ‘word-of-mouth’ advertising” and can potentially spread “like wildfire across the Internet”.

    However, alongside the benefit of utilizing SMM, I also think that digital communication put greater stress on businesses to keep the smiling face going on the digital world. Customer leaving positive feedbacks can also leave negative one as well. Any dissatisfaction of customers also has a great potential to hurt the image of the business.

    Businesses relying on SMM may have to keep up with thousands of new blogs each day. Prompt response to costumer and fan are always important. Depend on the size of the business, they may have to hire specialists to answer blogs and keep track with the responses.

    Phu Ngo

  7. Phu--glad you found my definition of SMM useful. You are quite right the SMM specialists are quickly become important employees for any company that want to influence people online and stay aware of what is being said about them in the social media space.

  8. Thanks for your summary of SMM. You brought up a few places I hadn't heard of, in particular LinkedIn, which I found I have several coworkers already have profiles, so I created one for myself.

    What do you think the future holds for SMM? It almost seems reasonable within 20 years or so that we could have holograms of people sitting next to us!

    Jeremy Heath

  9. I really like the way you explained Smm as way to create a buzz on line.I never really thought of how powerful that SMM has becomeis mind blowing.And looking at it as 21 century digital word of mouth advertising is really helpful.

    Being able to get free feedbak,opinions,and a idea about products and services is great.This was a very blog.I think this is the future.

  10. I really like the way you explained SMM as a way to create a buzz on line.I never really thought of how powerful that SMM has become and to look at it is mind blowing

    Looking at it as 21 Century Digital word of mouth advertising is a great idea.being able to get free feedback,opinions,and ideas from other people,from other areas is great.It is the future i think. Samuel Phelps

  11. Samuel--glad you found this information useful. Social media marketing is rapidly becoming an important element of any company's promotional plans.

  12. I agree that social media marketing in the way of promoting a business and that the social networks are replacing the traditional conversations between people regarding a business that previously were conducted via telephone or in person.

    You mentioned some social networks that I was not aware of. I will check them out. This does indeed look like the way advertising will reach more people than by "word-of-mouth" as in the past.

    Lori Harada

  13. Hi Lori,

    Thank you for your kind words about my post about understanding social media marketing. It is a new field and sometimes confusing.


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