Social media marketing is a recent addition to organizations’ integrated marketing communications plans that coordinates the elements of the promotional mix - comprising of advertising, personal selling, public relations, publicity, direct marketing, and sales promotion. But while with the traditional marketing communications model the content, frequency, timing, and medium of communications by the organization is in collaboration with an external agent, such as advertising agencies, marketing research firms, and public relations firms, the growth of social media has impacted the way organizations communicate. With the emergence of Web 2.0, the internet provides a set of tools that allow people to build social and business connections, share information and collaborate on projects online.


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 is coming from a trusted source, as opposed to the brand or company itself. Easily accessible to anyone with Internet access, social media opens doors for organizations to increase their brand awareness, by facilitating conversations with the customer, and serves as a relatively inexpensive platform for organizations to implement marketing campaigns.  

Social media uses web-based technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogues

Consumers have more options than ever, thanks to the ease of finding information online, and brands and businesses get more exposure than ever, thanks to the social Web. It’s an incredible marketing channel that allows businesses to achieve a variety of marketing goals.

Just take a look at the five most common goals of social media marketing:  

  1. Relationship building: The primary benefit of social media marketing is the ability to build relationships with actively engaged consumers, online influencers, peers, and more; 
  2. Brand building: Social media conversations present the perfect way to raise brand awareness, boost brand recognition and recall, and increase brand loyalty;  
  3. Publicity: Social media marketing provides an outlet where businesses can share important information and modify negative perceptions;  
  4. Promotions: Through social media marketing, you can provide exclusive discounts and opportunities to your audience in order to make these people feel valued and special, as well as to meet short-term goals; 
  5. Market research: You can use the tools of the social Web to learn about your customers, create demographics and behavioural profiles of your customers, find niche audiences, learn about consumers’ wants and needs, and learn about competitions.
While social media marketing should be viewed mainly as a long-term marketing strategy, some companies have a lot of success using it to boost their business in the short-term, too. However, always keep in mind that you need to build relationships and an audience on the social Web before you can have any expectation for positive short-term promotional results. In other words, social media marketing success is a multistep process.