In a nutshell, Social Media Marketing is the process of utilizing available social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to help business owners reach their target audience. Social Media Marketing (SMM) can be further divided into three main categories:
- Owned Social Media: is the result of engagement and interaction that comes naturally. This is used to describe customers who find you and engage with you company/brand thanks to your social marketing plan. Articles, blog entries, infographs, interactive videos, embedded presentations, tweets, posts updates, etc. Are all examples of organic content that can help you increase your ‘owned social media’ following.
- Earn Social Media: the golden nugget of social media, these kinds of interactions raise organically from your followers. When a customer or friend of a customer writes a review of your business, sends a tweet, or mentions you in an update, that is ‘earned social media’. You have earned their engagement and now they are actively talking about you online.
- Paid Social Media: any kind of social media interaction that is enhanced or “boosted” with paid advertising can be considered paid social media. From sponsored updates, boosted engagement, and even paid human interaction, paid social media can help you reach out to customers you might have never reached using only organic methods.
The power of a holistic strategy
Although organic word-of-mouth marketing is very relevant in this digital age, social engagement requires a complex set of interactions that help ease that kind of word-of-mouth marketing. For example, writing a blog entry about how your “XYZ” product is superior to other product can help a satisfied client have the right “word tool box” when describing his/her experience to his/her friends online. By providing useful and engaging content, you also remain top-of-mind when it comes to that critical moment of truth, when the client is ready to buy your product.
Social Media Marketing, to be effective, needs to give the right kind of engagement each step of the way. For example, a very popular image that you created (part of owned social media), can become a classical meme (earned social media), and can be further enhanced for interaction using promoted posts (paid social media). It is important to keep a balanced approach to your social media marketing campaign to maximize results and reduce overall costs.