To answer this, first you need to understand what is social media and what is marketing. As highlighted by the AMA, marketing is the activity and process for creating; communicating and delivering offerings that have value to customers.
Secondly, not everyone uses Facebook. Too many of our clients start off using a Facebook business page to launch their electronic footprint of their business. They spend hours creating posts, managing the business page, sharing to groups, boosting posts and so on to build "likes" on their page. How many of those hours turned into sales? Do you have statistics to calculate your return on you investment (ROI)? What do you understand about the information on your page analytics? Do you know how to implement that information to tweak your marketing campaign strategy?
Thirdly, social media includes ALL social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Vimeo, Twitter, Pinterest, SnapChat, Tumblr, Reddit, and many more. However, you don't need to register with all of them, but at least understand the "who what where and how?" of the platforms you prefer.
Thus, social media marketing is marketing on all your selected social media platforms. Understand how to effectively advertise and market your business on every individual platform.
For example, LinkedIn works better if you build your personal profile to connect with specific people in your industry sphere. You want to create one-on-one conversations between you (as a ceo or director of a company) and another business owner or decision maker of a company. With LinkedIn you focus, plan and hone-in your marketing strategy.
On the other hand Facebook is more of a "gunshot approach" where you are advertising to anyone and everyone within a certain range of parameters, such as location, interests, age and gender. Yes it works, but how well? Facebook alone is not the answer, but it is a start, sometimes a good one. You have to understand how to utilize every individual social media platform in order to create the most effective return.
Some argue that the purpose of social media marketing is to build a brand and increase a brand’s visibility. Through building relationships and communicating with potential customers, you can guide them through your website's sales funnel. The two seem to go hand-in-hand. But you may still be wondering, why social media?
"Social media networks are one of the fastest growing industries in the world’’
“Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence”
Like with content marketing, due to the continuously developing internet marketing industry, there are countless digital media and social networking sites, all of which have a unique characteristic and purpose. As part of an introduction, here are a few social network examples.
Facebook is the biggest and arguably most powerful social network in the world with 1.55 billion active monthly users
Twitter is known as the ‘‘in the moment’’ platform and boasts a respectful 255 million active monthly users. Twitter is a perfect online marketing tool for businesses that want to reach out to people (and are ready for a reply).
Instagram is a visual platform designed for customers to post, share, comment and engage through digital media. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
LinkedIn is regarded as the professional social networking site. LinkedIn largely focuses on b2b marketing rather than b2c.
Google +, YouTube, Foursquare and Pinterest are other social network sites that harshly miss out on the list on user quantity, but are still useful in creating awareness towards your brand identity.