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Social media marketing

Social media marketing is the use of social media by businesses to increase brand awareness, identify key audiences, generate leads, and build meaningful relationships with customers.

Social media marketing should be part of a larger social media strategy that also includes social customer service, community management, and social selling activities.

Core components of social media marketing include:

  • Content creation: writing and designing social media posts to be published on social media networks
  • Scheduling and publishing content: using a social media management tool to keep track of when posts are published and to which networks
  • Data analysis: tracking and reporting on performance of content through social media analytics, auditing channels quarterly
  • Curating content: working with influencers, followers, or customers to share user-generated content, promote your business to new audiences and/or develop sponsorship deals
  • Social listening: tracking mentions of your business on social media to identify opportunities and stay abreast of potential crises
  • Community management: replying to comments and messages, hosting chats or live audio sessions with followers
  • Proving return-on-investment: showing how your performance on social media contributes to larger business objectives
  • Advertising and paid promotions: creating social media ad campaigns and/or boosting organic content with a paid budget

Popular social media networks for marketing

The most popular social media networks for marketing are Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Whatsapp, and Snapchat. But there are many smaller or newer social media networks you may want to consider if they are used by your target audience.

What are examples of social media marketing?

All sizes of businesses can use social media marketing to achieve their business goals. Here are some examples:

1. Oreo – Twitter

Tapping into the current obsession with horoscopes and star signs, Oreo offered to analyze fans’ most recent tweets and share a personalized “Oreoscope” with insights about their personality — and how it connected to one of the brand’s products, naturally.

2. Second Shot Coffee – Instagram Reels

Second Shot Coffee used Instagram Reels to show how to make a single cup of coffee and advertise their coffee subscription service. They posted it organically and as an ad. The ad got nearly 40,000 impressions, and the organic post had nearly 2,000 views.

3. Much Music – TikTok

Much Music reposted a video of a percussionist hitting a fellow orchestra member with his drumstick. This is an example of curating content to keep your audience entertained, even when you have a gap in your publishing schedule.


Oops… 🤣 #orchestra #fail (Via @FUNNY VIDEOS)

♬ original sound – MuchMusic

4. Wealthsimple – Facebook

Wealthsimple shared a link to a blog post on their website about the financial details of breaking up romantic relationship. The meta image and description are enticing and eye-catching, prompting you to click through and read the full article.

5. LEGO – LinkedIn

LEGO used LinkedIn to take their followers behind the scenes and show them how Legos are made in their factory. Sharing behind-the-scenes videos on social media can be a great opportunity to impress customers with the skill, craftsmanship, or technology behind your operation.

Books to help you get started with social media marketing

The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users by Guy Kawaski and Peg Fitzpatrick

social media marketing book 1: The Art of Social Media

The Art of Social Media is a practical, step-by-step guide that will help you create a focused, effective presence on the most popular social media platforms. Guy and Peg present a bottom-up strategy for building your foundation, amassing your digital assets, optimizing your profile, attracting more followers, and effectively integrating social media and blogging.

With over one hundred tips, tricks, and insights, this book is essential reading for anyone looking to make the most of social media.

One Million Followers, Updated Edition: How I Built a Massive Social Following in 30 Days by Brendan Kane

social media marketing book 2: One Million Followers

As a digital strategist and “growth hacker”, Brendan Kane knows how to grow an online audience and engagement. He has advised brands such as MTV, Skechers, Vice, and IKEA on how to establish and grow their digital presence. In this book, Kane reveals his secrets on how to grow a platform in 30 days or less.

Learn more: How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy, How to Become a Social Media Manager