Social media marketing is a recent addition to a company’s integrated marketing strategy.
Social Strategy is about connecting with an organisations targeted customer audience. Integrated marketing communications coordinates the elements of the promotional and advertising mix, personal selling, public relations, publicity, direct marketing, and sales promotion.
In the traditional marketing mix the content, frequency, timing, and medium of communications by the company is, (again traditionally) in collaboration with external agents such as the advertising agency or marketing company and PR firm.
However, the growth of social media has impacted the way businesses communicate. With the emergence of so called Web 2.0, the world wide web now provides a set of tools that allow businesses to build social connections to communicate directly to their customers and prospects online.
Social media campaigns center on efforts to create content which attracts attention and encourages readers to share that content with their social networks. A corporate message may spread from user to user (connection to connection) and resonates because it is coming from a known, liked and followed (trusted) source, as opposed to the company or brand.
Social media is a people thing so a person (employee) has to do the connecting and not “the brand”.
Social media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access and knows how to use it. Increased communication for company’s fosters brand awareness and enhanced customer service. Additionally, social media serves as a relatively inexpensive platform for businesses to implement social marketing campaigns. With emergence of services like Facebook and Twitter, the barrier to entry in social media have been greatly reduced.