Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Social media marketing (SMM for short) is a marketing term and refers to marketing via social media.

Goals and Functioning

The goals of SMM are usually lead generation, increasing reach and online customer loyalty. Social Media Marketing Social media marketing can be understood as public relations and customer service. The first goal is to increase factors such as traffic CTR and reach. The next step is about long-term customer loyalty, loyalty and influencers as well as viral marketing. SMM can be part of customer relationship management and also includes social media advertising.

Social media marketing

General information on the topic

When social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or Linkedin were created, it was not yet clear that they would also be suitable as PR and marketing tools. Social media was considered unproductive and immature. With increasing user numbers, however, it became clear that companies cannot do without direct customer contact and the ever-expanding reach. The networks matured and their number increased – increases are also expected in the costs of social media marketing. Today, very different social platforms are used in both the B2C and B2B sectors to achieve corporate goals.

Suitability for any company size

Social media marketing is an option for many companies and organizations. Your target group likely uses social media in some way – be it mobile with a smartphone or at home on a desktop PC or laptop. Portals such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, Instagram and Linkedin are among the most visited websites worldwide. If you want to do social media marketing, you should define business goals and choose a strategy in advance. This also includes appropriate platforms and networks, a content creation plan, and employees who can use social media as a customer service and communication channel.

Types of SMM

In social media marketing, two basic strategies can be distinguished, whereby the passive variant is often considered a necessary part of any marketing:

  • Proactive social media marketing: Here, own content and user-generated content are created and distributed to achieve corporate goals. Active social media marketing not only requires the use of resources and budget but also the organization of different channels in a multi-channel approach to increase reach.
  • Passive social media marketing: External content is used to achieve the goals. Activities by users and market participants are recorded and evaluated by monitoring. This data is additional information that can be used for strategic and operational decision-making.

Benefits of social media marketing

The basic strategies mentioned above result in individual concepts that can also be combined. In practice, it is mainly about increasing awareness, better customer loyalty, improved access to the target group and communication.

  • Direct customer contact: Social media can be used as a means of customer service. Customers contact companies by message, rating or status post. If they react to this immediately or relatively quickly, there is a closeness to the customer that cannot be achieved in other media.
  • Build interest groups: Groups, blogs, and forums can create networks characterized by common interests. Although this is only possible for certain products and services, such a gathering of users who are genuinely interested in the product and who can exchange ideas is almost only conceivable in social networks.
  • Events: Concerts and events are a popular way of reaching customers, especially in the hospitality industry.
  • Interactive Campaigns: Sweepstakes, coupons, game apps, and surveys are ways to engage potential customers.
  • Sales and distribution: The sale of reduced products and other sales concepts can be realized here.
  • Reputation, image and authority: Expertise can be built up by providing well-founded information. Image and advertising campaigns serve to create a good reputation.
  • Viral Marketing: Certain content encourages users to share. This content goes viral by being shared by many users. This can also be done in a targeted manner by so-called influencers.
  • Search engine optimization: With the presence of social networks, so-called social signals can be sent to search engines. Profiles on Twitter, Facebook and Co. Are usually indexed by search engines and displayed relatively high up in the SERPs. High interaction rates (likes, comments, shares) are additional positive signals that let search engines know that users find the offer interesting.
  • Social Media Monitoring: Numerous options in the areas of reporting and monitoring are available to companies. This data can be used in a variety of ways. For example, to better understand customers and increase customer loyalty. Or to implement brand monitoring.
  • Traffic: Social networks are very good at attracting visitors to blogs or websites. Good content is of course a prerequisite for this.

Importance of online marketing

Nowadays, social media marketing has become an integral part of the business life of many online retailers and companies – sometimes even as a stakeholder strategy as part of business plans. Especially in the consumer goods sector, almost every company operates at least one social profile. The number of possible networks has also increased rapidly in recent years. Therefore, companies should find relevant platforms and fill them with interesting content. A multi-channel strategy is certainly recommended. However, this does not mean that all available channels have to be played. Rather, it is the target groups and their usage behaviour that are decisive in the choice of a platform. methods such as targetingSegmentation and monitoring make it possible to reach relevant target groups and thus avoid wastage.

Usually, companies have certain (offline) PR experiences. This know-how should be used – because the principles of successful corporate communication remain the same, at least in principle; only the technology and the environment have changed. Aspects such as corporate design, branding or corporate publishing should not be neglected if the brand message is to reach users. A balance must be found between advertising and transparent, authentic communication or content marketing. Because too much advertising deters users relatively quickly. It is important to pick up the users at the right touchpoints with the right content and to establish a feedback culture. The principles of success in social media marketing are very complex, but a little experimentation is appropriate. The first successes can often be seen after just a few months.

Influencers also play an important role in social media marketing today. These are well-known people with a larger community who work for companies and recommend their products or build brand awareness online. Influencers use their social media channels such as Instagram, Snapchat or blogs for this.

Social media marketing can include or combine other forms of marketing. Content marketing or referral marketing is hardly possible without social media.


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