There are thousands of articles and blog posts describing the actual definition of social media marketing (SMM) online. Many internet marketers are still broadcasting that social media is the next big thing and even though it might all seem new to you, it has been around for a while.

When you mention social media to most people, the first thing that they usually think about is Facebook and Twitter. If you think that social media only consists of those two channels (tools), have a look below on some characteristics of this trend, and why it is important to include a detailed social media marketing strategy for your business.

Social media marketing characteristics

Contributing and participating: Social media is all about contributing and participating in online conversations. With all the new social media channels being launched everyday, people enjoy communicating with others in interactive communities.

Open and transparent: One of your main goals should be to build trust with your current and prospective clients in your social media strategy. You must always be truthful when you are dealing with your market online as one negative comment in 140 characters or less can destroy your reputation.

Build relationships: If you are a small business owner, it is important to establish relationships with people in your target market. Conversations online on various channels can happen in real-time with real people. People don’t want to be offered any services or products, they want to be connected to be heard.

Community focused: Social media marketing for small organizations usually only depends on communities online. Many people use online communities to find and filter for relevant information if they are interested in a specific product or service. If you offer a good service to your customers and you take care to build solid relationships on these communities, you will get positive comments and opinions on your services and products.

Social media marketing is an excellent method for small businesses and young start-up companies to get the word out about them. SMM allows you to promote yourself while building lasting relationships in various online communities.