Social media marketing (Web 2.0) is part of internet marketing that utilizes popular social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook to create a brand presence for your business. Social media is used to extend your identity and to communicate actively with targeted customers.

A social media strategy should always be included in your marketing campaign.  Social media is another form of viral marketing and has grown quite big over the last couple of years with many small businesses incorporating it into their overall marketing campaigns.

The social media bandwagon

Why is everyone jumping onto the social media bandwagon? The reason for this is that social media marketing can be seen as a “free” way of communicating directly with targeted customers. The only real cost is the effort and time necessary for the upkeep of your social media profiles to keep your visitors and people that follow you interested.

Even though social media marketing is not the only cheap option available, it is proven to be very effective, with some brands and companies achieving major success through various Web 2.0 marketing methods. Old Spice, achieved a grand following to their network last year with their funny viral campaign where they advertised their odour scented body wash on their YouTube channel.

Social media is great for brand marketing as more politicians are using Web 2.0 to gain a following through various online channels. In the states, Barack Obama used social media to build a huge following on Twitter and Facebook with a targeted social media campaign.

Sounds too good?

Does this sound fantastic? Social media marketing should not be seen as the be all and end all.  It is a single method of marketing amongst many, and a method that must be used with great care. When people are carrying out a poor and not well optimized social media strategy, it can damage your company’s reputation.  An optimized social media strategy should be handled differently than traditional old school marketing.  You are no longer just broadcasting sales messages to consumers, they can interact with your message.

Social media is still the new frontier in online marketing and it is a powerful method in advertising your services or products to all the corners of the world.  Make sure that your social media strategy is incorporated with your overall marketing campaign so that they can work hand in hand with one another, and to help you establish your brand online.