What is Social Media Marketing? – How SMM Works & Drawbacks

Social Media Marketing (SMM)


What Is SMM (Social Media Marketing)?

Social media marketing (SMM) often called digital marketing or e-marketing taps into social media platforms where users create networks and share content. This strategy helps companies grow their brand, boost sales and drive traffic to their websites. SMM also offers tools for businesses to connect with current customers and attract new ones supported by data analytics that help marketers measure their success and find new engagement strategies.

From 2004 when MySpace became the first social media site to hit one million users to 2022 digital channels have expanded dramatically. By the beginning of 2023 social media had attracted 4.76 billion users worldwide accounting for over 59% of the global population. This growth indicates that social media’s reach now rivals traditional media giants like television and radio.

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Key Takeaways

  • Social media marketing leverages platforms like Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram to market products and services, engage current customers and attract new ones.
  • The effectiveness of social media marketing lies in its unique ability to connect, interact and gather customer data, surpassing traditional marketing methods.
  • This marketing strategy revolutionizes how businesses influence consumer behavior, from sharing engaging content to using personal data to tailor messages that resonate with users.
  • Given the widespread use of social media, employing these platforms for marketing is crucial for businesses.
  • While social media marketing is often cost-effective and offers broad exposure, it requires regular updates and management and it may lead to unintended negative feedback.

Why Social Media Marketing (SMM) is Incredibly Effective?

Social media marketing’s strength comes from its unparalleled abilities in three critical marketing areas: connection, interaction and customer data.


Social Media Connection

Social media opens up new ways for businesses to connect with customers that were previously unthinkable. It offers a wide variety of channels for reaching target audiences, from video content platforms like YouTube to social networking sites like Facebook, and microblogging services like X (Twitter).


Social Media Interaction

The dynamic interactions available on social media, from direct communications to passive engagements such as likes, allow businesses to exploit free advertising through electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM). This eWOM not only drives consumer decisions due to its positive contagion effect but also provides measurable results. For instance, companies can assess their social equity, which represents the return on investment from their social media efforts.

Customer Data

Social Media Customer Data

A strategic social media marketing campaign yields invaluable customer data, enhancing marketing efforts. Instead of being daunted by the big data’s 3Vs—volume, variety and velocity—SMM tools can extract and convert this data into actionable market insights or even use it to crowdsource new marketing strategies.

How Social Media Marketing (SMM) Works?

Transformation Through Social Media

Platforms like Facebook, X (Twitter), and Instagram have revolutionized the way we connect and how businesses influence consumer behavior. These platforms enable the promotion of content that drives engagement and allow for the extraction of geographic, demographic and personal information, making messaging more impactful.

Developing an Effective SMM Strategy

A well-targeted SMM strategy significantly enhances effectiveness. Geekzilla Marketing, a leader in social media management, suggests a comprehensive action plan to craft an impactful SMM campaign:

SMM Strategy

  • Align SMM Goals: Ensure social media marketing goals are closely tied to the business’s overall objectives.
  • Understand Your Audience: Gain a deep understanding of your target customer’s demographics, such as age, location, income, job title, industry and interests.
  • Analyze the Competition: Perform a thorough competitive analysis to understand your competitors’ successes and failures.
  • Audit Current SMM Efforts: Evaluate your current social media marketing strategies to identify what’s working and what isn’t.
  • Plan Content Delivery: Develop a content calendar to schedule and organize the delivery of your social media content.
  • Create High-Quality Content: Focus on crafting engaging, best-in-class content.
  • Measure & Adapt: Continuously track the performance of your SMM campaigns and adjust your strategies as needed.

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Enhanced Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Social media marketing (SMM) offers unique advantages over traditional marketing, including dual interaction modes: customer-to-customer and firm-to-customer. Unlike traditional marketing, which primarily tracks customer value through purchase activity, SMM can monitor customer value both directly (through purchases) and indirectly (through product referrals).

Creating Shareable Content

The interconnected nature of social media allows businesses to create sticky content, the content that captures the customer’s attention immediately, encouraging them to make purchases and share the content. This type of word-of-mouth advertising not only reaches a broader audience but also carries the trusted endorsement of the sharer, making it a crucial strategy for growth in social media marketing.

Earned Media

Social media marketing (SMM) serves as an effective channel for businesses to benefit from earned media, which includes any brand exposure not derived from paid advertising. This often encompasses customer-generated reviews and recommendations, providing a high return on engagement without direct advertising costs.

Viral Marketing Strategies

Viral marketing is an SMM (Social media marketing) strategy that encourages audiences to spread a marketing message rapidly. This method relies on the power of word-of-mouth to extend the reach of product information far beyond the initial target audience. When a message goes viral, it promotes sales extensively while incurring minimal expenses.

Refined Customer Segmentation

Social media marketing (SMM) offers more precise customer segmentation compared to traditional marketing channels. This precision allows businesses to direct their marketing resources more effectively towards specific target audiences, ensuring that their marketing efforts are not wasted on uninterested parties.

Key Metrics to Track in SMM

According to Techbonafide.com, essential SMM metrics focus primarily on customer interactions:

  • Engagement: Includes likes, comments, shares and clicks.
  • Impressions: Counts how many times a post appears.
  • Reach/Virality: Measures the number of unique views of a post.
  • Share of Voice: Assesses the extent of a brand’s presence online.
  • Referrals: Tracks how users arrive at a site.
  • Conversions: Monitors when a user completes a purchase on a site.

Another crucial business-focused metric is:

  • Response Rate/Time: Evaluates how quickly and frequently a business responds to customer inquiries. For Example: The average response on Techbonafide is 3 to 5 working hours.

When deciding which metrics to track, it is vital to align each metric with a specific business goal. For instance, if the objective is to increase conversions from an SMM campaign by 15% within three months, businesses should utilize social media analytics tools to measure their campaign’s effectiveness against this target.

Even in the digital era, people love the personal touch, so don’t rely just on social media to spread the news.”

Advantages & Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Advantages & Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Advantages of Social Media Marketing

Broad & Targeted Reach

Social media marketing provides an effective channel to reach and engage a vast audience, significantly enhancing brand awareness and recognition. It allows businesses to both broadcast widely and target specific demographics, interests and behaviors offering personalized content to those groups.

Enhanced Customer Engagement & Loyalty

Interacting with customers on social media helps build stronger relationships and foster loyalty. This engagement is often less expensive than traditional advertising, making it particularly attractive for smaller or startup businesses.

Increased Website Traffic & Real-Time Feedback

Posting links to your website or blog on social media platforms can drive additional traffic and increase conversion opportunities. Moreover, social media facilitates real-time customer feedback, enabling instant communication and simplifying the interaction process.

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Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing

Time & Effort for a Strong Presence

Establishing a strong social media presence requires significant time and consistent effort. Businesses need to engage regularly and create fresh, appealing content to maintain their audience’s interest.

Complex Platform Management

Effective social media marketing demands a deep understanding of various platforms and the ability to create engaging content, analyze data and make informed decisions. Each platform often has its own unique features and requires specific knowledge. Additionally, frequent changes in algorithms and policies by social media platforms can unpredictably affect the success of marketing efforts.

Public Exposure to Customer Complaints

While social media facilitates easy communication with customers, it also provides a public platform for them to express their complaints and grievances. If not managed carefully, this openness can damage a company’s reputation.

Challenges in Measuring ROI

Determining the return on investment (ROI) from social media marketing can be difficult. It involves tracking multiple metrics, analyzing complex data sets and interpreting consumer behavior, which may not always provide clear or direct insights into the effectiveness of marketing strategies.

Pros Cons
Helps companies boost brand recognition with ease Setting up and maintaining a presence can be time-consuming
Provides more cost-effective marketing solutions Unpredictable changes in platform algorithms
Increases website traffic and offers real-time feedback Public exposure to negative feedback
Allows for targeted engagements with specific audiences Difficult to accurately measure the true return on investment (ROI)

“Social Media Marketing is where brands find their voice and sometimes, their challenges. It’s a digital dance of visibility and vulnerability.”


What is Sticky Content in Social Media Marketing?

Sticky content refers to eye-catching content that immediately engages customers and encourages them to buy products and share the content with others.

What is Viral Marketing in Social Media Marketing?

Viral marketing is a strategy in social media that aims to quickly spread product information through word-of-mouth, offering a cost-effective way to boost sales.

What is Earned Media in Social Media Marketing?

Earned media describes the brand exposure gained through methods other than paid advertising, such as customer-generated reviews, recommendations, shares, reposts and mentions.

What are some examples of Social Media Marketing Strategies?

Social media marketing encompasses various strategies to engage users and promote products, including targeted ads, pay per lead, interactive chatbots, personalized online customer experiences, collaborations with social media influencers, and building a dedicated online following.

Final Bite

Social media marketing (SMM) leverages social media platforms to engage with customers, enhance brand visibility, boost sales, and increase website traffic. With the global rise in social media usage on both computers and mobile devices, the opportunity to drive sales from specific user groups is expanding, making this a highly competitive field where businesses vie for views and clicks.

“Social media marketing is not just about showing up, infact, it’s about being seen and making connections that turn networks into net worth.”

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