Social Media Marketing: Definition & Examples

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Loy

Dr. Loy has a Ph.D. in Resource Economics; master's degrees in economics, human resources, and safety; and has taught masters and doctorate level courses in statistics, research methods, economics, and management.

Social media marketing uses social media or online communities to reach large numbers of consumers. Learn the definition of social media, discover its use in marketing and business, and explore some examples of social media marketing on different social networks. Updated: 11/18/2021

What Is Social Media?

Have you ever lost touch with a business acquaintance? Do you want to know what others think about your customer service? When you are hiring employees, would you like to increase the labor pool you are recruiting from? If you answered yes to any of these, you need to know about social media.

Social media refers to a group of online channels where communities exist to share content, such as ideas, information, entertainment, and even life's moments. These channels may focus on personal, professional, or business networking. You can follow, friend, link, share, promote, join, discuss, tweet, retweet, favorite, and more. Social media is all in the name of interactive communication.

Users and developers started using the internet differently in the mid 2000's when something called web 2.0 was developed, and social media was the beginning of these changes. There are several types of social media, including wikis, bookmarks, and networking. We will focus on networking channels, which include Twitter, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Let's first look at why these channels are important in marketing and business.

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Social Media in Marketing and Business

So why is social media important in marketing and business? First and foremost, social media channels are important because they can increase profits. How they do that depends on how they are used to market the company. With the surge of mobile devices and access to the internet, it's almost impossible to have a business that isn't on the internet. And, if you are on the internet, the best way to communicate with consumers is through social media channels. They give a business the following things:

  • 24-hour access to consumers: Businesses can communicate with, get feedback from, address complaints, and build a trusting community with the public.
  • Advertising opportunity: Social media offers low-cost ways to distribute coupons and other deals, market products and services, and distribute blogs and multimedia.
  • Ways to build business relationships: Online you can discuss partnerships and projects, building your community even more.

You need a marketing plan for your social networks. Your first step is to determine your budget and priorities. If you are just starting out, you will want to put most of your investment into getting Twitter and Facebook accounts established. They are the most popular. Each social network offers different advantages when marketing. Let's look at a few examples of what might work for different situations.

Examples of Social Media Marketing

Let's say that you work for a marketing firm and one of your clients is a jewelry company called Gemz. This is the first time Gemz is venturing into social media. What options do you have? Let's start with Twitter.


Twitter gives us 280 characters per tweet to build a brand. It's a fast-paced place to share quick morsels of information, and it is a good place for Gemz to start.

For example, you want to take your time setting up the Gemz Twitter account. The Gemz history and mission should be in the Twitter background, the Gemz logo should be the thumbnail, and @GemzJewelry should be the Twitter name. This will make it easy to recognize Gemz. Quickly grabbing the attention of Gemz followers is where you want to concentrate your marketing efforts.


Facebook is a community where you can 'like' friends and follow companies. You want to create unique content for a Facebook account, but don't be afraid to use it to share information from your other social media channels and website. For those who choose to follow Gemz on Facebook, posts from the company will show in their newsfeed.

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