Social media networking is the general usage of online social media platforms and sites to promote a particular product or service as well as a brand. While the terms digital and e-commerce marketing are generally dominant in academic circles, social media marketing continues to grow for researchers and practitioners alike. In fact, more people are turning to social media for answers to their questions and recommendations instead of relying on the advice and recommendations provided by business professionals and mainstream media outlets. The recent slew of celebrity blogs is a good example of how these new users are using digital media tools to become more educated about specific topics. Blogs have even been used as venues for some of the most high-profile debates in politics. There are definitely many uses for blogs other than providing a platform for some of the biggest names in Hollywood.
A large number of studies have been conducted on the best ways to use social media marketing as a means of engaging an audience. These studies have determined that a blog can actually help draw in an audience by providing the necessary background information and promoting a brand or product that would not normally be promoted by conventional methods. However, before creating a social media marketing strategy, it is important to consider the target audience and key goals that the site will help to accomplish.
The goal of social marketing for many professionals is to connect with a specific niche market and create word-of-mouth endorsements that will drive the business to success. Social media platforms provide a way for professionals to share interesting information and experiences related to their work. This information can then be shared with those who may not be as familiar with a particular facet of the market or business. The idea is to create a unique marketing strategy that engages a specific, yet captive audience. In this case, the social media platforms work in tandem with the marketing professionals to achieve both goals.