Definition of Social Media Marketing

The phrase social media marketing generally refers to using these online services for relationship selling — selling based on developing rapport with customers. Social media services make innovative use of new online technologies to accomplish the familiar communication and marketing goals of this form of selling

Here are the different types of social media services:

Social content-sharing services: These services facilitate posting and commenting on text, videos, photos, and podcasts (audio)

  • Blogs and content-posting sites: Websites designed to let you easily update or change content and to allow readers to post their own opinions or reactions
  • Examples of blog tools are WordPress, Typepad, Blogger, Medium, and Tumblr. Blogs may be hosted on third-party sites (apps) or integrated into your own website using software
  • Video: Examples are YouTube, Vimeo,,, TikTok, and Ustream.
  • Audio: Podbean or BlogTalkRadio
  • Images: Flickr, Photobucket, Instagram, Snapchat, SlideShare, Pinterest, and Picasa.

Social-networking services: Originally developed to facilitate the exchange of personal information (messages, photos, video, and audio) to groups of friends and family, these full featured services offer multiple functions. From a business point of view, many social-networking services support subgroups that offer the potential for more targeted marketing. Common types of social-networking services include

  • Full networks, such as Facebook, Instagram and MeetMe
  • Short message networks such as Twitter are often used for news, announcements, events, sales notices, and promotions
  • Professional networks, such as LinkedIn and small profession-specific networks.
  • Specialty networks with unique content, such as the Q&A network Quora, or that operate within a vertical industry, demographic, or activity segment, as opposed to by profession or job title
  • Social-bookmarking services: Similar to private bookmarks for your favorite sites on your computer, social bookmarks are publicly viewable lists of sites that others have recommended. Some are
    • Recommendation services, such as StumbleUpon and Delicious
    • Social-shopping services, such as Wanelo and ThisNext
    • Other bookmarking services organized by topic or application, such as sites where readers recommend books to others using bookmarking techniques

Social news services: On these peer-based lists of recommended articles from news sites, blogs, or web pages, users often vote on the value of the postings. Social news services include

  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • Other news sites

Social geolocation and meeting services: These services bring people together in real space rather than in cyberspace:

  • Foursquare
  • Meetup
  • Other GPS (Global Positioning System) applications, many of which operate on mobile phones
  • Other sites for organizing meet-ups and tweet-ups (gatherings organized by using Twitter)

Community-building services: Many comment- and content-sharing sites have been around for a long time, such as forums, message boards, and Yahoo! and Google groups. Other examples are

  • Community-building sites with multiple sharing features, such as Ning
  • Wikis, such as Wikipedia, for group-sourced content
  • Review sites, such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Epinions, to solicit consumer views

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