Social Media Marketing Communications

Social Media Marketing Communications

Social media serves as a cost-effective communication channel for promoting brands to target audiences.


Discuss how social media increases brand awareness and customer engagement in integrated marketing communications


Key Points

  • The viral and collaborative nature of social media allows brands to build brand authenticity and loyalty among their users.
  • Social media allows brands to refine their segmentation strategy by reaching a narrow target audience.
  • Advertisers and PR professionals can use social media to engage audiences, create compelling content, and monitor sentiment about their brand.

Key Terms

  • virality: The state or condition of being viral; tendency to spread by word of mouth.
  • earned media: Publicity for political campaigns gained through newspaper articles, TV news stories, web news, letters to the editor, op-ed pieces, and “fast polls” on TV and the web.
  • semantic analysis: The process of relating syntactic structures, from the levels of phrases, clauses, sentences and paragraphs to the level of the writing as a whole, to their language-independent meanings, removing features specific to particular linguistic and cultural contexts, to the extent that such a project is possible.

Social Media and Integrated Marketing Communications

Some of the post popular tweets are tweeted by companies and businesses. Powerful brands like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s boast Facebook pages with millions of fans. Social media, including social networks, makes it ever more important for companies to ensure their online exposure ties directly to their brand image and messaging. Along with television, radio, and print, social media is part of the communications ecosystem that works as a whole to create an enjoyable and seamless consumer experience across multiple channels. Likewise, integrated marketing communications is increasingly incorporating social media into the promotional mix to reach consumers on the web and on mobile devices.


Facebook Business Page: Social networking sites such as Facebook can serve as lead generators for marketing communications campaigns.

Brand Authenticity

The explosion of social media websites has led to the increasingly important practice of social media marketing. Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A brand’s corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source as opposed to from the brand or company itself. Social networking sites and blogs allow individuals to retweet or repost comments written by the creator of the product.

When that individual repeats the message, their connections are able to see it, which means the message reaches more people. Because of the virality of social media, companies frequently use social networking sites for word-of-mouth promotions of products and services. As the information about the brand is broadcasted and repeated across the social network, more traffic is brought to the company’s website. This results in earned media rather than paid media and both serves as a lead generator and creates favorable publicity for the brand.

Consumer Intelligence

Social media allows marketers to refine their segmentation strategy by reaching a narrow target audience. For example, Pinterest, a social bookmarking site with an overwhelmingly female user base, attracts companies that primarily target women.

Social networking sites also reveal vast amounts of information about prospective interest in products and services. Today, new semantic analysis technologies allow marketers to detect buying signals based on shared and posted online content. Understanding these buying signals can help sales professionals target relevant prospects and help marketers run micro-targeted campaigns.

Engagement Advertising and PR

Social media in business allows anyone and everyone to express an opinion or idea somewhere along the company’s path to market. Through social networking sites, brands can have conversations and interactions with individual followers. This personal interaction can instill and strengthen brand loyalty amongst followers and potential customers. Thus, each participating customer informally becomes part of the marketing department, as other customers read their comments or reviews.

Facebook and other social networks are often used to tune into customer conversations and quickly flag customer service issues and concerns. However, these conversations can also be repurposed across other social media and corporate channels. Brands often use social media to transform customer comments and testimonials into relevant and compelling content for personal selling, advertising, and other promotional tactics. Listening to social media “chatter” also helps companies stay in tune with public sentiment about their brand. By tracking and analyzing conversations on social media, public relations professionals can catch problems early and prevent negative publicity from turning into full-blown crises.

This engagement process is fundamental to successfully integrating social media into a company’s marketing communications strategy. Organizations can use social media to cost-effectively increase communications across the promotional mix, fostering brand awareness and, often, improved customer service.