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What Is Social Network Marketing?

Social network marketing is any form of marketing that takes place on social media platforms. This marketing strategy can play out in many ways, from formal advertising campaigns to informal customer engagement.

Given the popularity of social media, social network marketing is a broad category of marketing. Anytime a business uses social media, it could be considered a form of social network marketing. This form of outreach could take place on any social media platform, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or anything else.

Social network marketing is also varied due to the varied nature of marketing. Marketing outreach can take many different shapes—from outright advertisements to more subtle ways of building a relationship with potential customers. Social network marketing can similarly be straightforward ads for products or services, or it can be a means for a business to develop relationships.

How Does Social Network Marketing Work?

When successful, social network marketing helps a business:

  • Increase referrals or sales leads
  • Build word-of-mouth reputation
  • Increase sales of products or services
  • Provide a means of feedback
  • Develop a reputation as an expert or thought leader
  • Drive traffic to a business website or blog
  • Develop new products or services
  • Keep people informed about special events, sales, and other newsworthy events
  • Provide customer service

The Most Popular Social Media Platforms

Social media is a relatively new technology, so platforms and popularity are constantly in flux. However, it is possible to gauge the popularity of platforms as a point-in-time measurement.According to a Pew Research survey in 2019, the most popular platform was YouTube, which was used by 73% of U.S. adults.1 These are the adult usage stats for the other eight platforms included in the survey:

  • Facebook: 69%
  • Instagram: 37%
  • Pinterest: 28%
  • LinkedIn: 27%
  • Snapchat: 24%
  • Twitter: 22%
  • WhatsApp: 20%
  • Reddit: 11%

Not All Social Media Platforms May Be Suitable for Your Business

If you’re just starting out with social network marketing, you shouldn’t feel the need to use all of them at once. Even if your business had the money to hire a marketing firm or develop an in-house social media team to engage in all those platforms, it wouldn’t necessarily be a good idea because of the differences in users.

The best social media platform for a business to use will depend on its strategy. Certain strategies work better on certain platforms. There are demographic differences between the platforms, as well.

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