How Social Media Changed Internet Marketing

The way many people communicate online has changed dramatically over the last few years.

A few years ago, the primary forms of online communication for most people were email and instant messaging.

While these forms of online communication have by no means disappeared, they have taken a backseat in importance for many Internet users in 2017.

Today, many people’s primary form of online communication is through social media websites. Because social media sites have such large audiences, they are ideal platforms for individuals and companies to market to potential and current customers.

Social Media Marketing

The basic purpose of social media marketing is to connect with an audience who is interested in what you have to say. Because of the personalized nature of social media websites, it is easier to target a specific audience as opposed to other methods of marketing which require large blasts at a general mass of people.

While the goal of social media marketing is to promote your brand or a company, simply using a social media platform to “shout” at people is not the most effective way to accomplish this goal.

Instead, social media marketing yields the best results when the platforms are used to engage with an interested audience.

Facebook & Twitter

Because of the popularity of large social media websites, the Internet has been flooded with websites that promote themselves by using the phrase ‘social media.’

While there are some quality niche social media websites, the two websites that present the most opportunity for marketers are Facebook and Twitter.

The reason these are the two most important platforms is because of their number of users and their level of engagement.

Both of these platforms also exemplify the ability of social media to allow you to target a very specific audience.

When it comes to marketing through these platforms, the two most common approaches are viral campaigns and building an audience on an ongoing basis.


Viral campaigns are commonly used to launch a new company or product.

The purpose of a viral campaign is not only to make a big splash, but to also create a message that people will want to spread on their own.

This is commonly accomplished by creating content that is entertaining in nature.

While a successful viral campaign can generate significant results, there is the risk of a campaign backfiring. Large brands like Motrin and Wal-Mart have had to deal with backlashes from failed viral marketing campaigns.

Long Term Results

The other way to utilize social media platforms is to build an audience on an ongoing basis. While a viral campaign can have a big impact, building an audience can yield even better results over the long-term.

The key to building a large audience is to avoid constantly talking about yourself or your company.

Instead, talk about things that your audience cares about.

By discussing topics related to what you want to promote, you will be able to engage people’s interest, build an audience, and then actually market to your audience when the time is right.