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Types of Social Media Marketing

What are the types of social media marketing?

Social media marketing involves distributing content on social media sites and networks to reach and engage with people online. There are several different types of social media marketing, including content marketing, social media advertising, influencer marketing and social media/community management.


Content marketing: This strategy is used to attract, engage and retain an audience by creating and sharing relevant articles, blogs, videos, webinars, podcasts and other media. The content marketing approach establishes expertise and promotes brand awareness. Sharing the content on social platforms with appropriate links helps to drive prospects to your website and convert them to customers, job applicants, project partners, etc.


Social media advertising: This approach includes running paid ads on various social media platforms as well as paying those platforms to boost specific posts to increase clicks and impressions. Social media advertising offers several benefits, such as raising awareness for your brand, obtaining a better understanding of your audience, boosting engagement and reaching new audiences and lead opportunities.


Most often, social media ads are charged on a “pay-per-click” or “cost per impression” basis. When developing a social media advertising strategy, think about your desired outcomes. For example, do you want impressions or engagement? When creating the ads, identify what messaging is most relevant to your business goals to ensure that the ads you are paying for are effective.


Influencer marketing: This is the practice of collaborating with content creators or thought leaders that fit well with your brand to make them brand ambassadors. In turn, they will discuss your organization and initiatives, review your products or services and/or share their experience with your company with their followers. Influencers can be compensated monetarily, with products/services or through exposure to your audience.


Influencer marketing can be a win-win for both the influencer and the brand, as both get to expand their audiences. For example, when you interview a subject matter expert and tag them when you post the interview on your social channels, you’ll be introduced to their followers and the interviewee will be introduced to yours.


Social media/community management: The purpose of a social networking site is to provide users a platform to connect with others and participate in real-time dialogue online. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter (now called X) are examples of social networking sites that have features allowing users to post messages, share content and respond directly to each other.

Another type of social media marketing is media sharing, which falls under social media/community management. Media-sharing platforms, such as YouTube and Vimeo, typically provide users the ability to create profiles and upload images or videos as well as comment on and share content. Currently, YouTube is the most well-known media-sharing platform in the world.

Media-sharing platforms and social networks work well together because videos can be uploaded to media-sharing sites and then shared on social networks to create dialogue and boost engagement — a great combination for social media marketing.


AOE employs several social media marketing types on a broad range of social media channels — all chosen based on target audience preferences.


  • AOE blog (content marketing)

  • Spotify (podcast — content marketing)

  • Webinars (content marketing)

  • LinkedIn (social media/community management)

  • Facebook (social media/community management)

  • Instagram (social media/community management)

  • YouTube (media sharing — social media/community management)

The importance of social media in digital marketing

Digital marketing is currently dominated by visual content. As a result, social media marketing based primarily on images has emerged. Image-sharing platforms like Instagram are prime places to promote user-generated content through branded hashtags. These sites allow users to show off photos with the goal of purely sharing content. An advantage to using image-sharing sites for social media marketing is they provide users a break from lengthy content and traditional written blogs. Implementing these types of social media marketing is a sure way to boost engagement and bring awareness to your organization.

Why is social media marketing important?

Social media marketing establishes an online and interactive presence, giving brands the opportunity to gain exposure while building trust with their audiences and potential employees. Social media marketing also provides organizations with a way to engage with customers or members, which ultimately drives traffic and increases exposure. Having an effective social media marketing strategy is essential because without one, you will not get the desired website traffic. With at least two-thirds of internet users on social media, leveraging social platforms is a vital strategy to use when it comes to reaching an audience. Social media marketing helps brands connect with audiences all over the world, and it is important to use the best social media platform for your audience.  

Choose a social media platform based on the audience you’re seeking to reach, what the platform was created for and the content that performs best there. While there are many things to consider when selecting your social media platforms, including whether the platform’s demographics match your intended audience, the following provides a general overview.

  • For workforce development, many organizations have begun using TikTok, a platform popular with Gen Z, to promote job opportunities and share videos about what it is like to work at their company.

  • Facebook is great for connecting with and recruiting Gen X, while LinkedIn is best for business-to-business audiences and recruiting higher-level employees.

  • When journalists and elected officials are the intended audience, X (aka Twitter) is the ideal platform.

  • Threads is a new platform to watch. It is built on top of Instagram and has features similar to X (Twitter). With new features still rolling out, user demographics for this platform remain to be seen.

It is also important to consider the functionality of each platform. Facebook is ideal for allowing organizations to connect with their followers one-on-one through a high-functioning messaging platform. Facebook also offers high-quality video streaming, like live video. If your goal for social media is posting visually compelling posts and creative short videos, Instagram is a good option for your strategy. For long-form written content, like blogs and connecting with a business-to-business audience, LinkedIn is best. For real-time conversations, short updates and alerts, X (Twitter) is recommended.

No matter what your goals are for social media marketing, make sure to research the best strategy for each platform you use to get the most out of your efforts. The platform used and content posted can make or break a social media marketing strategy. The AOE Team can help you identify the most ideal strategies for your organization and establish best practices.

What are examples of effective social media marketing?  

When creating an effective social media strategy, it is key to define your audience and competitors. Once you have identified and classified your audience and competitors, focus on where they are (literally and digitally) and what social media apps they use the most. For example, if most of your audience is on Facebook, it may not be a good idea to prioritize Instagram in your social media strategy. If your target audiences are located in specific geographic regions or attend in-person events, you may consider geofencing as part of your campaign.

Success in social media marketing is a matter of consistently posting content that is engaging and compelling to your audience. Not only is routine posting effective, but it will also help show that your business is dependable, has timely knowledge to share and is present in the conversation with your audience. Regularly posting on social media is a great example of effective social media marketing, as the practice helps your content show up on news feeds, which is where all content is displayed on social media platforms. Relevant and consistent content in news feeds will ultimately attract followers to your page.  

Another example of effective social media marketing is prioritizing quality posts over quantity. Often, people think that posting several times a day across all platforms is an effective way to expand reach, but this is not the case. Instead, it is a good idea to focus more on delivering consistent, quality posts.

Developing a social media calendar is another critically important component of your marketing strategy. Calendars can assist your team in planning posts in advance while helping you to stay organized and true to your social media marketing strategy. 

What are benefits of social media marketing services?

Social media marketing can seem daunting at first, but services can help. When social media marketing is done correctly, it can prove to be a cost-effective, long-term solution for your business. Because there are many factors that affect social media, measuring and analyzing results is an important step. Hiring a social media marketing service can help optimize campaigns, create new goals, assess tracking metrics and more. Some of the key services for social media marketing are identifying what metrics are most important to marketing goals. The most common metrics when it comes to social media marketing are reach, engagement, impressions, mentions, post clicks and video views.  

Want to implement social media marketing services?

The AOE Team is here to help. AOE has decades of experience serving associations and organizations in technical industries, offering assistance ranging from marketing, public relations, crisis communications and social media consulting to projects related to training, workforce development, board relations, member engagement, certification and operations. AOE's expertise is proven – check out our history of award-winning programs. Let’s chat about your social media marketing strategy today!  

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