To kick things off for this course, we are going to begin by examining what social media marketing is, how it works, and what tools are available to help marketing professionals reach and engage their selected audiences. We will also review how social media marketing is similar to and different from the other forms of mass marketing we interact with. As social media platforms continue to add features and new services to keep their user base engaged (more time on site) while providing marketers more ways to connect their messages with their desired audiences (marketing engagement), it can be a challenge to learn how to view the platforms we frequently use in our daily lives as marketing tools we can employ to reach our target audiences. As you do, you will inevitably become more savvy social media users and marketers.

In this topic, we will work toward creating a common vocabulary from which to examine and become more familiar with the social media marketing landscape, and how a sound social media marketing plan gives even the smallest of businesses access to millions (even billions) of customers and highly targeted prospects. Newer e-commerce and digital businesses as well as traditional “brick-and-mortar” stores all need to understand how social media and social media marketing have changed the calculus of business success.