Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites.

Social media itself is a catch-all term for sites that may provide radically different social actions. For instance, Twitter is a social site designed to let people share short messages or “updates” with others. Facebook, in contrast is a full-blown social networking site that allows for sharing updates, photos, joining events and a variety of other activities.

How Are Search & Social Media Marketing Related?

Why would a search marketer — or a site about search engines — care about social media? The two are very closely related.

Social media often feeds into the discovery of new content such as news stories, and “discovery” is a search activity. Social media can also help build links that in turn support into SEO efforts. Many people also perform searches at social media sites to find social media content. Social connections may also impact the relevancy of some search results, either within a social media network or at a ‘mainstream’ search engine.

SEM is a type of Internet marketing associated with the researching, submitting and positioning of a website within search engines to achieve maximum visibility and increase your share of paid and/or organic traffic referrals from search engines.

SEM involves things such as search engine optimization (SEO), keyword research, competitive analysis, paid listings and other search engine services that will increase search traffic to your site.

Contrast With SEO

SEM is a broader term than SEO. Where SEO aims to provide better organic search results, SEM helps you successfully target users of search engines via advertising (paid) links in search results in addition to organic search to send targeted traffic to your website.

SEO and SEM are not competing services. SEO is considered a subset of SEM services. Today, if you want to conduct business on the Internet you need to be visible in both organic and advertised links, which means you need both SEO and SEM.

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