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.

Social media marketing has been on the minds of marketers since the rise of Facebook and Twitter more than a decade ago. In 2018, it is very important for every brand to invest time and resources in social media marketing.

With 30% of millennials saying they engage with a brand on social at least once a month, your strategy cannot be only about existence. Brands must be fully invested in their social media marketing strategies and focus on engagement. Otherwise, you will lose out on real customers, which means serious effects on your bottom line.

Leveraging the power of content and social media marketing can help elevate your audience and customer base in a dramatic way. But getting started without any previous experience or insight could be challenging. It is vital that you understand social media marketing fundamentals.

The goals of social media marketing cannot be just to gain likes, fans, and retweets. These things are not ends, but means to an end. Social media marketing is far more than an online popularity contest, and the better business owners understand that, the better they can use it for their companies.

We asked social media expert Meg Brunson at EIEIO Marketing to share a few social media marketing tips.

How and why did you get started in social media?

When I left my job at Facebook to care for my family, I knew that starting a Facebook-focused marketing agency would allow me to help business owners grow and scale their businesses. Prior to working at Facebook, I got started with social media marketing because I was an entrepreneur with a small budget and big marketing goals. Social media was a platform that I was already familiar with from a personal standpoint and it allowed me to market my business affordably. I quickly realized I was also very good at it!

Which social platform do you think is the most under-rated and under-used by businesses?

Facebook is by far the most under-rated, under-used, and most important social media platform. Yes, it's the largest, and many businesses are there... but that does not mean that everyone is on the platform, or that it's being leveraged optimally by most businesses. You'd be surprised how many people don't see the value, until they discover how many people access Facebook multiple times per day, and what an amazing marketing platform Facebook provides!

What are some of the biggest mistakes you see people make in social media?

The biggest mistake I see brands make on social media is being too promotional. Even from a business fan Page, promotional content should be limited. Social media is the ideal platform for personifying your brand and building relationships with your ideal clients. Promotional posts should be balanced with a combination of shared content curated from other brands that your audience is likely to enjoy, and personal posts/interactions between your brand and your followers.

What are some ways that a brand can connect and interact with social media influencers?

Like the influencers both on an individual level, and as your brand. Then, engage with their content by liking, commenting and sharing their content across your channels. This allows you to develop a familiarity with the influencer before reaching out via Facebook messenger and/or email.