Social marketing is a relatively new part of the digital marketing mix, but one which although new, is becoming vitally important and crucial to many a campaign.

But what exactly do we mean by social marketing? People use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and any of the other numerous social media websites, to create and maintain contact with groups of people, whether they be family, friends, work colleagues, or belong to an interest group, or fan base.

Now when people start to see websites such as Facebook as the way to keep in contact and organize their lives, companies woke up to the fact that this presented them with an easy target. When people gather online, if they can be converted to a sales, or promotional message delivered by a digital method, then this is too much to ignore.

The problem is, that social marketing is very far from being an easy target, as many companies have found to their cost. Clumsy handling of social media which are ill-conceived and poorly executed campaigns have cost thousands of companies millions of wasted marketing pounds.

Good social marketing is all about transmitting a message in such a way that the transfer is seamless with the best ideals of social networking. In many ways, it’s similar to people trying to be their best friend and making an awkward approach. It is embarrassing for both parties and ruins any attempt to get the message across.

So the clever companies have had to adapt their marketing and ensure that their efforts are not seen as cack handed.