Social media marketing refers to advertising that is posted or streamed on social media websites or applications. For example, a user sees advertisements or sponsored ads in his personal Facebook feed.
Social media marketing is typically designed to target a user's known preferences. For example, sponsored Facebook ads are based on posts by the user or the user's friends. Other sites, such as YouTube, have commercials before a free video that a user must watch before viewing the video. With the advent of social media, "word of mouth" is often performed electronically. With Facebook, a user can see what brands and companies his friends like.
Advantages of social media marketing include increased brand loyalty, decreased marketing costs, improved customer insights and increased inbound traffic. Social media marketing is typically effective; however, some users are annoyed by constant advertisements. Programs and applications such as AdBlock and AdBlock Plus are available so that a user can block ads on websites and applications. Used correctly, these programs block ads on Facebook and YouTube. However, these applications cannot go as far as to block being able to see what a friend "likes" on these sites. This is in part why social media marketing remains so effective as an advertising medium.