Social media marketing is a tool that should be integrated into your traditional marketing plan. But it is a different sort of marketing than traditional marketeers use.
Traditional marketing is known as "outbound marketing'. Essentially, what that means is using the traditional means of spreading the word - i.e. print, mail, radio and TV - a campaign is launched for a specified period of time. What marketeers are hoping is that these efforts will reach a percentage of people who are, at that time, interested in their product. And they further hope that those people will then act on that interest and buy their product.
As you can imagine, that sort of marketing is very "perishable".
Social media marketing is known as "inbound marketing". Inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer's buying journey. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media.
Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing does not need to fight for potential customers attention. By creating content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customers, you attract qualified prospects and build trust and credibility for your business.
Or said another way, when they are ready and interested, they will find you vs. you having to hope you'll find them.
That makes social media marketing a very powerful tool in an overall marketing plan as it rounds out the marketing tool basket and covers all potential means of attracting new clients, followers or customers.