Social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of all types and all sizes to reach prospects. You’ll miss out if you’re not speaking directly to customers on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin. Great social media marketing may help your company achieve extraordinary success by cultivating loyal brand advocates and even driving leads and sales.
Social Marketing: Definition
Social marketing is advertising that aims to affect social change rather than directly benefiting a company. It promotes awareness of a problem or cause using standard marketing strategies, with the goal of persuading an audience to change their behavior.
In order to achieve the intended transformation, social marketing “sells” a habit or lifestyle that benefits society, rather than a commodity. The primary focus is always on the benefit to the public good. Social marketing “competes” against bad beliefs, behaviors, or activities, rather than demonstrating how a product is superior than competing ones.Social marketing is commonly used for causes like:
- Health and safety, including:
- Promoting exercise and healthy eating
- Safe driving
- Railroad station safety
- reduce the use of tissue
- Environmental causes, including:
- Endangered species awareness
- Social activism, including:
- Illuminating struggles that people of color, people with disabilities, etc. face, then inspiring people to fight against mechanisms that create inequality
- Fighting gender stereotypes
Who is the driving force behind these social marketing campaigns? The majority of social marketing campaigns are done by non-profits and charities. They are also run by government agencies, highway safety coalitions, and emergency services (police, fire, and ambulance). If you’re a commercial company, though, social marketing isn’t out of the question. Commercial brands will occasionally launch social marketing efforts in support of issues that they care about.
The Importance of Social Marketing
What is social marketing’s significance? Take a look at “traditional” product or service ads. You’re not persuaded to examine a product or service solely because of a commercial (in fact, you tune out the vast majority of ads you see).
How can a well-designed advertisement, on the other hand, capture your attention? It either makes you laugh, cry, or think, or it takes an unexpectedly new turn. While not every advertisement convinces you to try the product or service it offers, the best ones do so through inventiveness or emotion. With social media marketing, it’s the same. People dislike having their actions dictated to them. News and often broadcast PSAs regarding a social issue may not persuade them. Alternatively, they may be unaware of the issue or its magnitude.Some people may also find it difficult to engage in socially good behavior or believe they are incapable of resolving a problem on their own. Alternatively, people may find it difficult to break a long-standing habit (i.e. someone trying to quit smoking, or someone who uses disposable water bottles regularly).
However, well-executed social marketing captivates attention and raises awareness of a social issue by combining creativity and emotion. Most significantly, it provides a compelling, straightforward alternative for improving the world, elevating this beneficial action above any “competing” behavior. These components can be used in social marketing to successfully “sell” a desirable habit.
Because people want to make a difference in the world, social marketing that includes a charitable giving component is extremely effective. They want to give—just it’s a matter of where.
- Charities got $410 billion from Americans in 2017, according to Nonprofits Source.
- 84 percent of millennials give to charity on an annual basis, with an average of $481 per individual.
- Total donations to organizations climbed 4.1 percent across all generations in 2016 and 5% in 2017.
- “The highest increases in contributions have been seen in environmental and animal welfare charities, arts, culture and humanities groups, international affairs nonprofits, and health causes.”
People are ready to make a difference with their money, and social marketing capitalizes on this by highlighting worthwhile causes.
Key of Social Marketing Tips and Strategies
How will you express the “4 Ps” to your audience in a way that is both creative and emotional? And, in the long run, how might you work to optimize your impact? For the best results, keep these pointers and methods in mind.
- Properly minimizing “price” may take several rounds of research
You’ll need to do some rigorous research before you develop your campaign to figure out what barriers stand in the way of your audience doing your desired behavior (“price”). Online, over the phone, or in print, poll your audience. Keep in mind that determining the “price” may necessitate multiple surveys and chats. After all, the more people you speak with, the more you’ll understand the most typical roadblocks.
Consider hosting focus groups to examine how people react to the identified problem and possible remedy once you’ve identified the “price” and discussed methods to reduce it.
Create a tagline and compelling graphics, and consider designing a simple but memorable symbol to serve as potent “triggers” that inspire action and stick in your audience’s minds until you’re ready to construct your campaign.
- Create catchy slogan
“You are the only one who can prevent forest fires.” “This is your brain on drugs,” says the narrator. “We’ll be able to do it!” The three most famous social marketing efforts mentioned at the start of this article all have memorable slogans. For your own social marketing effort, you’ll need to come up with a tagline. As previously said, you want your audience to comprehend the desired action and how to act on it as quickly as feasible. So it’s only natural to distill that concept into a campaign slogan—a short, intriguing phrase that will stick in the minds of your target audience. Even better if you can mention the advantages of the desired action.
- Visuals are everything
Surprising or shocking imagery can be a potent motivator, especially if it depicts the problem or the negative consequences of undesirable actions. To optimize the impact of your visuals, carefully select your marketing media.
Visuals become much more compelling when they are tailored to take advantage of the “location.” Consider the illustration provided by FeedSA of a hungry youngster. Consider the Amnesty International graphic below, which puts individuals in direct contact with a child soldier in their own area. It elicits an immediate desire to assist the child and protest the violation of his or her human rights.