Social marketing is a tactic that has a lot of benefits for businesses as well as PR professionals. When PR professionals use a social marketing approach, they can open their knowledge and enrich their experience.
Understanding social marketing helps a firm get insights into the target audience. If an organization can design and implement the right strategy, it can bring about behavioral changes in its internal and external environment. It can also enhance the brand image of the company.
Social marketing tends to transform customer perception and behavior. Social marketing definition is different from that of commercial marketing. Commercial marketing is geared towards changing people’s behavior to benefit the market, whereas a social marketing approach is taken to help the community. In simple terms, social marketing uses commercial marketing to resolve social matters for the greater good.
This social marketing approach has become so influential and powerful that organizations and individuals use the social media platforms in the virtual space to build social networks and digitally advertise their products and services.
The power of social marketing is indeed commendable. There is no better way to reach a large audience within a few seconds of posting an advert. The process is very cost-effective and accurate in terms of targeting.
Almost everyone who has access to a smartphone and the internet uses social media nowadays. Social marketing is thus a fantastic opportunity for businesses to reach their potential buyers. It is a better opportunity than advertising on print media or television.
For further understanding social marketing, we will discuss its benefits for businesses one by one in this post. But before that, let’s state the social marketing definition.
What is Social Marketing?
Social marketing approach, as it applies to businesses, refers to the use of commercial marketing techniques and principles to improve people’s welfare and the environment in which they live. The environment includes social, economic, and physical aspects.
Social marketing is a long-term, carefully planned approach for changing human behavior. It is based on the four principles used in commercial marketing.
Product is the item that is being marketed. In a social marketing approach, a product is a shift in attitude or behavioral change. For example, a marketing campaign may convince adolescents that spreading rumors is dangerous or harmful.
This is the cost of the product in general business terms. In social marketing, price refers to the expenses incurred in the efforts made for changing behaviors.
This is where the prioritized population, or in other words, the target audience, can be reached. In particular, social marketing refers to the efforts made to make behavioral changes as simple as possible for the audience. This can mean supplying healthy and environmentally friendly products at convenient locations or altering service-producing firms’ schedules to accommodate customers with busy routines.
This includes the ways to alert the public about the messages put out there for influencing behavioral changes. The message needs to be reinforced on multiple levels to be effective.
8 Benefits of Social Marketing
Social marketing allows organizations and websites to get famous online through social media, such as blogs, photo sharing sites, social bookmarking sites, and social media platforms. Let’s discuss eight benefits of using a social marketing approach.
1. Promotes Environment Friendliness
The social marketing approach encourages the use and promotes the consumption of socially desirable goods. This is good for reducing pollution and guiding the population towards a healthier world.
2. Promote Health Consciousness
As people get more aware and knowledgeable about taking care of their environment, they also become more health-conscious. This allows people to adopt a healthier lifestyle. If every individual starts taking more personal responsibility for their health, the community will thrive.
3. Helps in the Green Marketing Initiatives
Social marketing promotes initiatives related to green marketing.
4. Helps in Eradicating Social Evils
Understanding social marketing and working on it helps to reduce social evils from society. This has a tremendous positive impact on the quality of individuals as well as society as a whole.
5. Allows You to Reach a Large Audience
As mentioned earlier, social marketing is most easily done through social media. Social media allows firms and individuals to reach massive audiences in a short period. The sharing ability of users on social media further boosts the spread of the messages being conveyed.
6. Allows the Spread of Messages in the Cheapest Possible Ways
Sharing posts on social media is absolutely free for users. That’s why social marketing is among the cheapest ways of spreading marketing messages. If a business wants to boost its campaigns further, it can run paid advertisements too.
7. Gives You a Competitive Edge
If you adopt a social marketing approach, your business will get a competitive advantage over others. People like to buy products from companies and brands that are known to be socially and ethically responsible. The concept of social marketing is expected to become more prevalent in the coming years as concerns and campaigns over social and environmental issues arise.
8. Allows You to Charge Higher Prices
Understanding social marketing and adopting this approach allows businesses to charge premium prices for their products and services. Companies that have an image of being responsible towards the environment use their image as a unique selling point. They are thus able to sell their goods with a high-profit margin.
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Examples of Social Marketing
The primary purpose of social marketing is to influence and alter people’s behavior to benefit society and its environment. The concept promotes the long-term benefits of the community.
Here are a few examples of a social marketing approach. They vary in their targeting aspects and their relation to the environment, body health, and social awareness.
- An anti-tobacco campaign for discouraging and reducing smoking habits.
- A social marketing campaign to reduce the behavior of drunk driving.
- Efforts are made by a community or business to minimize antisocial behavior and encourage teamwork.
- Social campaigns to promote energy conservation and reduce carbon footprint.
- Efforts to reduce the usage and sale of environmentally unfriendly products. An example of this is the European Union’s anti-palm oil campaign.
- Promoting healthy eating behaviors in general, including discouraging fast food, semi-packaged food, and sugary foods, and encouraging the consumption of organic foods.
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Effects of Social Marketing
Since social marketing uses tactics similar to commercial marketing, the effects are often similar as well. This means a social marketing campaign is successful if it can achieve the desired change in behavior and society within a certain timeframe.
Social marketing campaigns, however, take longer to show results compared to commercial marketing. Most of the campaigns take years. For example, the movement started to reduce smoking habits in Australia in 1997 took 5 years to reveal the results and drop adult smoking rates by 3.7%.
The marketing campaigns run by businesses take less time than this to generate results. Most commercial campaigns are expected to attract consumers within a few days. Consumers, for example, are often willing to wait in line at the cashier of a shop to buy the last piece of a branded handbag available at the outlet or the latest edition of a gadget that’s being promoted.
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Managing social marketing campaigns involves a lot of elbow work and thought processes. There is usually a lot of ‘behind the scenes work that needs to take place before adopting a social marketing approach. However, if you take all that’s discussed in this post as a social marketing guide, you can work on a social marketing campaign with determination and foresee the results. Many social marketing campaigns started years ago have helped us make considerable differences to the society and lives of individuals. Some have reduced the risks of lung cancer and heart disease, while others have eradicated smallpox and other such diseases.
If you are running a business, you can also run a social marketing campaign and enjoy the benefits that will come along. If you have a website, mention your social cause to show your audience that you care about the environment.
If you use Strikingly as your website building platform, it will be easy for you to make announcements on your landing page, as our tools allow you to edit, revise and update your website at any time in any way you like.
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A professionally designed website that provides a smooth browsing experience, and mentions your company’s social marketing cause, is bound to get you higher sales and enhanced brand image than ever before. Promote your business by building a site on Strikingly and getting it up and running in just a few minutes. Talk about your social cause on all your online marketing platforms, such as your website, social media pages, blog, and elsewhere. Let your customers know that you sell products to them and contribute to society’s well-being.
This will give you an edge over your competitors and help you gain the trust of your customers. When you have a large enough and loyal customer base, nothing stops you from growing your business and making it thrive.
Social marketing should be a part of your overall marketing strategies and incorporated into your digital marketing efforts by promoting it on your website.