social media marketing

Social marketing is used to develop different activities to maintain or change an audience’s behavior, for either the benefit of society as a whole or individuals themselves. It combines the ideas of social sciences and commercial marketing, and it’s an effective tool to influence behavior in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.

People come across social marketing campaigns many times in their daily lives, that range from promotions to prevent wildfires with Smokey the Bear, to pictures of potential health issues on cigarette packaging. When marketers try to create social marketing campaigns, they first have to think about three different aspects of the campaign: the issue that the campaign should address, the resources that are available for the campaign, along with any identifiable risks, and the initial timescales and plans for the campaign.

Social Marketing in 2020

Social marketing can focus on many different things that can benefit society and individuals such as promoting health and safety through campaigns on safe driving, healthy eating, and exercise; environmental issues such as awareness of endangered species and deforestation; and social activism that includes stereotypes, bullying, and the struggles of different groups of people.

Most of the time, it’s not big brands and corporations that tend to undertake these types of marketing campaigns. Instead, it’s charities and nonprofit organizations, as well as governments and emergency services. However, there are some businesses that are especially passionate about certain issues and can decide to run a social marketing campaign for that issue.

Social Marketing Campaign

A well-executed social marketing campaign can capture the public’s attention and spread awareness about a certain issue through emotion and creativity. It’s a way for campaigns to present a simple and compelling way of what everyone can do to make the world a little bit better by slightly adjusting people’s behavior.

There are four crucial elements to social marketing campaigns, and those are the product, the price, the place, and the promotion, otherwise known as the “4 Ps” of social marketing.

Product

With these campaigns, the main product is social action as well as its benefits for the public, and the change should be presented as interestingly as possible. The audience should understand the product and the benefits from it quickly and easily.

Price

This doesn’t refer to the price of the promotion, but rather the so-called price that the public will have to pay for that social action to take place. It’s not always monetary, but it can often focus on the time or difficulty in terms of cost for the public.

Place

Once again, this doesn’t refer to the place where the campaign is going to be promoted, such as on billboards or through social media platforms. It actually refers to where the public should be performing that desired behavior. For example, going back to Smokey the Bear, people should avoid setting fires in forests, which means the location is wooded.

Promotion

The final element ties all of the former ones together and refers to the outlets and channels that should be used to reach the audience and the way that the audience will become interested in the campaign in the first place.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.