What is Social Marketing?

Marketing is usually implemented to sell a product or service, but social marketing is different. What is social marketing? It is a plan that is used to “sell” change. It aims at people’s social behavior and beliefs.

It is used to bring knowledge, change opinions and, in theory, make people think about something in a particular way. Effective social marketing follows much the same plan as business marketing.

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  1. Audience. Think about the people you want to receive your message. No matter what you are saying, there is always a target audience. The best way to determine who you are trying to reach is to brainstorm with colleagues and peers, discuss the goals of the social marketing plan and what kinds of people will benefit or improve through hearing what you have to say.
  1. Message. Prepare your social marketing message, down to the last detail. Through knowing your audience, you can determine what you need to say and find the best way to say it. You may need to tailor your message to fit people at a particular level of education or income, and sometimes it is important to consider race or religion. There are a number of factors that go into crafting a proper message.
  1. Avenues. After you have perfected your message, you need to think of the best ways to reach your target audience. For older people, you may want to try newspaper ads, TV commercials and the like. For younger audiences, you will need to use more modern types of communication, like social media, websites, etc.
  1. Budget. There are many free and cheap ways to reach large groups of people, so your social marketing strategy does not need to cost a ton of money. If you have lots of money to spend though, you may be able to reach even larger audiences. In some cases, you may want to start small and then do more as the campaign grows.

So what is social marketing? It can typically be described as marketing directed at bettering society. If you use the proper methods, you can get your message out and reach your goals.

And remember, sometimes the way you go about delivering the message can be nearly as important as the message itself.

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