Some people are confused about social media, but it’s essential to understand that social marketing has been around for a long time. Digital and social media marketing are not new philosophies; they are traditional practices adapted to new tools.
Historically, business was conducted in social settings like door-to-door sales or marketplaces. These gatherings allowed people to share ideas and communicate across networks. Similarly, event marketing created connections between buyers and sellers through dealer conferences or even extravagant parties attended by influential individuals.
Nowadays, many of these connections happen online through platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook. However, some businesspeople shy away from using these modern technologies as they appear daunting compared to traditional methods such as television, radio, newspaper advertising or direct mail campaigns.
The ease of digital marketing allows businesses to quickly share their stories by taking pictures or conducting interviews with just a smartphone. Despite the low cost of entry into this form of promotion, many entrepreneurs still find it challenging due to lack of education in marketing principles and strategy creation.
Social media is simply another way to market a product or service using traditional theories adapted for new mediums. Each platform has its own language and style which requires tailored communication strategies for success.
The main difference between traditional and modern-day digital/social media marketing lies in the technology available today rather than any significant change in underlying principles.
Before we move forward, let’s go back to some of our earlier definitions of marketing by Seth Godin;
“Marketing is at the core of what we do. It is the story you tell, who you’re telling it to, and why people are going to buy your product or service.”
He also said, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell”.
The 4Ps Reimagined: Translating Marketing Mix to Social Media
While social media marketing is relatively recent in the grand scheme of things, marketing itself isn’t new at all. Applying foundational marketing concepts to social media is not just essential, but also incredibly effective. By grounding your social media strategy in these tried-and-true marketing principles, you’ll be better equipped to leverage these platforms and communicate your brand message powerfully and persuasively.
Product is where we begin. (When I use ‘product’ here, I mean product or service) It’s critical to understand what sets your product apart and how it enriches your customer’s life. These unique insights allow you to effectively utilize platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, or YouTube to tell your product story. Keep in mind that savvy customers today are not just buying a product; they’re investing in your brand’s narrative, which can include your connection to community, your social and environmental responsibility, and or your family connection to the product.
Then, let’s discuss Price. This isn’t just about the dollar value; it’s about the perceived value your product delivers. Striking the right balance in pricing is paramount. You don’t want to scare off customers by being too expensive, nor do you want to sell yourself short. E-commerce and social media have changed the pricing landscape, allowing you to operate with leaner margins and potentially pass the savings onto your customers. Techniques such as Dropshipping and Just-In-Time manufacturing can be powerful tools in your arsenal to manage costs.
Now, we move on to Place. This term encapsulates all the platforms where customers can find or access your offerings. Social media has revolutionized this aspect, making it possible for customers to shop from their living room while allowing you to engage, respond, and improve the customer experience in real-time.
Last, but definitely not least, Promotion. Traditional marketing techniques still have their place, but the digital landscape, especially social media, has opened up new possibilities. You can foster lasting relationships with your customers, earn their trust, and transform them into advocates for your brand. Promoting your brand on social media, optimizing your website for search engines, and leveraging email marketing can be cost-effective ways to enhance your visibility and reach.
As you craft your social media strategy, keep these principles at the forefront. Each one provides a lens to view your product, your customers, and the market. They aren’t mere steps, but ongoing considerations that can help your brand connect, engage, and grow in the dynamic world of social media.