Applying Basic Marketing Principles to Social Media Marketing


Before we move forward, let’s go back to some of our earlier definitions of marketing. Seth Godin, the founder of Seth Godin Productions and Do You Zoom explained the concept of modern day marketing as:

“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”.

Social media may be a new technology, but it doesn’t mean carrying out marketing campaigns on this medium is a new thing too. Before you think about promoting a brand on social media, you should know about basic marketing concepts. This marketing knowledge will assist you in making the most of social platforms and spread the brand message more effectively.

In Chapter 2, we talked about 4 P’s of marketing with respect to traditional marketing concepts. It’s time to move forward and explore how the concept of marketing mix is applicable to social media marketing.

Product

When you think of Product in the traditional marketing perspective, the first thing that comes to mind is a tangible product or service businesses offer to meet a specific need of the audience. The concept of product in social media marketing is no different.

You may create a business profile on LinkedIn, get active on Instagram, or launch a channel on YouTube to promote your product and build your brand. Just like other entrepreneurs in the digital world, you can also reach the target audience via social channels.

Before proceeding with marketing efforts, you need to get a clear idea of the benefits as well as negative aspects of your market offerings. You should know how it adds value to consumers, what the USPs (Unique Selling Points) are, and what makes it different from the competition.

In the digital era, accessing the required information is easy. Customers are woke and socially aware. They prefer brands that not only develop products to meet their needs, but are also conscious about preserving nature while doing so. You can focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR activities) during the promotion phase, but sustainability should be incorporated into the organizational culture.

You need to invest in environmental sustainability and take actions to reduce your carbon footprint. It’s best to adopt a green business model through waste management and reducing consumption of natural resources. Furthermore, workforce diversity is also an essential element for businesses these days.

It’s not enough to promote the benefits of a product. However, you can gain higher visibility on social media and better promote the products by convincing the audience that you don’t only believe in making profits, but are also doing good for society and the environment.

Price

Do you remember the concept of Price in the marketing mix? It’s a crucial component of your product marketing strategy and refers to the strategy of setting a price for your products.

The right pricing strategy is important because it’s the driving force of the success or failure of a product. If your prices are too high as compared to the competition, then you are likely to lose customers. On the other hand, low prices may cause you losses if they are lower than the cost incurred in developing the product.

Digital or social media marketing has also affected this module. Before the popularity of social networks, business owners had to invest a huge sum in purchasing or renting a location where they could display their products. Customers would visit them and check products before making a buying decision. As a result, the cost of the product would go up by adding utilities, rents, and other overhead expenses.

While brick and mortar stores are still present, eCommerce stores have gained huge popularity and over 24 million businesses are selling products via their websites or social media. The benefit of online selling is that the overall cost is decreased.

Many businesses store products in their warehouses and send them to customers as they place the order. As a result, you can sell products to customers at a lower price since you need not pay shelf space cost. This way, you can choose the Cost leadership strategy and offer products at lower prices to gain a competitive advantage.

Technology has also reduced the need to maintain huge inventory.

The concept of Dropshipping evolved with an increase in social media marketing. All you need to do is to contact a manufacturer and work as their fulfillment center. When a customer places an order for products they need, you forward this request to the manufacturer. From manufacturing to product delivery, they will handle every task and you can earn profits with a limited initial investment. Customers are interested in online stores due to convenience as well as lower pricing as compared to in-store prices.

If you visit a supermarket’s website, it’s possible that their online prices would be different than in-store prices for the same product. One of the major reasons is that the cost of running an online store is lesser than physical stores.

Furthermore, you can also adopt the JIT (Just in Time) method to cut down on inventory costs. By implementing an effective communication system within the organization, you can develop products when customers place orders instead of manufacturing them in bulk. With this approach, you can further reduce prices for online stores or customers that contact you through social media pages.

Place

When it comes to 4P’s of marketing, Place defines the platforms where customers can find or access your market offerings. Regardless of whether you offer a tangible or intangible product, service, or experience, the rise of social media has certainly changed how you sell products to customers.

Traditionally, in-store shopping was the only option for customers. So, manufacturers were keen on making sure that their products are easily available at supermarkets where their target market shops. They partnered with distribution networks to expand their reach and spread the word. While distribution channel management is still a part of business marketing, digital platforms especially social media websites have added a distinct platform through which a business can sell its products.

Businesses that are active on social media can make the most of opportunities. They can post engaging content to make people talk about the brand, interact with them to learn about their experiences, and respond to customer reviews for further improving customer experience. Furthermore, customers can contact brands 24/7 through social media and place orders without hassles.

Aside from social media marketing, businesses can also advertise through search engine ads, email marketing, and other online advertising platforms and offer a unique experience to each customer.

Promotion

The importance of traditional marketing can’t be denied, but promotional marketing efforts work best when you combine traditional marketing with digital marketing.

Thanks to the modern-day digital channels, especially social media, businesses can now spread the word about their brand through multiple avenues. These platforms aren’t only cost-effective, but they also save time and let you reach the targeted audience that is likely to be interested in what you sell.

For digital promotions, social media is the leading choice. Through these websites, you can build lasting customer relationships and convert them into long-term customers by winning their trust. You can run low-cost ads and promote engaging content for this purpose.

Aside from social media marketing, businesses can also advertise through search engine ads. If you manage a business website, it’s also a good idea to invest in Search Engine Optimization. This way, your brand will appear in top search engine results and higher visibility may lead to higher website traffic and increased sales.

Lastly, email marketing is another powerful tactic for promoting products. You can attract potential customers through special discounts and Buy-One-Get-One-Free offers.

Activity:

With reference to the Marketing Plan Template, choose a company and product of your choice. You can select your startup or a client’s business too. Now apply the concept of marketing mix and answer the questions in the given table for your business.

 

 

 

License

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Intro to Social Media by Cheryl Lawson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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