2 Types of Social Marketing – Change Agents Can Use Both

What is Social Marketing?

What is social marketing?

This question has lead to some confusion in the last few years as the term has been widely used to refer to different things.

Social Marketing Definition #1

Realidad [Photo by leoncillo sabino] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

In the public health sector, social marketing is being used as a sophisticated approach to addressing public health problems. Unlike public service announcements which take a top-down approach to public communication, social marketing is more of a feedback loop between the target audience and the health professionals conducting the marketing campaign.

Social marketing builds on the needs and wants of the consumer, which requires detailed research and continuing modification of the campaign based on feedback received. Social marketing dates back to the 1970’s, and it’s based in commercial marketing principles. Social marketing professionals use these principles to sell ideas and improved behaviors to consumers for social benefit.

Social Marketing Meaning #2

50 Social Media Icons [Photo by IvanWalsh.com] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Another meaning refers to marketing via new internet technology that is also known as social networking, social media or new media. Social marketing sites include the major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Digg.

These sites have been generating a lot of buzz over the last several years, and although they started out as a fad among young people they have quickly grown into much more. Business owners and nonprofit leaders are recognizing the importance of these sites to their marketing efforts, and finding ways to embrace them. For example, Facebook is the largest social media site in the world after surpassing Myspace.

There are many features on this site which are useful to both business and nonprofit marketers, but the real key to success on Facebook is building a large fan base. Twitter is another fast growing social media site that is attracting the attention of businesses, media outlets, nonprofits and bloggers who value the platform for its growth potential. I spite of its rather limited interactivity in comparison to Facebook, creative marketers are still finding ways to use it effectively.

Help from Social Marketing Services

As a result of the relevance of these 2 types of social marketing for non profits and social enterprises, there are now a number of various services to help change agents figure it all out and maximise their use.

Blackbaud social marketing service is a solution provider for nonprofits which helps them to broaden their audience via private social networking. Blackbaud Social and Blackbaud Sphere combine to create an online solution for event management, advocacy social media, website management and email marketing. Blackbaud Social enables nonprofits to make more meaningful engagements with their supporters. Their proven solutions include a privately-branded online community that offers multiple forms of connection for supporters.

These communities allow for the sharing of personal stories, discussion groups, blogs, comments and photos, encouraging the formation of meaningful bonds between supporters and the organization. Blackbaud Social extends the reach of the organization into the public social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter as well, helping to raise awareness and drive more supporters back to the privately branded site.