Page 2: Social marketing strategy
In order to develop a truly successful social marketing strategy, five golden rules apply:
1. Reflect core brand values
Consumers are more likely to understand and retain marketing messages if they make sense. This is especially true of social marketing; the cause or social issue, lying at the heart of the social marketing strategy must connect with the values of the brand or consumers will be sceptical. If the social marketing initiative brings the brand to life by highlighting its role in society, consumers will more readily accept it.
2. Perceived commercial benefit
Consumers accept that companies need to make money. Research shows that if customers can see the commercial benefit of community investment, they accept it - if not, they may become cynical and believe the company is trying to cover something up. In other words, consumers prefer companies to do good and get a return.
3. Single, powerful theme
Fragmented activity is confusing for employees and customers and is consequently less effective. If a company consistently tackles one relevant social issue it will hit home quicker and harder with customers and employees.
4. Mainstream, not margin
For a company’s community investment to be taken seriously, the social marketing approach needs to be integrated into everything the company does, from marketing to internal communication, from employee development to delivery of services.
5. Involve customers and employees
The social marketing strategy is dependent on bridging the gap between the company and its two key target audiences, employees and customers. It is imperative that both target audiences are consulted on a regular basis to ensure the resulting activity has both social and commercial impact.
Companies that follow the five golden rules of social marketing can create real business benefits, i.e. new loyal customers; increasing loyalty amongst existing customers; motivating and developing their employees and improving the corporate reputation.