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(Part 2) The ‘Social’ Marketing Mix: The Four P’s of Social Media


A quick review: Many of use who spent time in business school learned the “4 P’s of Marketing.” In this four part series I am covering what I call the “4 P’s of Social Media.”

~ Policy, Purpose, People, and Plan ~

In part one of this series I talked a bit about Policy, the first ‘P’, and things to keep in mind as you develop and roll out your social media policy and terms of use.

Today in part two will will look at the second ‘P’ – Purpose.

So many hospitals seem to launch their social media presence without a strategy, or understanding of how this channel fits into their overall communication plan. I am the first to say much of this can not be understood unless you jump in and play around, but be sure you know your end goal.

Be sure to ask yourself… Why? Why do we want to launch this Twitter/Facebook/YouTube/Flickr account?

  1. Education – The first reason maybe simply to educate yourself. It is important to know how these platforms work so you can effectively add these mediums to existing marketing and communication efforts.
    1. A good resource for educating yourself on each of these platforms is Lee Aase’s Social Media University Global. Lee has done a great job creating a simple curriculum type learning environment for free.
    2. For Twitter specifically check out: Twitter 101 for Business.
    3. Finally be sure to check out YouTube for videos on how to use specific features of all these technologies.
  2. Monitor – The second reason would be for brand monitoring. Even if you are unsure of how you plan to use these channels to market, it is important to be visible in the space and see what others are saying about you.
    1. A simple way to do this is by using Google Alerts. Be sure to monitor uses of all your brand names, the CEO’s name, board members, key physicians, etc…
    2. Twitter has great search functionality so take advantage of Twitter’s search page to monitor as well.
    3. In addition their are many paid search tools that are very robust. Make sure you exhaust the free channels first to better understand what you need to monitor and where the gaps are.
  3. Connect Internally – Many of these avenues (read: Facebook) are places your employees . Having a presence on these platforms allows you one more communication channel.
    1. Use Facebook to create a private group for current employees. This will give them an avenue to connect with senior leaders in a new way.
    2. Use a service like FormSpring to encourage questions and dialogue.

Depending on your audience you many have different reasons for using each of these platforms. Make sure you think through how they connect with your traditional marketing/communication efforts and that you can articulate why you are using/rolling out each the way you are.

I look forward to your feedback on Purpose. In part three I will share my thoughts on People.

– Reed

Social Marketing Mix – the Four P”s of Social Media by Reed Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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Reed Smith