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The ‘Social’ Marketing Mix: The Four P’s of Social Media


As a marketer you are taught the “4 P”s of Marketing” or the traditional marketing mix. Recently I was thinking about this and wondered what the 4 P”s would be for social media.

It is funny to think how much marketing has changed in the last 10 years alone. Ten years ago there was no iPhone, no checking in on Gowalla, no Flip Camera, no blogs (to speak of), and certainly no way for your consumer to tell the world about their experience.

Thought this lens I have come up with what I am calling the “Social Marking Mix.” These are things that have to be in place, things to think about and understand when creating your social strategy.

Previously in the traditional model you worried about product, price, promotion, and place. I would argue the 4 P”s you need to worry about are:

~ Policy, Purpose, People, and Plan ~

In part one of this series we will look at Policy:

Make sure you have a good internal policy that addresses appropriate use of social media within your organization. In addition make sure you have a strong external comment policy posted on your website(s) and referenced on your social media real estate.

There are many great examples out there, so there is no need to recreate the wheel. Take a look at Ed Bennett”s blog Found in Cache¬†where he has posted many policies and guidelines from leaders around the country.

When creating your policy make sure you address:

Usage: To Block or Not to Block? – If you plan on blocking social media platforms from within the hospital make sure you address this in your policy and you communicate the reason.

Expectations of Employees – Make sure you not only address how you expect employees to act on the hospital”s social media sites, but also what you expect from them personally if they hold themselves out as an employee of the hospital on personal sites and profiles.

PHI : HIPAA – Do not assume that employees understand privacy and how this could impact their interactions on social networks. Information they post on Facebook they think is private could quickly become public as soon as Facebook changes privacy settings again.

Questions – Make sure on your policy you have a very obvious way employees can contact someone or some department if they have questions.

Tell Someone – Once you have gone though all the hurdles of getting your policy approved then the real work starts. Do not just file this with HR and be done with it. Use avenues like new employee orientation, 30 and 90 day interviews, and town hall meetings to introduce and remind employees of the expectations.

Let me know what you think or what I missed. I would love to hear from those who have been down this road or are in the process and what the trials have been and what some of the successes are.

Up next will be the second “P” – Purpose.

I look forward to your feedback, 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