Going off of the topic of the day from the Social Marketing Listserv, I would like to add to the conversation some of my experiences when people get social marketing confused with social media marketing. (For more information regarding the differences, click here.)
When I tell many friends, family or professors that I’m studying social marketing as my focus in graduate school, oftentimes it is embraced by excitement. This is then followed by a huge conversation about all the cool, new technology that’s coming out. Which to note, I also do enjoy because I like talking about new technology. But, I thirst for full conversations with those practicing the real social marketing.
Another time, I was interviewing to help volunteer for a new business in town. Knowing the confusion surrounding the term ‘social marketing,’ I started out early in the interview describing it in brief-length…the application of the marketing mix to change behavior, do good…mostly found in health communications but is branching out into other realms…main distinction is that its end objective is not related to commercial profit” and so on…After my 2-3 minute speal and promotion of social marketing, the interviewer exclaimed, ‘Great! You might have a few great ideas for our blog and can work with our IT person.” Now, if this was framed in a social marketing context, then I would have been overjoyed. But, he was getting it confused I believe with social media marketing.
A third experience. I was at the annual dinner for Kansas City’s Sister Cities Association and began talking with a gentleman. He asked what I was studying and I said, “Well, you could describe it as kind of like non-profit advertising.” Which, understandably, he asked what exactly that was. So I replied, well, the technical term of what I’m studying is social marketing, but sometimes that’s confusing –” and he jumped right in and knew all about it! It was a first for me, a very exciting first. I wanted to talk to this older gentleman all night! He said that he thought social marketing will be the next great realm as more organizations see its benefits, etc. and that it was a really exciting area to be in. It made my night.
Curious, what are some fun experiences you have had when distinguishing between social marketing and social media marketing?