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Research Paper on Social Marketing and Social Networks

6 pages
1435 words
Wesleyan University
Type of paper: 
Research paper
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

It is a process of applying techniques, which include: research, analysis, planning, design, execution, control and evaluation of programs; whose objective is to promote a favorable social change, through the offer of a social product, which is oriented to be accepted or modified voluntarily, a particular idea or practice in one or more groups of recipients (Mendive, 2008, p 32).

This definition has vital elements: research, analysis, design, and control, which are necessary to understand what the social group thinks, feels and does. Besides, it mentions evaluation as a necessary step to assess whether the social plan or project affected the change, modification or abandonment of behavior or practice by the target market. Another essential component of this definition and that makes a difference between commercial and social marketing is the offer of a social product. This is built and oriented from what the research points out, to be accepted by the target market and make it possible to adopt an idea, practice or beneficial behavior voluntarily.

Forero Santos (2009), points out the need to build a simpler and more complete definition of social marketing that encompasses the steps and actions that distinguish this type of marketing. Notes that: Social marketing is a strategy that allows the exchange of ideas, beliefs, habits, myths, attitudes, actions, behaviors, behaviors, values or social practices, to improve, and comprehensively develop the health of the individuals and communities intervened by health planners, through the investigation of needs, the planning, execution, and control of communication programs and social education in health; based on the same analytical techniques of commercial marketing that allow the analysis and orderly and systematized knowledge of: the social product to be promoted (health), the community (audience or target group to intervene) and the different variables that mediate between these two ( individual, collective, environmental and cultural factors), to design messages, select means of diffusion, disseminate messages and control and evaluate the impact of them that will reinforce healthy habits and behaviors (Forero Santos, 2009, p.7).

In this definition, Forero Santos (2009) tries to broaden the concept and does not rely solely on the specific aspects of marketing. He raises social marketing as a strategy to improve and comprehensively develop health. Therefore, this conception is very valuable because it expands the actions and components of social marketing and approaches the approach of the Directorate of Health Promotion. As stated in the two previous definitions, in social marketing it is key that the construction of the product be socially and culturally appropriate to the particularities of the population segment to which it is addressed, so that it incorporates it and translates it into a social practice through the weather.

Based on the analysis of the different proposals for the definition of marketing and social marketing, the following definition is proposed:

Social marketing in health is a process of persuasion to achieve healthy behavior in a target market, which generates value for all parties by applying marketing principles and tools.

Next, each part of this definition is expanded:

Persuasion: A process of convincing is carried out (not just information) based on a logic defined in the marketing strategy.

Healthy behavior: These are the expected behaviors that generate well-being for people

Target market: It is the specific population group towards which the strategies are directed.

Value: it is the assignment of characteristics, meanings and positive feelings to a specific object, action or conception.

Principles of marketing: Marketing fundamentals such as market segmentation, generating value and deep knowledge of the market.

Marketing tools: These are the persuasive mechanisms that marketing uses to achieve behavior change (integrated marketing communications).

Mendive (2008) argues that social marketing work should be based on research and not be born of improvisation. Market research is an essential point for the development of the marketing plan.

The field of Social Networks is today one of the most used, with multiple business objectives. Some brands seek to position themselves, humanize themselves, expand their community, generate Engagement or why not improve the results of their business. Social networks are fashionable, but they have taken on such strength that they seem to have come to stay (Welch, 2012). There are social networks for all tastes and hobbies, from the most famous and unreachable like Facebook and Twitter to the specialized social networks that we like to promote in this blog. The data speaks for itself:

52% of the information we look for on the Internet about health refers to some illness, followed by food, healthy habits, and medications.

77% of patients perform Internet searches before requesting a consultation. In addition to seeking information, they share their experiences: 1 in 4 patients use social networks to follow the experience of others, and 41% of respondents say that social media influence their choice of hospital or doctor.

Medical professionals have different thematic social networks to interact, share experiences or cases, and many health communities have been created where users can express their doubts (Neomed, Spanamed, Saluspot, Ippok, among others) (Xu et al. 2012). The infographic highlights that 1 in 7 of the health professionals participates daily in social networks and that 1 in 4 of the doctors uses social media to find information about their area. Thanks to other studies conducted on the use of health professionals in social networks people know that:

31% of health professionals use social networks as a professional networking tool.

60% of the most popular activities of doctors in social networks is to follow what their colleagues are sharing and discussing.

Many of the participants in social networks are passive, do not create or comment on content, but they do read the content that other professionals generate in their network.

On the subject of the industry, the analysis carried out by Solomon McCown indicates that of the US hospitals that have a presence in social networks they prefer to use Facebook and that 85% of health companies use social networks within their strategies of Marketing or plan to do it during the next months (Whetten & Mackey, 2002). Undoubtedly, the impact of social networks in this area is very high, although it is not for less, taking into account that every 5 seconds 170,000 searches are made in Google on this field. In fact, Social Media is no longer a mere showcase where we can talk without knowing whether actions work or not, but a means to contribute to the long-awaited conversion. Taking into account the importance of these platforms to generate economic benefits is that Doppler Academy wanted to give you an unparalleled training.

Social Networks are an unparalleled space to establish links and relationships. However, achieving a crush on prospects is essential but not enough criteria because if one does not generate business results, the social media tool will be ineffective. The main problem of many companies is that they do not have a line of indicators to follow to assess whether their social performance is good or bad (Andersen, Medaglia & Henriksen, 2012). These metrics, of course, should be linked to the mission and vision of the company to make adjustments in a strategy although many omit it entirely. In fact, many companies use social networks to generate good friends and followers who speak well of their services (Adams, 2010). But if the company seeks to go a little further and achieve image or financial benefits, they must discover the main metrics to measure actions, control them and improve them.

There are many vain metrics in social networks, but to measure the success of our content in social media is not enough to count likes, plus ones and retweets. If people want to know the real effectiveness of the content links they share, we have to go further. Anyone can check how many clicks a specific link has received (Alsos, Das & Svanaes, 2012). Because of shorteners such as bitly, buffer or HootSuite, people can know which the link that more people have visited is. Now, we need to broaden the frame, zoom out and analyze everything as a whole. The vain and superficial metrics of simple interaction help people to perform their daily task, to know what content to repeat, which approach works best or which headline gives them more leads. It is clear that they also provide visibility, thanks to the amplitude of spectrum that provides an RT. Interaction metrics do not serve to analyze the effectiveness of our content.

The only scientific way to extract valid content effectiveness metrics would be to analyze the number of clicks received concerning the total scope of each publication. However, a big problem arises: The reach data in social networks are always relative because it is impossible to know for sure how many people have seen a particular publication (Berthon, Pitt, Plangger & S...

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