The Four P’s of Social Media

| By Randy Jones

In the world of marketing, the 4 P’s are a well-known way to define the elements used to create a strategic marketing plan. They are:

  1. Product – The thing or service being sold and what makes it unique, which determines the marketing message.
  2. Price – How much the thing or service will cost, which determines the target audience (e.g. a $20,000 car and a $70,000 car are marketed to very different audiences).
  3. Promotion – How people can made aware of the thing or service, which determines the choice of marketing tactics (e.g. shampoo can be promoted through a free sample; a computer monitor can’t).
  4. Place – Where the thing of service is available (e.g. in person, online, locally, nationally, etc.), which determines the marketing reach and media choices.

(Obviously this is a very simplistic breakdown, and if you’re not familiar with the 4 P’s, I encourage you to research them online to learn more.)

4 P's Of Social MediaThere are those who say the 4 P’s concept is outdated, given that it was developed in the 1950s and the world has changed considerably since then. I’m not prepared to go that far, but I would like to propose a new 4 P’s – not to replace the originals, but to augment them.


My proposed 4 P’s apply only to creating a social marketing plan, and they are:

  1. Personal – As in “try to make a personal connection with your audience.” Social marketing is all about interaction, and it’s important to deal with people one-on-one whenever possible. Try to post things that will interest people and engage them. If people comment, acknowledge it with a Like or “Thanks” in return. If someone asks a question, answer as soon as possible. (One caveat: don’t engage with trolls – it never ends well.)
  2. Persistent – As in “be persistent, because social media is an on-going thing.” Posting once every month or two will get you nothing. Depending on the platform, you may want to post weekly, daily or even a few times a day. Do some research and find out what works best for the platform you’re using.
  3. Patience – As in “social media success requires patience – it rarely happens overnight.” The idea is to post interesting and/or relevant things and, as people share your posts (because they’re interesting and/or relevant) you’ll build an audience slowly and organically, and it will be an audience that will stick with you.
  4. Paid – As in “don’t be shy about using paid advertising on social media if you can justify it with ROI.” If you own a store and you’re having a sale, use paid social media to promote it – and grow your page followers at the same time. If your company has just issued a white paper that would be of interest to your peers, use paid social media to let them know – and get more page followers, too. Paid social media is inexpensive and can be highly targeted. And because social media platforms are in business to make money (spoiler alert: Facebook is not a non-profit), sponsored posts and paid ads reach a lot more people than organic posts.

Social Media Marketing is one of the many capabilities Reuben Rink provides as a full-service agency. Contact us today to explore how we can help your business develop a strong social media presence!