The Five P’s of Social Marketing

by Holland-Mark | September 17, 2009

I talked about these in a panel today, crowd seemed to like it. Who knew.

Anyway… If you’re trying to get rolling in Social Media, consider the 5 P’s:

  1. Planning – The strategy stuff.
  2. Plumbing – The technical stuff.
  3. Posture – The mental stuff.
  4. Participation – The active stuff.
  5. Programs – The business stuff.

Here’s what I mean.


Always good to start off thinking about what you want to accomplish, not in social media terms, but in business terms. Are you trying to generate leads here? Build some goodwill? Get closer to customers and prospects, to better understand what they want? What?

Beyond that, you need to determine what your content strategy is going to be… in other words, what kind of content is at the intersection of what you can uniquely provide, and what your target audience is interested in? If you can figure that out, and deliver the goods, you’re halfway home.


There’s a lot of stuff to get set up to make the social media thing work. I think it’s best to start with a blog, but that’s really a channel for long-form content. If pictures serve the story you’re trying to tell, get a Flickr account set up. If you need video, then YouTube. If you’re partial to talking rather than writing, create a podcast. It really doesn’t matter, just add whatever serves your content strategy, and ignore whatever doesn’t.

You might also want to set up some aggregators… places like FriendFeed, facebook, and Tumblr, where all your feeds come together as one. These are a great way to make it easy for people to get all of your content in one place, and to multiply the impact of every investment you make in content production.

After that, put the mouse down, and get into right headspace…


The posture you maintain in your social media interactions is arguably the most important dimension of it. As important as content is, in the end people will tolerate mediocre content if it’s delivered with sincerity, and maybe a little humor.

Remember social media is a cocktail party. Walk around, talk to people, get to know them, be nice, add value to the conversation wherever you can. Listen more than you talk. The time will come to hand out your business card (that’s “Programs” below).


This is the stuff people think about when they talk social media… the tweeting, the blogging, the flickr-ing (??), whatever.

Again… cocktail party. A cocktail party with the valuable and interesting folks on the planet is useless if you don’t show up. So show up.


Here’s where you get to pay the bills. While you’re investing in the creation of “social equity” – the goodwill you can generate in these networks by trying to help other people out – you need to harvest some of that equity once in a while.

While participation must be sustained and ongoing to create value, programs are periodic by definition. Maybe this week you have a special offer, next week a news release, the week after you’re looking for a javascript ninja. Content serving your own interests is totally acceptable within a social community, so long as it’s not all you bring to the table.

So that’s it. When you think Social Marketing, think Planning, Plumbing, Posture, Participation, Programs. Easy breezy.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]