Social marketing is the use of marketing strategies to promote a certain product or service to the society using their ideas, behavior and attitude. For example, you can put a sign “Drink in Moderation” right below a beer ad. In a way, you are promoting the product and at the same time giving a sound advice to the consumer. Social Marketing was created in the 1970s as a means to gain more merits by seeking the society’s approval through identifying their wants and needs. There are many concepts involved in social marketing. They will help us get a better understanding of why it is instrumental to the success of any business. • Its main function is to influence people. By being able to find out what the customers want from the product or service you are offering, it will be easier to adapt to that and be able to manipulate the way they think in a positive way. • The focus is not the marketer but the target customers. Reach out and talk to them, or hire someone who will do that for you. You base your marketing strategy on their wants and needs, and nothing else. It should be from the customers’ point of view and not from the marketer’s point of view because these two things can be entirely different. • When you get a better understanding of the wants and needs of the customers are, put them into action right away. It should be applied in the product or service by highlighting the benefits. It can also have something to do with the price. You can ask yourself if the price is reasonable or competitive after putting into consideration the level of quality your products have. • Promote products in places where people can actually find out about what you have to offer. Aside from promotion, your product or service should also be made available to people at any given time. You may have very good “influence” on the target market but the products are out of stock most of the time so, what good will that do? • Monitor the market and be wary of competitors who may give you negative publicity. You have to be prepared to counteract such problems for your social marketing to be effective. • The marketplace is constantly changing and so programs must be regularly monitored and management must be prepared to rapidly alter strategies and tactics. Many sites offer social marketing opportunities for businesses such as Flickr, Wiki, Bebo and MySpace. With these sites, individuals and organizations can seek better ways to talk to people, understand their needs and at the same time market their products and services. Sometimes businesses hesitate to accept the social marketing concepts for various reasons. But people should be aware that since the birth of this concept, many have succeeded in their businesses by simply using social marketing as a tool to gain more sales. The reason is simple- social marketing gives people what they want and need.