Social Marketing and Social Media

Social marketing, unlike commercial marketing, is intended to impact social change. It does not benefit the company or the program; rather, it is intended to benefit the community and the public at large. For example, you can listen to radio spots used to advertise HIV testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Also, the CDC has teamed with the National Cancer Institute to provide tools and guidelines for ad campaigns to promote health in their extensive social marketinginformation page. These are just two examples, but there are many more.

The terms social media and social marketing are frequently confused. You may see health programs mentioned on posters, billboards, or brochures. Recently, health programs have also been marketed using the latest technologies, such as the CDC?s social media page. As a public health professional, would you know which type(s) of marketing would be appropriate for various public health programs?

For this week?s Discussion, review the Learning Resources to differentiate between social marketing and social media. Consider how you might use both of these in your public health program (SPP).

Post an explanation of the similarities and differences between social marketing and social media and provide one example demonstrating your understanding of each. Then, explain one potential strength and one potential limitation of using social media tools to disseminate information about public health programs. Finally, explain how you might use social marketing in your public health program (SPP).

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