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The Original Social Marketing

Social Marketing is about building a real community around what you do. It’s about giving something away that the community finds valuable, and getting loyalty in return.

But there’s a catch: If you do something nice just to get something in return, it doesn’t work. It feels disingenuous. People see right through it.

All the “gurus” in the social media space are obsessed with community. It’s easy to forget that social marketing isn’t limited to the internet.

A story about Dairy Queen franchisee Hamid Chaudhry…

Just like that, the Dairy Queen began to become the center of communal good, notwithstanding its contribution to the high obesity rate recorded among adults in Berks County. Mr. Chaudhry immersed himself in fund-raising, splitting everything 50-50 so that he only covered his costs. Good for promoting the business, yes, but also good for Hamid. Fund-raisers for a father of four with cancer; for the Children’s Miracle Network; for soccer teams and Little League teams and the widow of a deputy sheriff recently killed in a shootout — he was a regular customer who liked Blizzards. Sponsorship of car washes and high school homecomings and blood drives four times a year. (Donate a pint of blood and get a $20 frozen cake.) Free parties held at every local elementary school, as well as at a Bible school run by the Mennonite church. “My customers have made me well-to-do,” Mr. Chaudhry explains. “They patronize me, so why wouldn’t I give back?”

Via Damn, I Wish I Thought of That