Social marketing can be confused with commercial marketing. A commercial marketer may only seek to influence a buyer to purchase a product. Social marketers have more difficult goals. They want to make potentially difficult and long-term behavior changes in target populations, which may or may not involve purchasing a product. For example, reducing cigarette smoking or encouraging use of condoms have difficult challenges to overcome that go beyond purchasing decisions.

The "sharing economy" refers to an economic pattern that aims to obtain a resource that is not fully utilized.[73] Nowadays, the sharing economy has had an unimagined effect on many traditional elements including labor, industry, and distribution system.[73] This effect is not negligible that some industries are obviously under threat.[73][74] The sharing economy is influencing the traditional marketing channels by changing the nature of some specific concept including ownership, assets, and recruitment.[74]

In 2006, Jupitermedia announced its "Social Marketing" service,[28] with which it aims to enable website owners to profit from social media. Despite protests from the social marketing communities over the perceived hijacking of the term, Jupiter stuck with the name.[29] However, Jupiter's approach is more correctly (and commonly) referred to as social media optimization.
Social marketing was "born" as a discipline in the 1970s, when Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman realized that the same marketing principles that were being used to sell products to consumers could be used to "sell" ideas, attitudes and behaviors. Kotler and Andreasen define social marketing as "differing from other areas of marketing only with respect to the objectives of the marketer and his or her organization. Social marketing seeks to influence social behaviors not to benefit the marketer, but to benefit the target audience and the general society." This technique has been used extensively in international health programs, especially for contraceptives and oral rehydration therapy (ORT), and is being used with more frequency in the United States for such diverse topics as drug abuse, heart disease and organ donation.
Social marketing is also being explored as a method for social innovation, a framework to increase the adoption of evidence-based practices among professionals and organizations, and as a core skill for public sector managers and social entrepreneurs. It is being viewed as an approach to design more effective, efficient, equitable and sustainable approaches to enhance social well-being that extends beyond individual behavior change to include creating positive shifts in social networks and social norms, businesses, markets and public policy.[40]
Unlike most offline marketing efforts, digital marketing allows marketers to see accurate results in real time. If you've ever put an advert in a newspaper, you'll know how difficult it is to estimate how many people actually flipped to that page and paid attention to your ad. There's no surefire way to know if that ad was responsible for any sales at all.
That said, ground-up marketing works because it’s work. There’s no substitute for careful attention to your website’s content and careful curation of your business’s social media presence. Paid ads can be an effective tool within a high-budget marketing strategy, but if the consumer arrives at your website and doesn’t find what they’re looking for, how is that investment working for you? It’s not. If a sponsored tweet draws them in but a discrepancy in expectation chases them away, what’s the benefit there? It’s absent. Organic marketing is a long process, but ultimately it will yield more authentic customer engagement and more accurate SEO.
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