The 5 P’s of Social Media Marketing Engagement

 In Marketing Services Saskatoon, Photography Saskatoon, Photography Vancouver, Social Media Marketing Saskatoon

The 5 P’s of Social Media Marketing Engagement

The 4 P’s of Marketing

If you’ve learnt the basics of marketing 101, you would have heard of the 4 p’s or also referred to as the marketing mix.  These include product, price, place & promotions.

  • Product: What are you selling to clients & customers?  What is your product or service available for purchase?
  • Price – What are you going to price your good or services at?  How much will your consumer pay?
  • Place – Where are your consumers going to buy your product and how is it going to be distributed?
  • Promotions – Refers to advertisements, marketing communications, PR or sales activities

Each of these categories goes much further in depth and are an entire topic on their own. There are even extended marketing mixes that include 7 p’s adding on people, process & physical.  Going with a similar naming convention of the classic 4 P’s of marketing, I’ve come up with the 5 P’s of social media marketing engagement.

Be Social on Social Media

Before we start, remember, social media marketing is social.

Through the advancements the world has become more connected than ever before. The world of information and access to the global community is in our pockets. An exceptional opportunity for scalable communications to mass audiences. At the same time rapid change and technology becomes overwhelming. It is easy to become distant behind the digital  communication.   Beneath the likes and follows we can become physically distanced while still providing us an illusion of connectivity.

Rapid changing social media platforms, technologies and complexities arise in the execution upon your social media. From letters, phone books, & newspapers back in the day to the modern internet and social media platforms of today. The medias will be ever changing however “social” media will always be social. Beyond the “media”, the strategies upon which you craft your communications and strategies upon which you engage, interact and be social authentically will and should remain somewhat the same. Simply translated and adapted authentically to the format of the media.   Although physically distant, you can still remain emotionally connected and humanize your social media communications. More in depth how to create these authentic interaction and engagement comes the 5 p’s of social media engagement below.

The 5 P’s of Social Media Marketing Engagement

I’ve come to realize there are at least five critical components of social media marketing that are quite standardized across all businesses, industries & locations.

Content creation specific to marketing & social media marketing involves much more beyond the imagery and technical components of the photography or video production. Beyond looking great, utilization of the content is to create a meaningful interaction with the intended audience for the brand. Therefore as well the intent to bring in the long term return on investment back to the brand. Through authentic Visual storytelling in marketing you also have to consider additional components such as branding aesthetics & the marketing strategy. Consider the alignment with the mission, vision values of the brand and many other microelements.  Marketers need to create engaging content with purpose that demonstrates your “why”.  Marketers require content that people want to see, also known as a pull vs push marketing strategy.  Remember that people prefer not to be bombarded with ads or pushed upon promotional materials.

As mentioned, social media is being social, interacting and engaging with a purpose to expand upon external networks & to cultivate your internal network. Always included upon your social media marketing strategy is how to expand into these external networks and internal networks directly through the content that you create.

Your internal network includes the people whom already have purchased from you or already follow & engage on your social media. Efforts and dollars to expand may be easier upon people that already know you and like you. The 80 /20 rule which is a somewhat overused construct, however gets the point across that a small percentage of your current clients and network may represent a large proportion of your revenues. These are perhaps your “biggest fans”, the “regulars”, or “key accounts”. I immediately visualize fans camping outside a store awaiting the next iPhone or PS5. These are a key set of people to also focus on in your social media marketing engagement.
Your external networks are essentially networks that will include your target market, psychographic, demographics or locations in which you focus upon.

Below I’ll go into more depth upon alignment the 5’p’s of social media engagement including products(products, services or brands), people(internal & external), places, partners(internal external, b2b) par promotion. Each are valuable on their own, however intended to combine the elements together as a whole.



Connecting with other brands, products and services are a great way to extend into external networks and engage on your social media platforms. If you think about it its quite simple.  These are all other brands already spending money to cultivate a social media following in which overlaps your target market.  Get creative and think of unique ways in which you can collaboration or cobranding. Aligning within the same industry or demographic you can also align with the same target market of clients/customers. Obvious limitations are that most times it is not ideal to enhance and promote direct competing brands. Social networks are small however so be aware of whom already has collaboration and cobranding with other direct competing brands.

Choosing correct brands to align with goes back to the reason why a strong business plan should always include your vision, mission and values. You are looking for others who also represent the same in their brand that you do, on a brand level and individual level. Connect beyond the surface value of your product and short term thinking. Find the people behind other brands that connect with your core values and vision.

Creative Collaborations

Collaboration and Cobranding is really an open canvas of whatever bold ideas you may conceive.  Red Bull and Gopro and the  “Red Bull Stratos” for me is one of the greatest brand events created, which also happened to have exceptional results marketing wise. If you haven’t heard of the Red Bull Stratos, essentially it was the highest skydive of the time, from the stratosphere and recorded by a GoPro. Not all of our brands have the enormous budget of this scale, however goes to show the expansive potential of creativity when we think with a collaborative versus competitive mindset.  This enabled a global win-win opportunity for both sides as well as all of the other involved sponsors. Each party had put funding and their niche resources together to achieve something beyond what was currently possible. In return gained a global audience watching a Red Bull branded event, recorded on a GoPro.

Taking some inspiration from the Red Bull Stratos, I was also part of one of the canadian team on the Google Lunar XPRIZE. The competition gained several major partnerships and sponsorships from global brands including notably Audi, Airbus & DHL. DHL as one of the largest global shipping & logistics companies provided major sponsorship to literally promote as being the first “delivery service” to the Moon.

The point to make is think big, boldly without limits on your creativity with other brands.  Stand out from the bombardment of advertisements seen on a daily basis.

Fashion Photography & Food Photography Examples

Fashion photography will involve visual storytelling of your subject/model and is utilized to intentionally highlight brands & or products. There is a complexity of elements that goes into fashion photography. This includes the hair, makeup, lashes, nails, hats, top, bottoms/pants, accessories (watches, jewelry, glasses), shoes, props, location and the model.  Within those categories mentioned there definitely subcategories to be expanded upon which “products” may be used as well. Particularly here we are highlighting the importance of utilizing and connecting with other products & brands, however the model & subject you choose, location are also notable important decisions as we will describe more below. Choosing a suitable model with an audience and notable location both are important.

Fashion photography is a natural and authentic representation of the products, simply a beautiful visual representation of the model & subject, collaborators & brands all combined convey the intended visual story. Ensure the standard elements per usual of tagging, sharing, promoting people involved for everyone to spread across their different networks. The network numbers add up quick. Don’t necessarily expect instant gratification of large engagement from these networks. Most will probably be quick view or awareness marketing. But accumulating a continual interaction with this many external networks can add up quick over time.

Food Photography & cocktail photography is an exceptional opportunity for great brand & product collaboration. Food photography, utilizes many of the same brand collaboration elements and engagement strategies as fashion photography.  For example there are an endless amount of recipes for ingredient & food brands. Each ingredient in the recipe is an external social media marketing network in which you may connect and communicate with. Overlapping into lifestyle photography allows you to also include particular people & their networks into the content as well.  The local people to choose may be your local chefs.  Taking a look at the core details and branding behind particular products or ingredients.  Looking specifically at the branding, location of origin of the products used, their target markets and social media reach. This is a way to which you may communicate amongst various communities and external networks simply through food and the food photography.  Adding upon another layer, from the perspective of a chef or mixologist a great recipe tells a story, the origin of the ingredients, the communities of which they come from, how they were made. Therefore food photography done correctly is a way in which you communicate a story in a natural and authentic. You are not just “tagging” products for the sake of tagging, you are creating meaningful interactions through food.

Social Media Contests

If you have good connection with another brand you may partner in a contest and paid promotion. People love contests at a specific magnitude or value that peaks their interest. They have a strong incentive for your community to take action and interact per the variables of the contest. Otherwise known as creating an “actionable item”.  You can do contests on your own, which are great for fostering interaction with your currently community. However take your contests to the next level, partner with another brand. Extend your prize giveaway. If each party puts in the same amount you instantly double, triple, etc. the value and magnitude of the offering. You also may double or triple the audience of the contest. Perhaps another option is to split on any promotional Instagram or Facebook ads on this contest. We could go on, however as you can see, collaboration is intended to expand the value gained of each party and does not simply divide the value amongst parties. One item to note, there are limiting returns to adding more people.  At some point you dilute your returns as being mixed amongst the crowd of many brands.

Cultivate your community

As you can see building a brand takes a team of people & brands.  It takes a community of people supporting one another collaboratively. Brands that support each others visions and inspirational bold goals. Seek others whom may also have similar visions and bold goals but however different paths, different products and services to get there. Engage long term strategy to expand upon successful first interaction and collaboration. Long term thinking enables you have opportunity to create a long term business relationship. The success and growth of your social media not only expands upon your business, but enables win-win long term growth for all of those whom support you. Benefits are not always immediately tangible, but other times direct revenue and referrals may even occur.

As I’ve mentioned the example of fashion photography. Hair, makeup, clothing & accessories amongst others are all connected for one shoot. The relationship between the different industry specialties are all interdependent of one another and therefore opportunities for long term working together in the same business community.

Cultivate your comunity!


This includes people of influence or what some may call influencers.  I feel as though the term influencer has many negative connotations that derive from it.  It can away from the focus that lots these influential individuals have genuine influence and top expertise in their industry.  And as well many influencers produce high end professional content and can consider themselves experts or thought leaders in thier niches.

Firstly what is influence? There is a whole book called “Influence” explaining the psychology of influence and how to use “Cialdini’s 6 principles of influence”. On a high level I can recommend the link to the video. These factors of influence include reciprocity, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity are based on psychology that appear to be cross cultural. They also explain compelling reasons to why people of influence have such a great impact in marketing.

Models are professionals whom are specialists in their craft at a high level. When you pay for a professional the added value they bring from expertise and external network should bring a strong ROI. Agencies and models at a high level know the importance of social media.  Many have even diversified to become marketing & social media marketing experts themselves as well as developing their own personal brand.  Use models for a much more professional and polished brand in the long term increases conversion of your social media or paid social media campaigns.

Models and agencies are getting much more competition from the localized “influencer” market and relevant personalities of people whom have specialized influence upon their industry niche.  These types of influencers align well with the principles of influence.  Authority is attained by being someone of exceptional expertise in their niche, and the alignment with that individual through social media content.  Likability comes from a fact that people like to engage and interact with other people whom are much more similar to themselves. Therefore sometimes means choosing someone whom is relatable to the target market and down to earth.  Another important note is that people are looking for community led local brands that align with their values. Social proof is gained by aligning your product usage social media with another individual whom’s personal brand is trustworthy and reputable.

Be aware of how all influencers network has been made.  Do they have strong engagement and organically gained followers.  What is the brand loyalty of the  followers that they have.

I cannot emphasize enough that the key in using your “people” for authentic communications or in content people want to see on social media.  Emphasize much less focus on the advertising and more on the quality of the content. Focus on more pull marketing and less push marketing.  People do not want to be advertised to.  Think of yourself, do you have a PVR to record fast forward commercials, well the same applies to social media marketing.  In marketing and sales people many times refer to their conversion ratios based on high volume exposure as a percentage point. What I believe is a huge point that marketers do not want to mention out loud is the percentage point of amount of people that didn’t convert was a negative experience. You can calculate ROI and profit from an push type add, however the reversal may calculate how many people were not wanting to be advertised to in the first place.

Micro Influencers and Trust

People trust other individuals close network and extended network. There are obvious tendencies that individuals have a higher trust level of an individual in their direct social network versus an external outsider whom they do not know.  We therefore may compare Micro influencers to Macro influencers.  A well known individual with an extensive reach or strong influence in a particular industry but is external to the individual’s personal network.  A celebrity is well known and has exceptional brand recognition, however they are usually somewhat distant from the consumer.  The second option micro influencer is an individual whom is connected to a large amount of people on a local level and perhaps part of that individual’s primary or secondary network.

The question arises, what type of person of influence is better to choose per the budget available. There are benefits to both micro influences and people with extensive influence. One large influencer brings strong awareness and brand recognition to mass marketing campaigns on a wide scale. They require one shoot per campaign required.  Micro influencers may have higher conversion and targeted marketing strategy. They are a hyperlocal strategy targeting individuals in very specific target demographics, psychographics and locations.
Which is the better return on investment? There are guidelines, however there is no standardized price to calculate the cost to hire influencers . But in theory and in practice it has shown that a more targeted and localized advertising of many micro influencers higher conversion and lower price may bring in better numerical return.  Ideally you integrate a combination of both.

Internal People

Don’t forget to utilize social media to engage with the people of your own brand. Share about the founder’s story, their vision, mission, values and inspiration. An organizations main core competency is it’s people, and what better way to promote this than through social media. Customers/Clients want more than your product or service. They want to know the stories behind where your product or service come from and the people behind them.


Knowing how to use locational based brands or physical locations is yet another engagement strategy.  These physical locations bring about locational based marketing strategies or engage the network based on the location you interact with.

A simple starting example would be to develop content that engages with a tourist location.  Therefore presenting the content as being from that location and  after having the local tourism board engage with your content.

Always plan ahead to integrate strategic physical locations in which you approach your content shoots.  Rather than shooting a model in a arbitrary location or outdoors, rather choose a location with meaning and that also has a community to engage with. There are many scenic locations that would be glad to offer their spot for photos. It also aligns with the fact that in most cases shooting in real life locations bring about the most authentic scenes.  Locations vary pending the type of shoot however places to shoot may include tourist locations, hotels, restaurants, event complexes, studios, or other public venues.

Using content that includes specific locations allows you to develop localized marketing strategies.  Relevancy and the personalization to the local market are details that matter. In a globalized market positioning your marketing locally and promoting as a locally grown business are strong competitive advantages.  Many brands that cover widespread areas are actually disadvantage because their marketing is diluted and not as relevant to the local city.  However these are usually larger brands with larger budgets to compensate.  Similarly local brands have the opportunity to engage beyond their main city in a hyperlocal strategy.  Therefore can focus on particular regions , smaller towns and surrounding communities versus a generalized citywide focus.

Remember to choose your “place” or location with intention. It’s a great form of social interaction with the local community


Integrate and align with the relationships and partners that you have.  Extend into their external networks, usually which are of your target market.

Internal Partners

Internal partners may include:  vendors, contractors, franchisees or other locations,

External Partners

External partners may include charities or non profits, events, brands, business to business clients or relations, retail partners, distribution partners


Paid advertising are directly paid for engagements.  This may include facebook ads, instagram ads.  Paid ads are not intended to be an element on their own, they need to be wholistically integrated with the rest of your social media engagement strategies.  Think of paid ads as the catalyst to the content marketing and social media marketing strategy that you’ve prepared.  Use paid ads to kickstart momentum on the great content you created.  Pending the type of ad it is usually beneficial to have a form of actionable item or reason for an individual to take further action.


The 5 P’s outlines quite a comprehensive list in which you may engage through social media. Ideally integrating as many of these types social engagement opportunities as you can within budget should enhance engagement. Planning these engagement items in your content creation and overall marketing strategy will be sure to expand upon your internal and external social networks.

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