Why Brands should approach SM like consumers do..

Re: Social Media – Is it Strategic or Tactical?

Yesterday Carol Phillips posted the following thought and question in her Millennial Marketing ‘Super Consumer’ Community, “Social media offers another way for brands to connect and build relationships with customers and potential customers. It is a tactic most brands should at least consider, particularly if they market to Gen Y. …..But is there a more strategic use for social media? Does social media represent a new way to differentiate a brand and make it relevant, in the same way that having a distinctive performance attribute, user image or customer experience can distinguish a brand?”

Hmmm.. I would say both. Like consumers, brands should approach social media both strategically and tactically.

Let’s look at it from a personal (or consumer) user perspective.. Using myself as an example – I have friends, family, colleagues, clients, bosses and randoms all connected through six major platforms – email, txt, facebook, twitter, foursquare and linked in. Tactically, each of the sm platforms can operate either independent or dependent of each other. The tactics I use to communicate a message depend on who I want to receive or see the message (audience), what the message is (information) and what type of impact (feedback) I expect the message to have.

Strategically, I pull different levers depending on what objectives I need to achieve with a specific audience. I have begun many new relationships in person and then continued growing them through email, before moving to txt and twitter, and then facebook to follow, foursquare to really follow and finally linked-in forever. At any given point, I will use some combination of each of these depending on the degree or level of emotion, desired reaction, level of publicity, level of privacy, degree of immediacy and obviously..content of the message.

What’s difficult these days though, is that everyone has different levels of use and comfort across each of the platforms and channels. Not all people use these things for the same reasons, and therefore not all messages are received the same, and definitely not always the way they’re intended. Another challenge I find is maintaining the discipline to not pull all of the levers at the same time. Unless, I suppose the world was about to end..in which case, I would send all my peeps txt, emails, fbs, dms, tweets and phones calls hoping that one of my messages would connect before the world ended.

As the complexity of life increases, so does the need for strategy. This is evident in my personal use of social media. I argue that from a brand standpoint, the same is true. It all comes down to what are you saying to who and what do you want them to do? Fundamentals right? Yes, but the trick now is figuring out the right combination of vehicles through which to communicate a message most effectively. Traditionally there was a clean, mass communication model – now a very personalize and individual model is emerging (thanks to social media and the internet), no more one size fits all, rather a much more strategically driven and tactically executed way to communicate to people is how both individuals and brands need to approach social media. Once you figure out the best way to communicate a message, be sure to adapt to feedback along the way so that future messages can be more impactful. Just a thought.. Cheers!

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Carol Phillips, Carol Phillips, Andrea Learned, bob nunn, Kristina Kiernan and others. Kristina Kiernan said: RT @Ravin_Dave: Why Brands should approach SM like consumers do.. : http://wp.me/pohCt-51 […]



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