For nearly 20 years, Treacy Marketing Group has been developing and executing integrated marketing plans for our clients. We are constantly evolving to meet our clients’ needs and the prevalence of social media today has given us an opportunity once again to expand our capabilities. As the way we communicate has changed, so have we.
Social media has broken down barriers in many positive ways, but something has caught our attention from a strategic branding perspective: planning is often eschewed for action, leading to blogs that are not designed under the existing brand, facebook pages that have mixed messages of personal and business information, and off-message tweets that all add up to a compromised brand.
In a rush to embrace new media companies have, in many cases, forgotten or diluted their brand message. We have recognized this misstep in the marketplace and are now consulting our clients on Strategic Social Media™.
How is Strategic Social Media™ different from regular social media?
Strategic Social Media™ is about the use of appropriate social media outlets to share hard-hitting key messages. Take the example of a fictional commercial real estate company that uses Twitter. Which of these three types of tweets would be on-message and productive to their brand positioning?
1) Links to commentary blogs on Medicare and Medicaid.
2) Links to the blip.fm playlists of employees.
3) Links to articles about the credit crunch and development.
The first example might work if the commercial real estate company works in the health care space. The second is very likely to not contribute positively to the brand position of the company (results have the potential only to be negative if someone shares an offensive song.) The third message, though, is undoubtedly relevant to the brand of this commercial real estate company. The process of determining content may not be cut and dried, but it does require thought and planning.
The result of Strategic Social Media™ is exhibited in this diagram. From left to right one can see the progression of Strategic Social Media™ from brand strategy all the way through to the end consumer. This brand strategy involves the development of key messages, which are then communicated to the appropriate social media channels to reach your desired audience. The power of social media allows for your strategic key messages to be shared with others who may be in your target audience, but have not yet been introduced to your brand.
There’s no question that there are opportunities out there for businesses to connect and communicate with their desired audiences. Our point of view is that this opportunity will be maximized by social media that is based on a brand strategy that moves your business forward.