Survival of the Strategist

By: Chad Bell
Once upon a time, social media were just means to more efficiently conduct public relations for businesses. Nowadays, they not only provide one-way marketing communication in the form of a push strategy, but also allow for companies to pull the desire for products or services from potential buyers. As the distribution chain becomes less dependent on consumer reactions and more focused on interactions between buyer and seller, companies have also adapted.

The old saying that a happy customer will tell one friend, while an unhappy one will tell ten no longer applies in the giant sphere of the Internet. As a response, businesses seem to be increasingly cautious with how their message is translated through social media. Significant as it may be, learning how to aggressively market without seeming obnoxious or saturating media channels will prove futile without a core strategy. A successful policy depends on a shift in focus from the hows to the whos and wheres of social media.

To know your target market is to understand whom it consists of. While demographic factors such as age, sex, and income have provided researchers a means of categorization for industrial (traditional) media, they must not be overlooked in current applications. Findings revealed in reports, such as the 2010 Marketing Trends Study by Anderson Analytics and A Collection of Social Network Stats for 2010 by Web Design, provide meaningful statistics for targeting consumers on the social media map. Organizations with a global strategy benefit from publications such as Ignite, which highlight social mediums and their respective demographic data by geographic prominence worldwide.

While consideration for etiquette should always be a contributing factor of conducting business, the alignment of marketing goals with that of its target is imperative. In determining the most effective channels to communicate via social networks, buyer behavior analysis can reveal generation gaps, demographic trends, and adoption patterns. No matter the projected end, the means to a successful social media policy depends on strategic audience insight.