“Think global act local” is it applicable to Social Media Marketing? Let’s put it in a different way: should or shouldn’t a social media marketing strategy have different channels and tactics (actions) for different realities and audiences ?
When reading several posts and different material discussing social media strategies and successful implementation plans I always come across with superficial comments to this aspect, an aspect that I consider key. For instance, should a multinational company have a Facebook general page and also specific pages for a country, regions or segments (youth, elder people, yuppies, lifestyle orientation, gender…)?
Well, traditional Marketing theories say that marketers should segment, target and position before defining a strategy to gain market share and leadership. Although, I know that a lot of the strategies used in traditional Marketing are obsolete or inadequate when doing social media marketing, in this case I believe that when designing a social media marketing strategy audiences are crucial and must be segmented, targeted with an appropriated positioning. When defining a company’s social media strategy, audience must be the first think to understand and define before going into objectives or tactics. Audience is in my perspective the key and crucial aspect when starting a social media presence or strategy, only because one can understand to whom the online presence is created to, one can succeed and achieve goals. When designing a social media presence a marketer should first take a deep look into its audience (who the company wants to target), understand the way they interact online and what they are looking for when going online and only then define a first approach with objectives and some actions.
So, if I am a marketer with different and distinct audiences and I want to target them all, I should first understand my different audiences, second divide each of them by typology of online interaction and interests, and only after that choose the channel (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter…) and my strategic positioning in each of them. After having the channel or channels, I would decide the best way to proceed by answering the following short questions: target different audiences with different or same (social media) channels? Same or different accounts? Or same channel with different actions?
An example, teenagers interact differently from surfers, however they can be in both groups, can’t they? They can have the same type of (online) interaction and interests? So, first question are they that different as audience or can they be part of the same group? It will depend not only on this analysis but also the kind of company we are talking about. Probably to target both one would need different channels or at least different accounts. For example, a Facebook page for surfers and another one for teenagers. At least, one would need a Facebook page with a mix positioning to target both groups with different activities or discussions. Summarizing, the same channel can be used but with different actions and tactics in order to best fit different audience but compatible, and similar enough to be mixed in the same channel.
Key take a way: first, audience, audience and audience; second, decide the goals you want to achieve; and only after that chose a channel or channels and the best tactic in each of them. I mentioned different audiences by age and lifestyle, but I could have mentioned audiences with different cultural backgrounds and nationalities the approach should be the same: adequate your social media strategy – goals, channels and tactics – the best you can regarding the uniqueness of each audience you want to target.
Note: This post does not pretend to describe how to design a social media strategy. Another post on that subject will follow later on.