Social media marketing: Narrow it down

How to focus your marketing strategies via social media. Photo: Flickr

WASHINGTON, September 9, 2013 — While attending marketing conferences, forums and other venues, professionals often discuss the nuts and bolts of how to get a specific message across to an audience, as well as ways to build a brand through increased exposure and visibility. All these are cornerstones in any marketing campaign. But in most campaigns, it’s also important to control the message, to mold it and polish it into something that will help the company do its work more effectively.

The world of social media is a vibrant, versatile space. But it’s not immune to the same kinds of “message bloat” that have affected traditional media. It’s one thing to simply get your brand name in front of as many eyes as possible. Building a targeted, well-crafted message and sending it to a more selective group of consumers is quite another story.

Evaluate Business Context

For many different enterprises, it’s a mistake to simply onsider a business as just one of any number of similar vendors. One carpet seller doesn’t have to be like another. A garment retailer like Gap doesn’t have to have the same message and the same territory as another store, even an outlet that sells the same kinds of clothing. Fundamental brand visibility is often about keeping a message unique. That means narrowing it down, distilling it into its essence and delivering it in specific, effective ways.

Industry-Specific Data

One tactic that has worked for many companies is to identify a gap in consumer knowledge, and then fill that gap, preferably with a product or service that a given company is selling. Much of this involves looking into what kinds of potential clients can most easily use the company’s product or service.

SEE RELATED: Pick the best promotions for social media followers

Take the example of a custody lawyer. A single law firm or practice tends to see a specific subset of clients with a common problem such as this one. Attorneys will be uniquely credentialed and experienced in different types of trial law or family law, and custody matters are one of these specific types.

Instead of representing the law firm according to generic ideas like accountability, integrity, years of experience and community involvement, a specialty firm such as a partnership of custody lawyers will narrow down and refine their message for greater appeal to a specific subset of clients. Focusing on one type of family law in this case and discussing how clients can best access legal counsel in this area it is crucial to the customer’s outcome as well as the firm’s success.

Those who need specific kinds of legal help need it right away. When surfing the Internet or listening to a radio advertisement, they want to know immediately how a law office can help them. And the law office that has addressed this concern and immediacy most specifically and effectively is likely the one to get the first call. This is just one example of how a targeted messaging can work wonders, not only in traditional media, but also in social media.

The practical applications of this approach are generally straightforward. Businesses can use their Facebook page, not as a catchall for the type of cheerleader enthusiasm that rarely gets generated automatically, but as an information portal that will truly define the company, its products and its skills. Employing well-placed key images as part of a corporate marketing strategy is often useful. But even more valuable are information resources that tell the story of the company and apply it to a specific customer demographic.

SEE RELATED: Using Social Media sites to encourage testimony reviews of products


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Courtney Gordner

Courtney Gordner is a passionate freelance writer that has expertise in social media and communications. She's a new writer for The Washington Times. Feel free to contact her anytime!

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