Brand Management: Strategy Session – Separating the “Social” from the “Media”

When I approach client work related to Social Media, it’s always helpful to look at each word—“Social” and “Media”—separately in the context of the resources available.

So much of the conversation on Social Media focuses on the communities and/or platforms for distribution, and for good reason. Social communities like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have changed the way we communicate in ways that we never imagined. However, allow me to make the case for emphasizing the individual words “Social” and “Media” and the attention that each deserves.

When it comes to “Media”, it’s important to identify what that actually means for each situation. Primary media consist of images, video, text, audio, or some combination thereof. However, not everyone as access to all of those media types at a consistent level of useable quality, nor will all of those media types make sense for the product, service, or situation being highlighted. Therefore, it’s important to focus on the using the appropriate media that can be consistently produced with the right level of quality, either by using existing resources or dedicating sufficient budget to generate what is needed.

When considering the “Social” aspect of Social Media, this usually involves selecting the appropriate social community to maintain a presence on and to best serve the objectives of the campaign at hand, whether it’s a short-term window focusing on a particular event, or an ongoing concern surrounding maintaining a brand’s general presence. Each individual or company will find that there are some social communities that work best for them for the allotted time and financial resources available to them, while there are other communities that might not make the most sense, either because of a lack of “fit” or lack of resources to maintain the a presence effectively.

Lastly, it’s always important to consider the host of niche social communities that serve as networking hubs and marketplaces around specific goods and services. These platforms are often used as secondary or alternative channels that give individuals/brands an opportunity to communicate their messaging to peers or customers in a more targeted way.

Final thought: Even when it comes to Social Media, there’s no one-strategy-fits-all solution, but in re-emphasizing the approach to the individual “Social” and “Media” components, brands can more effectively create and distribute the right content and elevate their own message (or music) above the crowd.

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