MKTG 6226 January 24, 2010Social Media Class Leadership Report Positioning with Social Media Constantine Sivenas 205036546
Social media are redefining how brands, products and organizations are approachingpositioning as they provide new interactive platforms of communication between brandsand customers.PositioningPositioning is a coordinated process by which an image of a brand, product ororganization is presented to a target market. A brand needs to determine what message itwill attempt to put across and encourage a particular way in which customers willperceive the brand. A positioning strategy is a multi step approach with requires anunderstanding of ones customers, the benefits a brand or product can provide customers,and the development of a unique selling proposition. Positioning strategies, by price orquality, product class or by association with group of users are taking a new dimensionwith the advent of social media.Social MediaSocial media is defined as the set of web-based technologies which enable web users tohave interactive dialogues online. Examples of such technologies are blogs and micro-blogs, social networking and bookmarking sites, wikis and forums. Communication isestablished and content is shared in different ways through each medium. The advent ofsocial media has also allowed for the formulation of online communities based aroundideas and movements as social media are characterized by the element of participation. Ithas never been easier for people to find and communicate with likeminded individuals.Positioning with Social MediaSocial media also offer opportunities for brands to not only get a better understanding ofwhat their customers are thinking, but to also communicate their message moreeffectively. User group information, personal preferences of a specific target market arenow being communicated online daily. Views and perceptions of products and servicesare being shared online through all forms of social media. This enables brands to gain amuch better understanding of what their prospects are thinking, how they viewthemselves and what they think of competing products.Additionally, social media can also be used to promote messages to the right targetmarket with accuracy and efficiency. It is easy to hone in to what ones target market isthinking and doing adding additional touch-points by which brands can control apromise.Furthermore, it is important to note that in social media, the participant is also the bearerof the message. It is imperative to design a message which a brand’s target market will bewilling to share in their circles and communities.Positioning with social media requires the formulation of a comprehensive strategy.There needs to be alignment of what the brand is promoting online with its mainpositioning statement and all social media efforts must reflect the brands essence. Theright type of social media outlet must also be selected in a way the complements thebrand’s positioning statement and is appealing to its target market. The message itselfneeds to be designed as something community participants are going to be willing to
share, promote and make them interested in inviting other like minded users to thecommunity. When using social media, a brand needs to have a crystal clearunderstanding of how the target market should participate. Deciding on whethercustomers will be encouraged to talk about the brand, create content, spread the word isas important as determining which ways they will be encouraged to use. Differentmessages, social media platforms, and electronic devices appeal to different consumers.Even though social media are a relatively new phenomenon, there have already beenmany examples of corporate social media initiatives which have proven to be failures. Acommon characteristic of these instances has been a misalignment of the social mediacampaign in terms of the brand’s position. It is easy for consumers to see though profitdriven corporate attempts to control social media and such events have resulted inbacklashes against brands. There have also been several successful social mediainitiatives which primarily share several common characteristics such as tastefulness,concrete alignment with positioning, good planning and above all an understanding ofwho is the target market and what they are interested in.