Positioning with Social Media

Positioning Executions in Social Media and Mobile

Positioning is when the marketer seeks to create an image for the brand in the minds of consumers relative to competitors. Though positioning is a cognitive perception held by consumers indicating brand meaning, marketers may manipulate the four p’s of the marketing mix to influence people. Social media and mobile marketing contribute to consumers’ perceptions of positioning and may reinforce certain beliefs and attitudes.

Some practitioners suggest that marketers can’t fully control social media so it’s risky to use Facebook or Twitter to build an initial position. Therefore, most brands use social media to enhance an existing positioning strategy. For example, Pepsi Max’s slogan in the carbonated beverage market is a “zero-calorie cola in disguise.” Tweeting at #UncleDrewstunt, Pepsi entertained viewers with an 80 year old basketball player who was really an NBA superstar in disguise. The fun gag played on the positioning and engaged the audience (http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/voice-hold-your-position-146629). 

uncle drew

Types of Positioning

Some brands go head to head, positioning themselves close to one another, targeting the same customers and appealing to them in similar ways. Stumble Upon and Digg are two social media bookmarking sites that offer users similar experiences and target the same customers. Other brands try to differentiate themselves providing customers reasons to consider the brand as distinctive and unique. Such brands seek different targets and use different strategies to reach them. Twitter and Facebook serve two different functions and even reach different audiences of users. From an advertising perspective Twitter and Facebook also differ, serving ads with different purposes. Advertisers use Twitter to send out information, while Facebook’s role is to engage customers.

In terms of positioning Facebook may not be a place to create a position as much as support an already existing positioning strategy. Just as commercials on television do not create a positioning, they act as a conduit for communicating the position. However, social media can support a brand position very well. For example, if a brand wishes to hold the position of connectedness within a community of consumers, one aspect of that connection would be a strong and active base of customers on Facebook. If a brand chooses to be known as customer focused, the company may monitor Twitter and intervene on issues of customer service. In these cases social media solidifies the positioning strategy.


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