Facebook, Twitter, Blog? How To Get Your Message Out

HowardLake (CC BY-SA 2.0)

With traditional and new media channels abound, finding the right one for your organization can be a challenge. Social Marketing Quarterly’s new article “Changing Channels: A Theory-Based Guide to Selecting Traditional, New, and Social Media in Strategic Social Marketing” evaluates online video sharing (e.g., YouTube), online social networking (e.g., Facebook, Google), microblogs (e.g., Twitter), weblogs, mobile applications and more from a social marketer’s perspective:

New and social media allow organizations to meet McGuire’s (1984) prescription to reach people multiple times, from multiple sources and in multiple settings (McGuire, 1984), and practitioners see social media as an opportunity to increase transparency in their communication (DiStaso & Bortree, 2012). An additional attraction of new and social media technologies is their low relative cost compared to that of more traditional advertising (Long, Taubenheim, Wayman, Temple, & Yu, 2010). However, along with this savings is also a loss of message control (Neff, 2011).

We have moved to an era of dialogic communication campaigns in which the public has more power in controlling message design and delivery. And while organizations are increasingly turning to social and new media for social marketing, sometimes with successful results (Abroms, Schiavo, & Lefebvre, 2008), efforts are not always theory-driven or evidence-based.

The following review of extant literature of channel selection theory informed the application of media richness theory and the concept of medium control. The research question explored here is what channel characteristics should campaign designers consider and assess when selecting the most effective channels for disseminating their messages. This article prescribes a process and typology for strategically selecting channels in social marketing campaigns.

Click here to read the article by Christy J. W. Ledford of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, published on September 28, 2012 in Social Marketing Quarterly, and here to learn more about the journal.

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