I went to my parent’s house this weekend and my dad, knowing that I tend to be “hip” to social media, ran excitedly over to me to show me his new social media discovery. He said, “Julie, have you seen these things called ‘QR Codes?‘ I bet you haven’t, they are brand new!” Trying not to sound too snooty I replied back, “I sure have dad. I blogged about them in March.” He starred back at me looking pretty disappointed and bowed his head. Poor little fella. I didn’t mean to rain on his parade, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t know what a QR code was.
So, my dad just found out about QR codes, which is great, but how long has he seen them around without wanting to figure out what they were?
This little exchange with my dad got me thinking more about social media and target markets. As PR professionals, we have to be “hip” to the latest and greatest in social media technology. However, what happens when a social media channel matches the goals and initiatives of a company’s campaign but doesn’t match their target market?
For instance, Foursquare, a location based social media platform, could be the perfect social media component for a transportation client. What if the people who use that client aren’t social media users?
This is so depressing. We all try so hard to be ahead of the curve and yet, still have to consider these people who don’t want to try something new. In order to really incorporate something new to a target market, you end up not only promoting the company, but promoting the platform.
When the social media platform is so perfect for the client and not perfect for their target market, what do you do? In my opinion, which is still very green and new, I would abandon the use of the social media channel.
I know! It sucks! Here we all are tweeting our brains out trying to figure out what the next best thing is but in reality, if it doesn’t suit your target market, then why use it? When something works really well for one client, it’s easy to assume it will work for another. We have to remember this isn’t always the case. We do public relations and our concern is the public and their needs. Obviously our client’s needs are important to us but part of our job is knowing how those two entities can communicate.