Dress it up all you want, but social media is a battleground, littered with great ideas, beautiful hopes and unfulfilled dreams. With a larger mix of earned, paid and owned communication channels available now than ever before the options and combinations are increasingly endless, however that doesn’t necessarily mean they should all be used.

Information is a gift, but the communications channel you choose is the method by which that gift is delivered and will ultimately decide whether it arrives gift-wrapped or closer to a message in a bottle – yes someone might receive it, it’s even possible that it will be the right person, but it comes with absolutely no guarantees whatsoever. Additionally few companies use all of the available channels effectively and a company that could dominate the world on Instagram, can just as easily find Twitter, or Facebook a black hole on their resources, so it’s better to choose the one or ones for which you have a natural affinity.

So which one to choose? Unfortunately there’s no simple answer to that. Some companies, products or campaigns suit the casual, friendliness of Facebook, others the short and punchy messaging style of Twitter, or the reality enhancing filters of Instagram. However in my experience when you take what you want to achieve, add in whom you want to reach and how you want to be perceived and then combine it with the individual personality of your company, the list narrows dramatically.

With the almost deafening clutter lurking out there, the need to cut through and be heard is more important than ever, and whichever channel or channels you choose, success or failure will come down to the quality and suitability of the content. It must be smart, valuable, and a good use of the audience’s time, carefully planned to deliver maximum punch. Most importantly, both content development and channel selection should be in line with the individual companies business goals but driven by what the target audience needs and wants. By putting them centre stage they are more likely to take ownership of it and if they do you will have achieved real impact.

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