by Kelly Lucas, marketing and social media manager
At this point, I’d be willing to bet most readers have heard of Blue Ocean Strategy. Now, whether or not you actually know what it is, that’s a different story. Blue Ocean Strategy (BOS) is business theory created by Renee Mauborgne and Chan Kim. In essence, BOS advises that instead of trying to go head-to-head with competitors over an existing market (where you’ll waste lots of time and money), create a new market with no competitors. This is how the most successful companies became the most successful companies. They saw a market or need that no one had yet addressed and focused their efforts there. Apple is used as an example of this in the BOS book.
Photo Source: Blue Ocean Strategy BOSSimulation
So now you know what BOS is, but what does it have to do with social media? In a recent article on SproutSocial, author Don Power details how social media goes hand-in-hand with the four major principles of BOS. I’m going to summarize the key points here, but I highly recommend reading the entire post on the SproutSocial site as well.
Reconstruct Market Boundaries – Look for new growth opportunities: Using social media is a great way to keep a finger on the pulse of the latest and greatest. By paying attention to trends, you can better predict the next big thing related to your industry.
Focus on the Big Picture – Look ahead and not just at immediate numbers: Often people associate success on social media with the number of followers or likes on the account. While numbers can be a good indicator of reach, it’s really more about the engagement. Think quality versus quantity. Visualize the way you want to be perceived long-term and foster that impression on social media instead of trying to make an immediate business transaction. People are smart and can distinguish between purely “buy now” sales and sharing insightful content.
Reach Beyond Existing Demand – Don’t have too narrow a focus: Don’t focus exclusively on what current customers need. Look at noncustomers and find a common denominator that brings you to their attention. In social media, don’t put all your eggs in one platform basket. If you are already using LinkedIn, consider adding Twitter. Branch out to other sites and try out new ones in order to increase your reach and uncover a new demand.
Get the Strategic Sequence Right – Anticipate new demand but be smart about it: Don’t just assume because you’ve found a new need that it will be sustainable and viable over time. In social media, use metrics and analytics to measure if you are going in the right direction and act on them appropriately to continue the process.
What do you think? Are there other ways to apply BOS to social media strategy? We would love to hear your thoughts.