You need to be careful not to put the cart before the horse by jumping on the bandwagon of social media without a strategy. “Most people don’t even know what strategy means, let alone how to create one,” says David Binkowski, senior VP of Word-of-Mouth Marketing at MS&L. “Strategy isn’t “Let’s create a Facebook page” unless your goal is “How can we copy cat every other company out there?””
So what is strategy?
- Strategy is NOT a plan
- Strategy is NOT a timeline
- Strategy is NOT a goal
- Strategy is NOT what tactics you will use to achieve your goal
These things are are part of your strategy, but they are not your actual strategy. So what IS strategy?
How a battle is fought is a matter of tactics: the terms and conditions that it is fought on and whether it should be fought at all is a matter of strategy. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy]
If your “strategy” is a goal with a list of tactics you don’t have strategy, you have a goal with a list of tactics. Strategy is a much more a creative process than charting out numbers and listing things you need to do.
Don’t underestimate the importance of knowing how your social media strategy aligns with your overall business strategy. In a perfect world, your social media strategy supports your communication strategy which supports your business strategy. So what are most social media strategies missing? Organizational alignment.
How to Define the Strategy in Your Social Media Strategy:
- Define your overall business strategy.
- Create your communication strategies associated with social media i.e. marketing, advertising, customer service, sales, etc.
- Set the rules of engagement so steps 1, 2 and 3 work with your social network.
- Establish what online experience you want your customers to have.
- Now, ask yourself if your strategy is proactive or reactive.
Remember to keep your focus on what is truly essential without getting caught up in the tactics and that the amount of time and effort it actually takes to create, sell and implement a social media strategy is not small.