Tag Archives: social media strategy

The Social Media Strategy Fallacy

broken_linkWith all the talk about Twitter’s $1 billion valuation and the news that time spent social networking as nearly tripled from last year, companies, pundits and experts are shouting louder than ever for a need to build strategy around social media.

Here’s the problem with that: social media activities should map to business strategy.

Social Media is  Just another Channel

Do you want a social media strategy?  Show me your broadcast media strategy first. Then your print strategy. Why not your long-lead magazine strategy.  What? You don’t have strategies for each medium? You say they are part of a larger media strategy and you tailor your message to fit the medium.  Social Media is no different.  It’s just another way to get your message out to your audiences.

Checkers not Chess

If you do a google image search for strategy, you’ll get a dozen or so images of a chess board.  Chess is a great analogy for strategy because the current move impacts a move 4 turns later.  However, social media is a game of checkers. It’s a react and reaction game.  Each move dictates the next move based on feedback from the community, insights learned from monitoring or how the community shifts its way of engagement (i.e., twitter, Facebook, online, mobile, etc.,) .

Message Strategy vs. Channel Strategy

I learned long ago in an interpersonal communications class that how something is said is just as important as what’s being said. After key messages have been clearly defined, the next goal is to understand what channels are available to get those messages across.  Messages will have to be tailored to the appropriate channel.  Need to reach a certain audience demographic? Understand what channels they engage in and create or play in that channel with a message that resonates.  As a communicator, I find this to be the most challenging and fun aspect of social media. Having the opportunity to craft and repurpose a single message in so many different ways.

I’m not discounting the need to have strategy. Strategy is good. This post is a call for clarity in understanding where the effort has to be placed.  If social media efforts aren’t tied to business strategy than it’s just noise.

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May 3 #BlogChat Recap

conversationThere was another cool #blogchat last night.  Blogchat is a crazy hour of flash-discussion on Twitter that has a set topic defined by @mackcollier.  Users engage the discussion by adding #blogchat at the end of their tweets.  Using Tweetdeck, TweetChat or basic tweet search, you can track the conversation in real-time.  Not only can you learn a bunch, but you meet different people you wouldn’t normally run into.  I had 25 followers last night alone and I started following at least 30 more.  So, here’s my recap, please add anything else I missed or bares repeating.

Topic: How do you get your boss to commit to using Social Media? What’s the best way to get buy-in from ‘the man’?

  • Selling SM to the man requires, metrics, ROI, human approach and explain concept in simple terms while tying SM to business strategy.
  • Showing value up the chain of command is important. Value could be sales, increase in conference attendees.  Cool idea of ROI emerged, Return on Ideas.
  • Another way of showing importance is to show how your brand and competitors are being talked about in SM
  • Next the conversation evolved to growing community.  Past: Content is King. Present: Community is King.  Best way to grow your community is to leave your blog and comment and post on other blogs and drive interest and traffic back to yours.  (@mackcollier)
  • The importance of listening was brought up as a way to lead and expand community.  Good listeners can adapt, understand what users want and then respond accordingly
  • Finally the discussion turned to SM  strategy versus tactics and which comes first.  There wasn’t really a clear winner here and shows there is some work to be done on defining strategy, objectives and goals.  They seemed to be getting mixed up and confused.  Further discipline and due diligence needed on this important topic.
  • Sites and tools discussed: freemind, tweechat,@Techrigy, Clicktale, de.mon.itor.us, icerocket, socialmention

Summary

commmodelIf I review this correctly, it seems social media shouldn’t be that hard to figure out.  The three main messages from last night were communicate, with substance and listen.  Umm..sounds familiar.  It’s basic communication.  As social media evangelists and consultants, we need to demystify this topic.  It’s easy to sell this as a revolution and a necessary evil in today’s marketplace, but at the heart of it, it’s still communication and it’s still about people.

Social media is “de-sandboxing” corporate America. Meaning it’s less about sales, PR, marketing and more about communicating to the constituents of an organization.  As I’ve written in the past, it’s about responsibility and less about ownership.  A company or organization has a responsibility to communicate.  It also has the responsibility to choose the correct channel for the message.  Social media strategy should begin with your overall strategy. Social media then becomes another channel, tactic to execute that defined strategy. Simple.

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