Which comes first? Your online communication strategy or your online communication tactics?

chicken-or-egg“Social media” is all the buzz now and clients want to “get on it”, “use it” or “leverage it”. Many people think social media is just another media. It’s not. (Tip: if it’s not a dialogue between your company and users it’s not social media). Many people also believe that social media is just another part of their “Marketing”. It’s not. Being social starts from the inside. From your organisation. You cant start a conversation only to leave the room a month later. To fully understand what needs to be done to GET IT RIGHT lets take a step back.

David Armano’s latest presentation (from the SXSW2010 panel picker) about “social business strategy” (what we call immersion).
I like the term “social business strategy” – probably the biggest and toughest part of social media because it’s not about paid for/set and forget marketing solution. It’s about asking questions first, research and probing. It’s not about “Lets do it” it’s about “Lets think about it”. It’s about your organisation being ready for it. So, bringing this down to the essential ingredients, it is about 1. strategy 2. tactics 3. measure. I also love Armano mentioning the scale element of this approach.

Seth Godin’s post “when tactics drown out strategy” is highlighting the difference between strategy and tactics. “Building a permission asset so we can grow our influence with our best customers over time” is a strategy. Using email, twitter or RSS along with newsletters, contests and a human voice are all tactics. In my experience, people get obsessed about tactical detail before they embrace a strategy… and as a result, when a tactic fails, they begin to question the strategy that they never really embraced in the first place. Seth is right. Most brands want to go viral/facebook/youtube before they have a clear strategy. It’s like attempting to drive a truck before taking any driving lessons.

Matt Dickman summarize this nicely in his post: Want better digital strategy, ban seven dirty words. If you don’t have a strategy you shouldn’t talk about “what we’ll do with xyz tool”.

To end this up here’s Paul Isakson’s post that started my search (Thanks Paul).
If you don’t want to fail in “social media” don’t treat it as an add-on. Have someone in charge of it, have a plan and create a budget. But first, start with a strategy. Only then you can start talking about “that viral idea on youtube”.

copyright FRANk Media 2018