No F*s left Friday: There is NO SUCH THING thing as social strategy

bigstock-Couples-Dining--Retro-Clipart-38735113 (1) (1)That’s right, all of you believers in social as the holy grail, there is no such thing as social strategy. At least not in a vacuum.

Here’s why:

  • Social is a channel with subset channels like FB, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Social is not strategic; it is tactical
  • You can never have a “set strategy” for the types of engagement you need to execute social tactics effectively. Why? Because audience response will always, always, always cause you to deviate from that strategy.

“But, but, but,” you cry, “I plan my social strategy by putting together a content plan, a timeline of posts, a plan for responding to those who engage with us, and so forth.”

And we respond. “That is a channel plan using tactics, not a strategic plan.”

But it’s okay, because you at least know there needs to be a strategy, you’re just starting in the middle of the process with what most people call a “social strategy”.

What you’re really looking for is a comprehensive marketing strategy and that starts way, way, way before you get to any social plan. And it requires a level of expertise that can look at the demographic and psychographic profile of your customer and then use experience to become that customer, thinking about things like their favorite meme, the kind of creamer they use in their coffee, the type of dog they plan to adopt – today’s buzzword for that being your “customer avatar.”

Only then do you create a strategy that:

  • serves the emotional needs of your customer avatar by relaying the ultimate benefits of your product or services to them.
  • identifies all of the channels your customer avatar is most likely to frequent— offline, online and combo channels (for example, offline pics that make your Instagram posts relevant and engaging).
  • creates memorable creative elements and campaigns in support of your brand that can be distributed through those channels.
  • encourages your customer avatar to engage with you either on the path to a sale or by immediate conversion to a sale.
  • puts you inside the mind and feelings of your customer so you’ll know how to engage them no matter their response.

If you start with “what’s my social strategy?” then you’re starting with something that doesn’t exist and you’ll never build real engagement that way.

Start with “What’s my comprehensive marketing strategy?” And then identify social channels and tactics to support that.


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