Branding

Intentionality, Strategy and Social Media Tactics

Most people who run small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) have a handle on their strategy. They have a business strategy, a business model and at least half of them have a business plan.

But they struggle linking strategy to tactics, especially in social media. Randall Craig, a well-known speaker, author and consultant, suggests that intentionality is the key to linking strategy to social media tactics.

According to Craig, the era of social media experimentation is over. Just trying something with no objectives, plan or path to see what will happen will damage your brand.  Your tactics need to be clearly tied to your business and brand strategies. Here is a simple check list for you to consider when you are developing your social media plan.

  1. What is your business strategy?
  2. What is your brand identity and positioning?
  3. Who are your potential customers?
  4. Which social media are your potential customers using ?
  5. How do your customers use social media?
  6. How does your brand fit with social media?
  7. What is your purpose – Attention? Interest? Desire? Action? (AIDA)
  8. What are your objectives? How will you know if your social media program is successful?
  9. Which media fit your business strategy, purpose and objectives best?
  10. Be consistent with your brand image everywhere, including Facebook.
  11. Set some rules as to who you will engage with for each media you select. For example, with Facebook, if I don’t know you personally, I generally don’t accept you as a friend. Ditto with LinkedIn. However, with Twitter, I choose to follow people who are interested in the same topics as I am, and I may not know them personally at all.
  12. Develop useful, meaningful content. (This is harder than it looks).
  13. Be consistent. If you publish a blog post once a week, make sure it’s posted once a week on the same day and time. (I admit that I often fail to achieve this rule.  I promise I’m working on it). In a similar vein, be consistent with your length, topics and voice.

After doing this exercise, I realized I need to make some small adjustments in my social media plan.  How about you? Is your business strategy clearly linked to your social media plan? Do you have a social media plan? Are you intentional about your approach, or are you just winging it? Cause today, you can’t do social media on a wing and a prayer.

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4 replies »

  1. As I’ve been ‘attempting’ to figure out my own SM tactics, I’ve realized that most SM ‘experts’ are really not experts but simply someone who has mastered a particular set of tactics. This has been frustrating because all the tactics and different possibilities do not help you clearly define a strategy. So Randall Craig’s checklist is very helpful for forming the ‘strategy’ of which tactics one will use.

    On the other hand, I’ll disagree with Craig that “the era of social media experimentation is over.” For the majority of the people, SM is still in the beginning (experimentation) stage.

    So the quicker one get’s past the experimentation stage and into a well thought out strategy of tactics then the more success they will have.

    In the meantime, there is a great quantity of noise cluttering the SM space.

    • I think what Randall meant was that the expectations of our customers and clients are less forgiving about random experimentation in social media. In fact, really good marketers will do a lot of controlled experiments in social media to determine what works and what doesn’t. So yes, we’ll continue to experiment. But it will be in a more “intentional” planned way, rather than randomly using various social media without thought or plan. So I guess I agree with both of you.

      Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

      Colleen

  2. Thanks Colleen for quoting me extensively, and Steve, thanks for your perspective. Let me add some other Social Media love here: All marketers are always experimenting – the tools and data are incredibly rich, and incredibly changing. But on the other hand, like the old “4P” models of 1950’s era marketing, there are a number of best practices (and analytical models) that are being used by experienced Social Media marketers. What I have found in all of my firm’s consulting work is that too often, there is very little planning – let alone connection to corporate objectives: THAT is the experimentation that SHOULD be over, but sadly isn’t.

    Randall
    PS: Just posted a Social Media crisis management post over at my site. Check out http://www.randallcraig.com/damage-control/

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