The Strategy (or lack thereof) of Social Media

As a digital marketer, I get to see a lot of integration and intermingling of traditional media and the social media sphere. I’m included in a lot of discussions about goals, staying on strategy, etc. These things often come up as our teams meet to talk about yearly or campaign planning. And we all know that at the start, it’s just the calm before the storm. So we dive in and eventually get tripped up in the land of limbo between a solid strategy and a successful social media implementation plan.

I’m going to come right out and say it. Sometimes it’s hard to do both. It’s beyond a blessing if our strategy and plan work together seamlessly and with only the most minute of changes. But we’ve been doing this social media thing for a few years and are continually learning what works with our clients’ customers – what STICKS with our clients’ customers. We can overplan, detail, map the s#*! out of something, and it just won’t resonate with our audience in our sphere. We’re honest enough to admit that sometimes even the best laid plans can have snares. So what the H E Double Hockeysticks do we do now? Sluff off on strategy, of course.

NO NO NO NO. You heard me wrong. I didn’t really say that. What I meant was that we’ve just got to loosen the reigns a little. Everyone. Not just us. Yes, you, too.

Social media isn’t, and has never been, a British butler who is ashamed that the tiny silver spoon at the last plate on the left is slightly tarnished underneath (ok… maybe I’ve been watching too much Downton Abbey). But rather, social media is more of the rebellious teenager who wants nothing to do with his parents’ inheritance and wants only to create art, right? OK, enough with the analogies. What I am saying is that social media isn’t made for formulas. It isn’t always meant to work the same way each time. It doesn’t always give you the outcome you want, no matter how tightly you hold to your plan and strategy. That’s what keeps it fresh, exciting, and a challenge for us every single time.

So for us, the solution is easy (at least in theory). Forge ahead with strategy, knowing full well that you may have to make room for some changes. Use traditional marketing knowledge and bend it as needed. Let’s continue to work on this blueprint and build up this framework piece by piece. The building is far from done, so let’s not pretend that our work here is finished.

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