One of the first questions I often get when people find out about our GFsM program is “Can you build me a Facebook page?” This is akin to “My teenage daughter said we should be start a blog. Can you help?” or “Can you Twitter for me?”.
Can you spot the pattern? Yep, they’re all tactics. For some reason, social media often seems to lend itself to a tactical approach, rather than a strategical one…at least initially. My theory for this is because so many people view social media as simply a bunch of tactics. Facebook Pages, Twitter contests, YouTube Channels… they’re all basically tactics and that’s also how most people are introduced to social media.
When I get the inevitable question asking me if we can perform a specific social media tactic, I try to caution folks to take a step back, a deep breath and ask yourself some questions. Are your customers using social media? Where are social conversations about your company or your industry taking place? What are your goals for executing a social media program? In other words… what is your strategy?! We all need a reminder some time.
As a side note… One of my fave PR bloggers, Todd Defren, recently blogged a theory that the economic crisis leads many marketers to focus more on tactics and less on strategy – perhaps another reason why we’ve recently shoved strategy to the backburner.