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Here’s Why Your Social Strategy Sucks

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“Your social strategy sucks!” are words we never want to hear.

Businesses have goals. As a business owner, you’re probably out to make money and you’ve made a plan in order to do so.

So why do more than half of the businesses out there not have social goals or a strategy for their online efforts?

This is the biggest reason many social strategies suck.

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Ask These Questions

How do you plan on differentiating your brand from the millions of others using social media to procure new clients?

Without goals and a strategy, you’re just another social media “expert”, insurance company, life coach, or tchotchke slinger.

Your strategic plan doesn’t even have to be super lengthy or detailed!

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  1. What makes my brand/company different, or unique, or stand out?
  2. What is my brand/company story?
  3. What are our strengths and why are we better than our competitors?
  4. How can we show (proof) that we help people?
  5. How are our clients/customers/members going to appreciate who we are and what we have to offer/sell?

Once you have all possible answers to the above questions (and try not to go solo on this – get different viewpoints from the team), ask yourself this:

  • How can we strategically use the above answers in our online efforts to get ahead?

Have your answers? Let’s see how you fare.

These Answers Suck (Sorry, But They DO!)

You may suck if you say things like: 

  • Customers will care about me because “they LOVE me!”
  • Because “we produce quality work”
  • Or “we actually CARE about our customers”

Wrong answer(s)! There’s absolutely no differentiation in those responses.

Everyone says that about his or her own company and unfortunately none of those reasons are going to influence your online community.

Yes, they matter – but they should be GIVEN in our oversaturated marketing climate.

How Not To Suck

Your next step, after you’ve come up with a strategy, is to plan tactics around your strategy.

In other words, HOW will you execute your plan on various online platforms?

Advertising, content curation, contests, and sweepstakes are all tactics — and unfortunately is where most companies start – NOT with a strategy.

And it’s very important not to confuse tactics with strategy.

To take it further … content curation is a tactic, whereas using an editorial calendar to plan when (and WHY) certain content gets published — and to what sites — is a content strategy.

You may suck if:

  • Your tactical plan doesn’t match the goals/strategic plan you created (you’ll just end up with a bunch of work and no real results)

Too often brands and social media “experts” are stuck in this sad situation.So don’t get stuck and don’t suck. Come up with a solid strategy and the tactics that will help you implement properly through your chosen social channels.

So don’t get stuck and don’t suck. Come up with a solid strategy and the tactics that will help you implement properly through your chosen social channels.

At the very least, you’ll be ahead of half of the other social media teams out there flying by the seat of their pants!

See you in the social sphere!

 

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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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Category: "Ways Your Marketing Sucks" Series, Best Practices, Social Media Marketing, Social Strategy
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14 Comments. Leave new

  • Avatar
    Heather Myklegard
    November 21, 2012 6:42 PM

    Thanks Brooke! Once again, you have provided great advice! I think it is very easy for page managers to get “stuck” in the lets-get-more-followers phase. They get so caught up on the numbers game, which is just a number, that they forget to build their online community and thus increase their customer satisfaction and hopefully their return on investment. My goal for 2013 is to have every client on an editorial calendar. I think it will make my life easier as well as improve my clients business strategy.

    Reply
    • You’re welcome, Heather! Glad you liked it. 🙂 We ALL get stuck … I think a strategy helps us not get stuck as often as well as keeps us in line. Tactics are great, but they aren’t perfect for the BIG PICTURE. Thanks for you input!

      Reply
  • You know I totally agree with you. But let me push back just a bit. As social business has no one tried and true “best” way to play, sometimes a too rigid plan gets you mired in less than social behaviors. I find a plan but loosely structured, allowing me to flow with the go – if needed, is best. Thoughts?

    Reply
    • I absolutely get what you’re saying, Mallie. AND, I’m glad you brought that up. In our line of work, you have to go with the flow and be fluid – things change so darn often. I think you hit the nail on the head with “loosely structured” … But I know you, too. And I KNOW that you’re a planner like me. And organized. And strategic. And the list goes on and on. Like anything else, I think if you want to do well you have to PLAN to do well.
      Thanks for continuing the conversation and adding your comments. Always a pleasure!! 😉

      Reply
  • Great post, Brooke, and great advice. I also think that is very easy for page managers to get “stuck” in the lets-get-more-followers phase. A strategic plan to differentiate your brand from the millions of others using social media is definitely needed. Thank you for sharing your insights!
    Robin Strohmaier recently posted…DNS Services Invoice Scam AlertMy Profile

    Reply
    • Agree, Robin! Differentiation is SO important. I think more brands and companies need to focus on that type of strategy (and of course THEN the tactics that go along with it). Thank you for commenting – appreciate you!

      Reply
  • Great post Brooke! I’ve had some struggles for this with a client (that I volunteer for) who was didn’t quite get that I needed any kind of strategy. They were all about the follower numbers. After not doing anything they told me to and creating a strategy on my own, they get it now. It is SO important to have an idea, like Mallie said, loose & expandable on, to make the social the best it can be.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Carrie! I think you hit the nail on the head: sometimes explaining why strategy is so important is lost on many clients/people. They get so caught up in the numbers. I always try to point out the dot.com boom … everyone was talking about how many “eyes” were on things. Yeah, and where did it get you … all those eyes?? NO WHERE! Not unless those eyes are actively engaging and BUYING your stuff can you show a ROI.
      Anyhow – thank you for commenting! 🙂

      Reply
  • Love this…really made me think. You are spot on that there MUST be a plan, a strategy and a clue!

    Reply
  • Fantastic post!

    “(ahem … Fans and Follows aren’t real results)”

    I won’t name names, Brooke, but we had a sales rep come into the office last week suggesting we “buy” Facebook fans. She said because we don’t have a HUGE number of fans, prospective eye care patients will think poorly of us and they’ll believe we’re not savvy in social media marketing. Oh, brother. Her suggestion is a “tactic” that shows poor judgement on her part and leaves a very bitter taste in my mouth. I told her, point blank, numbers are just numbers. It wouldn’t matter if we had a million fans if none of them convert. Sheesh.

    Terrific list of questions for developing a social media strategy! 🙂
    Melanie Kissell @SoloMompreneur recently posted…Out With The Trash And In With The TreasuresMy Profile

    Reply
    • WOW, Melanie. I’m shocked that someone would STILL be talking about buying Facebook Fans after all of the bad press lately. And it’s just a stupid, lazy, STUPID tactic. Yuck – thank goodness you were there to set her straight!
      I had a client back in a previous life that HAD to have 10,000 Fans. That’s all we would talk about … how can you get us to 10,000?! And no matter how hard I tried to explain that we shouldn’t focus on Fans because of quality over quantity and EdgeRank and Reach and so on and so forth, that was always their social goal. Some people, no matter what education or stats or logic says, will always focus on the numbers. Boo.

      Reply
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    January 20, 2015 10:45 AM

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