The Real Reason Why Most Social Strategy is Bound To Fail #Socialmedia

By on August 8, 2013
Social Strategy

Social strategy comes in all shapes and sizes, and it’s rare that you find two companies doing the same thing. Even though there is no ‘guaranteed’ formula for strategy success, you have to wonder why so many companies get it wrong! Today, I’m going to take a look at why so many social media strategies fail.

The Difference Between Tactics and Strategy

To really understand why so many small businesses get their social media strategies wrong, we’re going to have to clearly define what a strategy is – and more precisely – what a social media strategy is to you.

Strategy: A high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty.

Tactic: A device for accomplishing an end.

Social Media Strategy: A high level plan to achieve one or more social media goals under conditions of uncertainty.

Sounds simple, but based on the widespread misinterpretation of what a social media strategy actually is, there is a lot of room for improvement!

I like to think of any strategy as the answer to a series of very important questions. Some of these questions may be:

• How can I sell 30% of my products directly off Facebook?
• How do I convert my Twitter fan base into marketing research for product x?
• How do I get the highest possible click-through rate on my Pinterest page?

Specific questions like these are often the missing ingredient, when small and medium sized businesses put together their own social strategy. Instead of using one complete strategy to govern all of their social media tactics (the building blocks of a strategy), they focus exclusively on applying tactics without any coherence or overall goals.

Social Strategy

Courtesy of

The Reasons Why Tactics Are Not Strategies

When you have a social strategy, you are able to answer the question that every business wants to know…why? Why does doing X result in Y? Strategies give you the tools you need to uncover the answers to these core business questions.

Tactics on the other hand, answer the question ‘how?’ If you want to find out how to increase your Facebook fan base in 1 week, you can use a series of tactics to do it. Anyone can apply tactics to get results.

But strategy is when you take the best version of these results and apply them repeatedly to achieve measurable goals. You may have used 10 different Facebook updates to get more fans, but based on your analytics data, only 2 of these posts caused most of the new fans.

Strategy is the ability to take these 2 ‘best’ tactics, apply them repeatedly, to a timeline, to achieve certain results. When you employ the right social strategies, you can’t fail – it’s impossible. The reason you may be failing right now is because you haven’t unified your tactics under a single, measurable strategy.

When you know the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ that’s when results happen!

Why do you think so many social media strategies fail?

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.

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