Business strategy is the overarching, long-term plan of operations that will achieve the economic objectives of the organization. It is part of the four levels of business success: organizational goals, strategy, operations, and tactics. Marketing is one of the parts but it doesn’t represent the whole. Yet the conversations about social media are consumed with its implications on marketing.
Social media , to have the proper business impact, is a process of well defined strategy, tactics and execution. It must be applied appropriately and in the proper mix, using several key principles:
- Core strategy development
- Corporate communications
- Public Relations
- Feedback and research
- Channels of communications
- Strategic relations
- Brand monitoring
- Metrics measurement and data insights
- Systemic Integration
- Social Media 3.0 architectures
Many ‘deploy’ elements of social media marketing, such as, blogs, Twitter, Facebook. They do so because they feel that they are applying newest marketing techniques. But many do not fully understand the strategic implications required to turn social media into a measurable and meaningful strategic tool that goes beyond marketing.
Social media is no longer an optional element in your overall strategy . It’s integral to effectively managing your brand, your business, your reputation and your relationships. The Human factors are the greatest influence on any strategy. Without people to think and do you can’t develop a sound strategy and execute an effective plan. The attraction of social media is centric to the factors that attract the human DNA to engage and participate. The equity of a brand is directly proportional to its attraction to the human DNA.
Your brand equity is driven by your strategy, marketing is simply one element of your strategy that relects your brand equity. As Chris Anderson, author of ‘The Long Tail’, said, “It’s not what you say your brand is, it’s what Google says it is.” Today, because of social technology, your brand and services are ‘owned’ by the community of people you serve. Unless you have a clearly defined service strategy that separates you from the pack you’ll end up using social media to chase the pack.
What is important in deploying a strategy is to understand how effective it is and to what extent it is having an impact on achieving the objectives of the organizational plan. Unless all the elements of your strategy are connected they are likely to create waste and rework. The tendency of the human network is to avoid waste and rework. Many are using social media as a marketing channel but the human experience created by the marketing messages become wasteful and non-productive for the human network.
Social media is a critical tool for interacting with the human network and for listening to relational issues. Whether internally or externally the human network is and always will be the driving factor to development and execution of sound strategies. Look at the ten core principles above and consider which single principle is more important than the other. None, they all fit together and create the whole. To focus on one without the others reflects silo mentality. Silos aren’t connected to anything else.
The human network is connected to everything. Social technology is about connecting everything to everyone. Get it?