I hear a lot about Social Media Strategy or Technology Tactics… but there is something that seems to be missing from many of these conversations. Rather than framing the discussion in terms of the end result, it gets formed around how to use a tool.
First we need a GOAL…
The goal is the missing ingredient. In fact, not only is it the missing ingredient, but it is the most important part. Since I am a car guy, let me illustrate it like this…
- The goal is to win races. We decide that we want to win a drag race… GOAL
- In order to win the drag race, we will need a very high power to weight ratio… STRATEGY
- To accomplish this, we have two paths we may need to take…
- Path One is to increase the power… TACTIC A
- Path Two is to decrease weight… TACTIC B
- Of course now there are a lot of steps involved in accomplishing our tactical goals.
As you can see, in this example, you could deploy the tactics without having a goal, but it might be difficult to know exactly which tactics would be best for achieving the goal. You might even be able to use the strategy, but that strategy is similar for almost any kind of racing… so again, without the goal, the details would be hard to work out.
Another example would be baking a cake. The goal is to have a cake to eat when you are done. The strategy is to combine the right ingredients to make a cake… in the right order to make a cake. The tactics are how you employ the tools of cake making and how you utilize the ingredients.
Social media and technology aren’t much different. Within a few minutes I could come up with 100 of social media sites and maybe thousands of technologies. And we deal with vendors all of the time that want us to use their latest and greatest. I know that my inbox overflows with offers to use free this or paid that…
But too many of us don’t have the FIRST step completed. We don’t know where we want to go. And one of the most common examples of that would be… “My goal is to make money.” Really? Sorry, but that isn’t a goal. A goal might be to have 50% of the transactions in your niche, or maybe to be the dominant agent in a particular area.
The strategies to achieve that may involve direct mail, newsletters, websites or a myriad of other encompassing options.
The tactics could be to create a hyper-local community blog platform or employing mobile marketing to build open house attendance.
From there, you can decide which specific platforms and/or technologies would best serve the larger needs.
The point is, before you can decide how to get somewhere, you need to know where you want to arrive.