One of the major buzz words of the current digital scene is Social Media Strategy. Everyone seems to be doing it and talking about it. However, we find more often than not both the terms - Strategy and Tactics - being used interchangeably. That too not to a good effect. There are many ways to define both the terms, however; let me put it in a very simple way.
Strategy = Plan | Tactics = Execution
Keeping this in mind let us see how we can implement both to get favorable results in getting our voice out in the market.
Why you need a Game Plan?
Gone are the days when a brand needed to be just present on social media to reap benefits. Presence certainly helps but more important is the kind of experience that the brand truly builds around their subscribers. Each and every company has their own unique business requirements that truly set the foundation for any digital strategy.
With so-many competitors vying for attention - it totally depends on which brand does a better job at communicating itself across the digital platforms using content of all forms and types. Every day there is a new trend, new features or in many cases a different file format that allows one to do more.
Current trend - Minimal Design
New Features - Updates in instagram | whatsapp
File Format - use of gifs in insta story | 360 image integration on FB
Why we need to Execute
The simplest answer is failure! One needs to test out the tactics to achieve the end goal. With the kind of volatility in the market, trends and algorithms - we can never be sure of what the result of our strategy is going to be. Whether our Strategy works or not is a mystery in the planning stage - it’s all guesstimation. This is where we need to go all tactical and execute - fail often, learn and thereby reiterate as well.
This means testing out the strategy (plan) through tactics (execution) = results that help us further tweak our strategy and so on….
What are the Usual Goals
Strategies are aligned with the business goals of the company. In a simple way the Strategy tells one about the approach one needs to achieve the said goal.
Tactics are more in line with the content calendar that one develops based on the strategy to achieve the business goal. The main aim in the Tactical stage is to create attention grabbing content, push it, advertise it and build a community where in one can test out various products / services - in short - the works.
Below is a table that shows the difference between a Strategic Move and a Tactical Move.
Business Goal (What)
|Increase Sales||Target our current buyers and inform about our other services. .||Get customer reviews and build a emailer to reach out to clients.|
|Build Customer Relationship||Acknowledge customers on a social platform.||Connect with the customer and feature them in your blog / podcast.|
|Employee Retention||Engage with employees on social channels.||Instagram takeover by an employee.|
Is one better than the other?
Both are required in equal measure. No strategy can be executed without using tactics. And tactics that don’t have an underlying strategy - are as good as shots in the dark. However, we often start romanticising with the strategy part as it’s never the right moment to take action. We always feel the need to plan more and play a safer game.
Quite certainly this is the road to disaster. Failure to perform or not to even play the game is a bad move - period! Simply put; it is stage fright.
Working on a current project made us realise this. We were not pushing ourselves towards action. Always finding some or the other thing to research on or some old data that we started looking with a new insight.
However, as we started working actively on the brand towards execution- made us realise that we need to do this to understand and test what works. So that actual data can be part of the re-strategy and lead us to our destination - Our client’s success.
Recently, I read about the fact discovered by Igor Sikorsky that - aerodynamically a bumblebee can’t fly. But just because the bumblebee doesn’t know anything about aerodynamics - it just goes ahead and flies anyway.
In essence, we don’t know whether our strategy will work or not but actually pushing to the tactics stage will make sure that we reach to a strategy that does work eventually.