In the past month, I’ve been creating social media strategies. This includes one for a large company that has never touched social media even though many of its key competitors are all over it.
The creation of a strategic plan is an important step to provide a company with insight and recommendations on why do social media, what to do, who will do it, and the resources needed to be successful.
But one of the realities of social media is a social media strategy is nothing more than a corporate document unless there is tactical execution to make the magic happen.
A strategy provides direction, while tactical execution turns theory into action. It may not be as glamorous as developing a strategic plan but the blocking and tackling, engagement, conversations and creativity is how companies achieve social media success.
One of the things I impress upon companies looking for a social media strategy is they need to follow through with tactical implementation. It can take time for some of them to understand or appreciate the importance of tactics because from the outside looking in, how difficult can it be to tweet, update, pin, link or blog.
The reality, of course, is tactical execution is a lot of work, challenging and time-consuming. Meanwhile, it is getting more difficult to rise above the crowd because social media has become table stakes as more companies embrace Twitter, Facebook, blogs, et al.
This means companies need to be realistic about social media. Creating a strategy is relatively straightforward, the hard part is making social media happen on a consistent basis, which means having the right amount of resources to do the job.
For some companies, this is where things begin to get tricky because it involves people, money, the use of new tools, and the need to integrate a new activity into the corporate sales, marketing and communications mix.
As a result, a key part of the decision to tap into the power of social is media is having a tactical implementation plan layered upon the strategic plan.
A tactical implementation plan offers details into what social media services are going to be used, the benchmarks for success, how activity will be measured and assessed, who’s going to operate social media, and who will be responsible for it.
The other benefit is it provides companies with a good idea of what’s involved so there are no surprises. It can be a bit of an eye-opener when the different moving parts are put on display, but it also illustrates the importance of tactical execution to create the “magic” to achieve goals, success and a competitive edge.
What are your thoughts? Do you think companies looking to embrace social media spend enough time focused on tactics?