One strategy to rule them all… and it’s not social

Last month, I wrote about the blindness of implementing a social media strategy without considering the wider impact of an overall business, or at least a marketing, strategy. (Link: Social media ‘strategy’ is being over-hyped)

I quoted highly-respected blogger Jay Baer in the article because he directly addressed the ‘self-styled gurus’ who are using the s-word to reel in customers with the pretext that strategy will get tills ringing. It won’t…  except for the gurus selling strategies of course.

Now Jon Gatrell has stepped up to the mark to say pretty much the same thing. He writes Why You Need a Business Strategy, not a Social Strategy.

Social…  out of sequence in the big picture

He cites the crux of the problem is the sequence. By focussing on social media, it becomes your start and end point without proper reference to influences outside it. Strategic objectives become social where strategy should really be focussed on perhaps product quality, customer service or to be honest, the good old four Ps.

Jon talks about ‘awareness, lead generation, faster customer service, or engagement with industry partners.’ All these things happen outside as well as inside the social sphere and will be in the make-up of a business strategy. You might engage with existing and potential customers through the media, in print, by email, and through your website. You might also do it, heaven forbid, in real life. Brands CAN and DO engage with people in the real world, fortunately.

[bctt tweet=”‘Brands CAN and DO engage with people in the real world, fortunately.’ #business #strategy “]

But a social media strategy isolates itself from cohesion, and when we talk about engagement as the darling of the social networks, suddenly likes, comments and shares become more important than all those other engagement factors and that’s just wrong.

It’s putting the cart before the horse.

In my post, I likened a social media strategy to buying a gearbox, then finding a car to put it in, but I also like Jon’s strategy analogy that ‘Social media is not a means to an end, but rather an arrow in your quiver.’

I’ve been reading a lot of Jay Baer and his contributors because they make a lot of sense. Together, they are slowly un-hyping the hype.

[bctt tweet=”‘Slowly, @JayBaer et al, are un-hyping the hype’ #strategy #business”]

Neither I, Jay Baer or his contributors are denouncing social media. It is not to say that it should not be used or that it cannot be a major factor in a marketing campaign or strategy. But I don’t recall there ever being the same excitement over ‘strategies’ for email marketing or SEO, both of which can, and most often do, outperform social media.

Strategy soup!

It’s too granular, we’ve got social media strategies, content marketing strategies, influencer strategies. A business cannot sustain several disparate strategies. For sure, it needs to be strategic, but let’s go back to basics.

Too many strategies would surely spoil the business broth, so have one strategy and fit social media around it, not the other way round.