Before we get into why I hate “social media strategies,”  let me get it out there that I love social media.  I love having a blog.  And a Twitter account.  And another blog.  And my Facebook account.  And a FriendFeed account.  And…well, you get the picture.  And I fully believe that social media can provide value for businesses big and small.  And for a few months last summer, I even had business cards that said I was a social media strategist.  So just to set the record straight, I love social media.  I think it is a good thing.But what concerns me is the way that I see busiensses approaching the topic of social media strategies.  I hear a lot of companies say, “Oh, we need a social media strategy.”  To which I have started replying, “No you don’t.”  What you need is a business strategy.  And from there, a technology strategy, a marketing strategy, a revenue strategy, maybe a customer service strategy.Most often, social media is thought of as a tool for use by marketing, PR, and customer support.  It cuts across disciplines.  But the problem I see is that companies in a rush to jump on the bandwagon decide they need to use social media simply for the sake of using social media.  And when they do this, they’re missing the bigger picture.DO NOT CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY JUST BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU NEED TO HAVE ONE.When I work with companies on strategy and they say they want a social media strategy, my first question is, “Why?”  Typically they’ll say something like, “Um, I don’t know.  Don’t we need one?”  Or sometimes,  “To help us generate new business,” or “To help us help our customers with problems.”  And only then, do they begin to identify the real problems they are trying to solve.  And that’s step one.What I see all too often is that people try to come up with a solution before they really understand the problem they need to solve.

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