Social Media Strategy – Should You Develop One?

I’ve heard from several people as I prepare for this week’s Webinar “Building Real Relationships: Creating a Strategy for Your Social Media Efforts”, that I’m on the wrong path.  “You shouldn’t create strategies for a particular social network site,” intoned one co-worker, “strategies are for audiences.”

Of course, I understand this is the case, but I’m always fearful that once something is relegated to being “tactical” with little or no out-of-pocket cost to get started, it leads organizations to dive in without any plan whatsoever.

On the one hand, strategy is something you apply to audiences (or occasionally campaigns).  You need to understand the audience and what messages you’ll use with them, and then you need to determine how you’ll connect with that audience.  That connection happens in some venue or channel and social media is dramatically expanding the number of channels available to have that discussion.

On the other hand, many social media channels only work well when you make a long-term commitment to them.  In addition to the formal network connections that you develop, you often need to earn credibility with community members.  And the only way to do that is to participate.

In other words, while you shouldn’t develop a social media strategy, it’s very hard to be successful with your social media efforts without a strategy.

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Ben Dillon

About Ben Dillon

Ben’s a big picture type of guy. He loves sharing new ideas in digital marketing, keeping a watchful eye on healthcare industry trends and seeing how it all intersects. A sought-after speaker, writer, blogger and current SHSMD board member, Ben’s an influential voice in healthcare marketing, helping organizations across the country embrace online strategies to engage health consumers. Combine his industry savvy with his background in software development and you can see why he’s also an important member of Geonetric’s software team, ensuring our content management system stays a step ahead of market needs. Ben holds a master’s degree in eBusiness and strategic management from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan. When he’s not traveling and evangelizing, Ben enjoys cooking with his family and playing the Big House with the University of Michigan Alumni marching band.

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