With more businesses realizing the power of digital channels to nurture relationships, rally fans and build customer affinity, opportunity abounds for savvy professionals. To answer that question, we posted thoughts from a variety of marketing and web professionals on social media strategy before tactics.
It’s an ongoing debate, but the consensus among the marketing and PR crowd is clear:  strategy before tactics is the logical approach for businesses to take when engaging in social media. Yet, in social media marketing and PR, it’s common for communications professionals to dive immediately into tactics without strategy “randomly dialing numbers” as Sarah notes above. How often have you been in a meeting and heard things like “we need to be on Facebook, let’s get on Twitter, or why don’t we start blogging?”  In the social web, it’s analogous to inviting people to a theme party and not telling them what the theme is (or even knowing yourself).  If you approach social media in this way, expect your returns to be as predictable as the costumes your guests at the party will wear. You really need to know why you want to use social media and which tools are best suited to meeting that objective.
Strategy needs to drive tactics, as companies first need to know where they’re going before they figure out how to get there. Guy has a point:  a solid strategy does not decrease the value of experimenting, tinkering and trying new tactics out.
However, to capitalize on all of that, your process needs to tie all your activities together — the information sharing, the intelligence gathering, the communications, content creation, and anything else that happens in between. Some of these are developed by us, others by leading thinkers, authors and researchers from across the globe. But unlike most books, we skip the fluff.
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Communications means the ability to create and convey messages during the course of the campaign that generate votes, donations, and volunteer engagement.  Equally important, it refers to the ability to generate and magnify earned media coverage to advance the campaign’s narrative.
Strategy, infrastructure, organization and communications.  Strong campaign leaders recognize and respect each of these four facets of a campaign. There is a lot of yammer related to social selling, but most of it centers primarily on execution – the tactics, techniques or technology. Skills – Sellers today need a combination of great sales skills and the ability to use technology effectively to support their goals. Unfortunately, the over reliance on technology is replacing the basic principles of great selling and the gap is only getting wider.
Execution – This isn’t the first step toward successful social selling, it is the step that brings everything else together. Sales leaders need to diligently monitor and measure the effective execution of sales activities, which includes constantly evaluating the sales and technology skills of their people and providing the ongoing training, coaching and support that they need to succeed. Without the trinity of Strategy, Skills and Execution, sales people may be seen by more prospects or bring in a few new leads, but they won’t win the big game over time!
In this FREE ebook, learn what not to do and how to improve sales messaging that generates better results. We've worked with 40,000+ salespeople and their managers worldwide in mid-market and corporate enterprise accounts. Customer service is no longer simply the “complaint department,” replacing or refunding merchandise. Looking closely at the top brands, I’ve distilled 10 strategies for creating world class customer service. In the digital economy, consumers can find and compare the products and services they want with the click of a mouse or the tap of an app. Developing Leaders in Business and in LifeLeadership Speaker Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio dedicated to developing leaders in business and in life.
Leadership Lessons NewsletterSubscribe today to Leadership Lessons by Mark Sanborn to receive Mark's insight and opinion on the state of today's leadership. Build the organizations capacity to execute projects that are focused on customer outcomes, not just budget and on-time delivery. Identify the People to be Attracted – Focused marketing starts with the target market and takes it one step further. Settle on What Services Will be Offered – When a consumer is at the point of purchasing auto repair services there is most likely a specific service they are in need of. Determine the Best Time to Reach the Audience – The best time to reach a consumer is close to the time auto repair service is needed.
Pick the Best Mode of Communication – Today there are so many options for communicating marketing messages choosing the best method can seem daunting. Define the Message – An effective message can make all the difference in attracting business.
Get the latest tips and best practices for running your auto repair shop or tire shop with our monthly newsletter. A good start is to know where, on social media, your customers hang out and what you can give them by joining their activities.
A lot of roads can get a brand from point A to B, but a good strategy will help selection of the optimal route, as well as how to respond if setbacks are encountered along the way. We respect your privacy.EmailThis field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Even if they have a plan for using social media on behalf of the business, it probably does not address the specific needs of the sales organization.

Does it really matter if sales people can use technology to reach prospects more quickly if what is said in the phone call or email lands with a thud? Execution is about disciplined behavior – sales people engaging in the right activities consistently and using technology in the right way. You need a strategic play book, sales people with the right skills who execute well at all phases of the game.
Hire greatness – Delivering great customer service starts with hiring for customer service greatness.
Educate and entertain – A key part of serving customers is educating and entertaining them. Ask for input and feedback from customers  – The best source of information on the customer experience is, of course, the customer.
Aim higher than your competition – Go for the gold standard in trying to deliver for your customers. They have a wide range of vendors and buying channels to choose from – they hold all of the cards. Mark is an international bestselling author and noted expert on leadership, team building, customer service and change. In addition to his work as a business educator and author, Mark continues to be an active leadership practitioner. Mark is an international bestselling author and noted authority on leadership, team building, customer service and change. Absolutely, and without blinking, make this your product, program, service and process improvement mantra - see point 2 above. The motorist's education and learning sessions in my secondary school were full, and I had to delay a few several weeks more than I would have recommended. Creating into new nations, new areas or new company collections is essential for any company.
You log on to the web and spend a while considerately checking out various source sites to determine the best fit for your needs. The objective is to reach the members of the target market that are close to purchasing auto repair services.
The objective is to communicate with the members of the target market that are close to the point of purchasing auto repair services. The objective of focused marketing is to offer the service a customer is most likely to need.
For existing customers notifying them prior to a required service interval is pretty straight forward. Having determined who will receive the message as well as the timing and mode(s) of delivery the final piece of the puzzle is to craft a message that will elicit the desired response.
Without a strategy and goals, you won’t know how you’re going to measure results and won’t be able to answer the “so what” question.
Would you send a football team out on the field with players in no particular order, hand them a ball and expect them to win the Super Bowl?
One common thread shared by the leadership of companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, Disney, and Southwest Airlines is an appreciation for the customer experience. It’s an understanding that success is based on providing a customer experience so satisfying that it creates “brand evangelists,” consumers who sing the praises of your business to their peers. Enterprise Rent-a-Car has built itself into the largest rental car company in the United States based on their customer service. Southwest Airlines encourages its employees to use their creativity and humor when working with customers. Representatives must have a thorough knowledge of your offerings and of all the tools available to them to serve customers.
That’s good, but we should also calculate the cost of complacency, of not taking any risks. Lastly, I registered in the course and approved in delayed Goal, and was looking forward to my certificate and analyze on the second Weekend in Apr. This can happen through greenfield manufacturing, developing new sales programs, finding new associates, developing combined projects, or buying technological innovation permits.
Identifying the members of the target audience, what services will attract them, communicating with them at a time when they’re thinking about making a purchase decision through the most effective channel and delivering a compelling message will elicit optimum results.
Existing customers as well as prospective customers can be the target of marketing campaigns and may require different strategies.
With existing customers this is based on information about previous services performed and the next service required can be identified and communicated to the customer. For prospective customers choosing the point at which communication occurs is a judgment call based on the target market. Recognizing that each option has costs associated with it stresses that being selective may be necessary.
Communication based on the target audience, the proximity to the date service is needed and the best mode of communication will have the greatest effect. Flight attendants might sing or joke their way through pre-flight instructions or status reports.

Larry Page of Google once said “Our goal is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible,” not just to draw page views to a website. Domino’s Pizza recently ran a series of ads that admitted that their service sometimes failed to meet expectations and that they were working to get better. Consumer satisfaction is a moving target – you may need to step out of your comfort zone to meet it. When Safeway employees are asked the whereabouts of a grocery item, they are instructed to stop what they are doing and escort the customer directly to that item.
In a world where you people can  buy say, shoes, from any number of sellers for the same price and terms, they will choose the one that offers the best service. It can even take form of promoting a share in your company, providing unexpected access to the customer's market. For prospective customers the simplest approach is to offer services that are needed most often.
It may be a great way to share useful content in places where your customers spend time to generate interest for further actions.
Especially in a time when consumers have more buying choices than ever, great customer service adds value and differentiates brands from their competition. The key skills they hire for are: passion for customer care, flexibility, work ethic, eagerness, self-motivation, persuasive ability, communication skills, and leadership. Beyond initial training, leaders and staff should continually review the customer experience and how to improve it. That’s how they differentiate themselves from low-cost big-box stores where service is minimal. And if the service is great, and continues after sale, not only will those customers continue to buy from you, but they’ll become brand evangelists, advertising for you by word of mouth. You have only a few seconds to process the concept, but you're affected in methods you hadn't expected.
Don’t focus on some kind of high-level strategy because no one really knows how to use social media yet. And it can provide powerful business intelligence back, straight from the people who buy your products and services.
Nordstrom gives its employees one rule for customer service: “use your best judgment at all times” to satisfy the customer. The idea is to reach a prospective customer when they’re thinking about purchasing auto repair services.
It doesn’t cost anything to sign up, and the well-researched articles keep you up to date on the latest in strategic planning trends and thought leadership. Focus on tactics: Get more followers, make them happy, promote your stuff to them every once in a while.
The research tends to be conducted with, and geared toward, larger company CEOs and executives. But that risk is outweighed by thousands of satisfied customers and a reputation for legendary service. It also provides some very interesting feedback from senior executives who rated how their strategies match up against the tests.In its survey of 2,100 executives, McKinsey reports that 65% said their strategies passed three or fewer of the tests listed in the article.
One, it provides a framework and a measuring stick for several key strategy metrics that often get overlooked. Applying these tests to your strategy helps to keep the plan alive and relevant while bringing up several key points that might otherwise never see the light of day.All 10 of the tests are sure to generate worthwhile discussion. In other words, doing the same things as last year, only doing a little more of them and doing them a little better.
But in today’s markets, the big winners are those companies that successfully create disruptive (rather than incremental) change. Plan for changes to occur, both expected and unexpected, by considering multiple scenarios when crafting your strategy.Test #8: Is your strategy contaminated by bias? The biggest danger to most strategies consists of lack of awareness regarding your own attitudes, beliefs, and assumptions about how the world works. What are you constantly telling yourself and each other that”must be so”? about how to add value to your customers? They need detailed action plans that translate high-level goals into specific actions, behaviors, and incremental objectives for the people who will implement the plan. Unless you provide clear action steps, people tend to get stuck in doing things the way they have always done them.
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