August 28, 2015 Kevin Erb

Burn it down

Social and digital marketing can often feel like a constant game of catch-up, especially if we feel like we “got in the game” late. We do something because we see competitors do it. We create presences on platforms because someone said we should, and we dive in and start posting without any sense of long-term strategy or overall objectives and goals.

We maintain what we do because the alternative – blowing the whole thing up and starting from scratch – is far too scary.

But should it be?

Sometimes, blowing your strategy up and starting from scratch is the best thing possible for brands. (This great piece got us thinking more about the topic.) To be sure, we’re not recommending you delete your brand profiles across the board. What can make a world of difference, however, is taking a step back and starting from the beginning when it comes to your strategy. Stop chasing content ideas. Stop making it up as you go. Stop keeping up with the Joneses. Instead, stop and start from scratch.

Your next question, most likely, is: what does that mean, exactly? It means taking a clean slate and rethinking everything about your social / digital presence and, most importantly, emerging with a true vision and long-term strategy.

To build out your strategy, be sure to address and answer the following issues:

  • Audience. Who are we talking to? Who else are we talking to?
  • Objectives. Why are we talking to them? What do we want to accomplish with our social / digital efforts? How will we define and determine success – or, conversely figure out what isn’t working and needs to adapt?
  • Lineup. Who’s the pilot and co-pilot of this ship? What non-marketing staff will be available as SMEs and resources?
  • Operations. What is the standard operating procedure for planning, producing and sharing content? How often do we want to post? Who owns the calendar and schedule?
  • Integration. How can we ensure our social / digital efforts are integrating with our overall marketing?

It may sound overwhelming at first, and it can require some heavy lifting at the outset, but reaching comprehensive, consensus answers to these questions lays the crucial foundation for true, long-term strategy. But done right, it can make your team and its output refreshingly efficient, effective and successful.

And it may seem like the only thing left behind when you blow up your current approach is a fair amount of scorched earth. Instead, what you’ll find is a blank canvas – ready for your strategic work of art.

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