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Social Media Marketing: Hope Is Not a Strategy

Roll of the Dice“Change is not a destination,
just like hope is not a strategy.”

These words came from Rudolph Giuliani’s stinging Republican National Committee speech in 2008.  Putting politics aside, I doubt any competent entrepreneur or business leader would argue the wisdom of this sentence.  In a business setting, change for the sake of change is unthinkable.  Why are you making the change and what is its benefit to the business?  And assuming change is warranted, hoping for it to happen isn’t exactly a recipe for success.  Nonetheless, the fact that “hope and change” won the day politically is a testament to the power of those two words.

They are so powerful, in fact, that we see companies implementing change for the sake of change and hoping that something good will come of it.  Case in point…

59% of businesses using social media have no plan!

Digital Brand Expressions released a survey last week indicating that only 41% of respondents who utilized social media did so as part of a company plan.  In other words, the rest of them made a business change and are hoping for the best.  As Dr. Phil might say, “How’s that hope and change thing working out for you?”  Probably not really well.  These companies may be having fun and possibly even raising their brand awareness, but is that all there is?  Where’s the beef?

Strategy (Waponi on Flickr)

Inbound Marketing Is a Strategy

Social media marketing can be very effective when used as part of a complete inbound marketing strategy.  If you are creating valuable, remarkable content on your website, then social media is a great way to promote that content and draw qualified visitors.  But if your website doesn’t have well designed landing pages and effective calls to action, you may as well be giving someone directions to a dead end street.  Page views don’t pay the rent!

Social media can be an effective, inexpensive marketing tool when integrated with a sound strategy.  But hope is not a strategy.

Photo credit: Waponi on Flickr

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