5 Things You Need To Know BEFORE Designing Your Social Media Strategy

David Johnson VP, Partner, 3GEngagement

Posted on January 29th 2012

5 Things You Need To Know BEFORE Designing Your Social Media Strategy

#1 Social Media Is A Force Multiplier

Stop looking at social media as an add-on, in order for social marketing to be truly effective you must first work to integrate it into your daily processes. Instead of seeing social media as a separate identity, one that needs a separate strategy before it can be implemented fully, you need to see it for what it is, a force multiplier.

In military terms a force multiplier refers to an attribute or a combination of attributes which make a given force more effective than that same force would be without it, that’s social media exactly!

So, instead of thinking in terms of new goals, in which a social media strategy would be used to reach, think in terms of how you can use social media, alongside your other marketing efforts, to reach your current business goals.

#2 Never Let Tactics Dictate Strategy

Too many times we look at Facebook as the strategy, when in fact, because it’s a tool, much like the phone and email, it’s a tactic. As such, remember that it’s NEVER okay to let a tactic dictate how you develop your strategy, instead, your strategy will dictate which tactics you use.

The Difference Between Strategy and Tactic

Tactics are the day-to-day activities that are repeatable and clear-cut, they are comprised of the basic components that define the actually strategy.

Strategy is the big picture, it’s the overall plan, comprised of tactics, that gives direction towards meeting goals and objectives.

#3 Think Laterally

The “lateral” that I am referring to is the conversation that is happening between people. With traditional advertising you have only one direction that communication can flow: out from the dealership.

With social media you are able to influence the conversation, the lateral communication that is happening between people in different social channels. So, when designing your strategy always think in terms of how you can get people to talk in a positive manner about your dealership.

#4 Connect With Social Objects

Too many times, as marketers, we think about how we can create a social object, that is a purpose, cause, or past time that people want to socialize about and around. Instead, take a look at social objects that people are already congregating around and find a way to connect it with your dealership.

While that is easier said than done, you do this by becoming part of the community, a contributor that adds to the overall enjoyment of the social object. If you live in a collage town, maybe it’s the local football team, live in a family friendly city, maybe it’s education, it could even be a local charity or fishing, the ideas really are limitless. What can your dealership connect around?

#5 Don’t Go At It Alone

While developing a strategy for the dealership, don’t go in thinking that you don’t need any help. A proper social media strategy will affect each and every department in the dealership and as such, each department should have input into how the strategy is structured. I refer to this group of people at the Strategic Response Team or the SRT.

The SRT is comprised of at least one person from each department in the dealership, even detail and office staff. The reasons are plenty, but I feel the most important reason is creativity. The creativity of the group will always be better than the creativity of the individual.

Have you created your strategy yet? Wait, don’t tell me you’ve gone into battle without a plan for success, you do know that’s suicide right? Tell me I’m wrong in the comment section below and that you do indeed have a strategy…


David Johnson

VP, Partner, 3GEngagement

Next to my family and my faith, social marketing is my passion. I blog about how business and social purpose intersect in order to grow your bottom line.

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Posted on January 29th 2012 at 4:48PM

Your insight, tips and advice David are spot on.  Social media is a tool and I like your verbiage, it is to be used 'alongside' your other marketing efforts.  I run across to many business owners, marketers and professionals that see social media as their 'golden goose' rather than a source for attainting their goals.

One strategy would be to focus on implementing and executing a few social platforms rather than too many as this can certainly eat up your time and overwhelm your efforts.  Focusing in on a few platforms is a way to test to see how they are contributing to your business goals.  If they are not, try some other tactic or maybe realize that social platform isn't for your specific business.

Plan it, put a strategy in place and then take action are simple keys to remember. 

Posted on January 30th 2012 at 9:42AM

I like to say that the difference between traditional marketing and social marketing is that traditional marketing is all about the marketing OF the business, while social marketing is all about the marketing of the PEOPLE of the business.

I agree, businesses should focus on a few platforms and do them right, instead of on many and just okay. Thank you for the comment!

Posted on January 31st 2012 at 5:33AM

Totally agree Lynn! Nice to see you on here too ;)


Posted on January 31st 2012 at 9:08AM

Nice to see you as well Tammy! lol

Posted on January 31st 2012 at 1:18PM

Thanks Tammy!  and I should have added that part of your social media strategy should include systems to help you manage your marketing.  MarketMeSuite is an excellent platform that is easy to use and provides tons of features for managing some of the major social sites.

Posted on January 31st 2012 at 4:05PM

I'm going to check that out, thank you for the recommendation!

Loraine Antrim
Posted on January 29th 2012 at 8:13PM

A communication strategy is a nice adjunct to your social media strategy. What is the content, where will we place it, and who is in charge (i.e., who will monitor) the overall plan? Most importantly, how will we measure our success? David, your strategy "must haves" are very relevant and should serve marketers well! Thanks for the insights. Loraine Antrim

Posted on January 30th 2012 at 9:39AM

I agree! I've yet to write a post on it but when I'm on site at a business I like to train them on what I call the Closed Feedback Loop, a real-time communication startegy. Thank you for commenting Loraine!

Posted on January 31st 2012 at 10:38AM

Thanks David for your SM intellect.  I especially benefited from the clear and concise explanation of tactic vs. strategy.  I find that many people get confused with the two while designing a SM Game Plan!  Great to see you here and keep writing and sharing your SM Brilliance!

Posted on January 31st 2012 at 4:03PM

Thank you for the kind words Nancy, they are very much appreciated! I tried keeping this one short, sweet, and right to the point. You know how I go overboard sometimes! LOL Thank you again, for everything!

Posted on February 16th 2012 at 3:42PM


I did exactly what you said NOT to do, mostly based on inexperience and a true lack of research. I am completely willing to admit that was the wrong way to go! Now I am finding myself almost erasing everything I did and re-starting. What you said in one of your comments about marketing the people of the business and not just the business is so true. I think that is why my first attempt pretty much failed, I had taken myself completely out of the equation! Now I am more focused on creating networks and groups instead of just "pages". Hopefully this will help. Thanks for the great article, really helped!



Posted on February 22nd 2012 at 11:03AM

You are very welcome Holly! This is the reason why I like to share information, to hopefully point somebody in the right direction. If I can assist you in anyway, please shoot me a message, I'd be honored to help!