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12/11/2009 Facebook is Not a Strategy

I was reading SEO.com's post about the Top 10 Internet Marketing Strategies of 2009 the other day and they repeated something I see a lot of these days. They mixed up strategies and tactics. Number two on their list includes channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Having a Facebook page is not a strategy.

One challenge I find with clients interested in increasing their digital marketing, especially with social media, is that they, like SEO.com, equate a digital strategy with  having a Facebook page. The intent is good but the thought process needs help.

Are you looking to allow people a better way to connect with your brand? Would you like to get more first hand feedback? Do you want to find ways you can help people spread word of mouth for your brand? Would you like a fairly inexpensive way to reward your customers with coupons, specials, or deals?

If so, then Facebook might be a good idea for you.

Do you have very vocal anti-brand groups? Are you afraid of negative criticism or have no internal mechanism for dealing with it? Does your company not really have that much to share, except for sales promotions? Do you have a lengthy and complicated response procedure?

If so, then Facebook might not be a good idea for you.

All of the tactics listed in the MarketingVox article could work great, if they match up well with your brand's objectives and strategies. If they don't match up and you move ahead without putting at least a little thought into what you're doing, you may spend too much time putting out internal and external fires and not enough time building the right kind of relationships.

We all want action, now. Usually, and especially when you spend marketing dollars, it's worth creating a thoughtful strategy first.


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