Social media is a tactic not a strategy

What’s your social media strategy is the wrong question. The right question is whether and how to use social media tactics to help you grow. Companies grow from:

  1. Creating new customers
  2. Increasing share of customer or share of wallet
  3. Retaining more customer

Smart companies decide which of these three is their most important focus and develop a strategy and tactics to support that focus. Let’s look at a particularly high-profile social media campaign to understand how this might work: The Old Spice Guy.

There is no question that this campaign created a lot of buzz and attracted a lot of eyeballs. The question is: What was the strategy it was supporting? It would seem clear (at least to me) that Old Spice was trying to attract new customers. Their brand had gone “stale” and their long time users were aging out of usage. (That’s my PC way of saying they are dying.) To resurrect the brand, Old Spice needed to attract new customers, and they were smart enough to realize that “It’s Not Your Father’s Old Spice” was not going to get it done.

There does not seem to be any question that the tactic worked at getting trial. Old Spice sales were up dramatically after the launch of the campaign. The question is: Will they stick? Don’t know, can’t say, maybe too soon to tell (though I believe the Old Spice people know, even if they are not saying). If the customers don’t re-buy then the product was not positioned correctly for the audience created.That is a marketing problem and perhaps a strategy problem.

The social media tactic brilliantly supported the new customer acquisition strategy of getting initial trial. If the product is right for the target audience, success should be at hand. Then it may be time to work on increased share of wallet, and maybe, eventually, retention.

Mitch

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