Carts and horses


A friend of mine who is an online community manager recommended a great article recently. Like so many helpful observations, it seems obvious, but it wouldn’t be Tweeted, re-Tweeted, posted, blogged, etc., unless there were a slew of people out there falling into this particular hole.

Why You Need a Business Strategy, Not a Social Strategy was written by Jon Gatrell of Pragmatic Marketing. The piece is all about how easy it is to get carts in front of horses. Social media is free, and accounts can be set up, literally, in seconds. It’s no wonder businesses and organizations are stumbling over their wagons and horses.

In one of my first blog posts, I wrote: If your business, ministry or charity is plugging along on word of mouth and existing customers/supporters, it’s obvious you are doing something right! Congrats.

Growth is not always synonymous with success, especially if it comes at the high price of time away from family, health problems, etc. For the small percentage of business owners who are “doing very well, thank you,” the only “must” in online marketing would be a simple landing page on the internet with background, directions and contact info.

For the vast number of us in the “other” category, branching out in several marketing directions: print, direct mail, website, blog, social media, etc., is needed, but map out your business/organizational goals first.

Gatrell points out the folly of attempting to use every social media platform available. Not only can it become a huge time suck, depending on what you are selling/promoting, it could work against you. The wrong “fit” tells the world that you don’t really understand the different audiences of each platform, and it is also an indication that you might not know your own audience very well either.

“There’s a reason no one posts about holiday crafts on LinkedIn and why there aren’t many whitepapers showing up on Pinterest,” Gatrell writes.

Don’t let the tail wag the dog. Check out the post and use the suggested diagram to start mapping your business/organizational strategy; the marketing strategy will follow.

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