It is well known the terminological parallelism between the military and business, particularly in the area of marketing and more specifically in advertising, where they talk about campaigns, objectives, strategies and tactics.
The promotion in social media, understood from a technical perspective, is not alien to these aspects, although the practice is confused more than in traditional marketing, perhaps because they are not always “marquisette” (who do not necessarily have to be either) who in charge of developing it.
The achievement of a goal must be the result of a strategy that is put into practice through a tactic (method). And this, even though it seems obvious, is a frequent cause of confusion in the area that concerns us, and as a clear example is not to differentiate and therefore confuse the professional role of the manager of a community online with the responsibility of a strategist of social media (social media strategist), appears undoubtedly less known and publicized. We assume that the best strategist does not have to be the best manager and vice versa; in the same way that, returning to the military simile, a command accustomed to guiding its unit effectively on the battlefield does not have to be a good planner of operations in a General Staff,
In a new and, above all, changing environment, such as social media on the Internet, where proof / error is the most effective method for obtaining knowledge, we must pay close attention not to deviate from the main purpose of the action, of the intrinsic objective, based on a correct global strategy and good tactical operation. So we can avoid wrong conclusions such as interpreting the scope of a certain number of followers as the achievement of the main purpose, when really can be just a tactical goal aimed at achieving the central objective (increase sales for example).
Sometimes it is the firm itself that is not clear or does not explicitly state the objective to be achieved (sometimes it does not move smoothly in the social media environment), but the professional in charge of establishing the strategic plan should help to realize it. It is crucial, as in any other aspect of Marketing (traditional or online) to know clearly what should be achieved globally to establish the most appropriate strategy. For a TV program, for example, to create a page on Facebook and that is able to achieve in a certain time to exceed the one of its competition can be the global objective, with no other intention that to use that figure for autopromocionales ends, in that case the strategy and tactics to be used will be very different from the one that will be established for a brand of automobiles that presents a new model and seeks to establish communication with potential customers and influence them. In this second case the strategy must be designed, unlike the previous one, on the basis of a tactical methodology qualitative and non-quantitative; Twenty thousand followers will serve little if 95% are not really potential buyers, instead it will be a success if with three thousand followers, a third of them are encouraged to visit the nearest dealer.
Setting the overall objective (on which to measure the level of success achieved) and establishing a correct plan of action, defining the temporal phases, partial goals, means, resources and tactical actions, make up the strategy in social media. The specific activities that have to be carried out to reach that strategic plan (aspects such as defining or modifying the segmentation of payment announcements, updating more or less frequently profiles, giving a prominent role to the graphics, using less informative language and more persuasive …) are properly tactical actions.
Not confusing strategy and tactics as well as clearly defining the ultimate goal to achieve will allow us to better plan communicative and promotional actions in social media as well as evaluate the degree of success of them.