“Its a tactical social media campaign”

There are a couple of reasons I disagree with this statement, but there are also some reasons to agree with this. The main reason I disagree with the phrase “tactical social media campaign” is that viewing social media as a campaign creates large masses of digital debris floating through the blogosphere/twitterverse/facebookalaxy (delete as appropriate).

It is these social media campaigns which have created a kind of sense of disbelief in the power that brand activated social media can bring.

My preference for social media, is to think about it in terms of a long-term programme not a campaign. Certainly, the above statement “a tactical social media campaign” is correct if the campaign is deployed as one of many campaigns across a uniformed social programme. If its deployed on its own, I just cannot see it working to enhance the brands reputation and place in conversation for longer than the duration of the campaign.

A programme is a combination of factors which use social media to drive towards a desired business goal. This is effectively positioning social media as a tool deliver business strategy than a tool to deliver marketing campaigns.  This is the desire of someone like P&G to create communities through campaigns in order to eventually create a $4bn+ social commerce platform. It is also the desire of Easyjet to create a more in-depth commercial offering within somewhere like Facebook to shorten the purchase process and reduce costs.

Digigen Fix:

  1. In order to start thinking about programmes digital teams need to be briefed to think about the annual plan for the business, not the next monthly plan. It is only this way that we can start to get on the radar to deliver business solutions than campaign solutions.
  2. We need to stop talking about the great campaigns and talk about the great social business strategies. Zappos is a company with a great social media programme, EA have great social media campaigns. Virgin America is a company with a great social media programme, BA have had a few great social media campaigns.
  3. Content produced for Social is key to making this work. Its difficult to maintain conversations without having additional content to talk around. Skimming off £20k here or there for social content will enable us to test new ideas which help move the programme forward and don’t need to be specifically tied to above the line campaigns.
  4. Original Post: http://digigen.co.uk/2010/04/12/social-media-programmes-not-campaigns/