Whether it's in meetings for client work, business development opportunities, speaking to a group of people, or doing some kind of community work, I'm being asked very similar questions, like: "should we be Podcasting?", "what could we do with twitter?", "what do you think about Facebook?" and "how do you use YouTube as a Marketing channel?" You can take out the channel and replace it with whichever online social network is popular these days, or change the word "Podcasting" to Blogs... you get the idea.
But the biggest and most important questions never get asked. Everyone is so busy getting excited about the channels (and tactics) that they completely put aside the strategy and the brand.
Instead of "what" ask "why."
When you really understand the "why", you'll know:
- Why people love you.
- Why people buy from you.
- Why they tell other people about how great you are.
- Why people are loyal to you.
- Why the world needs more of whatever it is you do.
- Why they would never leave you for a cheaper price.
"What" is just the tactics. It's deciding between a Blog and a Podcast. It's choosing YouTube and Facebook over MySpace and Second Life. It's about the things you can do because you already know where your consumers are, what they're saying about you, and how you can add value to the online environments that they're currently occupying.
But, without a strategy and and deep respect for being a guardian of the brand, everything else is just a tactic. And, if you're into sports, war games, or any other form of competition, you'll know that tactics don't win anything, the strategy does.