What’s The Difference Between Social Media Strategy and Social Media Tactics?

There’s no denying it, social media is a powerhouse for businesses wanting to connect with their audience in a dynamic and interactive way. Yet, within the realm of social media marketing, it’s crucial to distinguish between the overarching social media strategy and the specific social media tactics you use to achieve the outcomes you desire. I’m asked all the time ‘Can you develop a strategy for me?’ when what’s really required is a tactical plan for social media success. I also hear from prospects already working with an agency “They just don’t seem to guide the strategy” – There’s a reason for that!

There’s a difference between social media strategy and social media tactics. An awesome strategy will supercharge your tactical efforts. The difference is nuanced, but here it is!

Social Media Strategy: Setting the Stage

Your social media strategy is your master plan, it sets the stage for your online presence. Your strategy will define your long-term objectives, identify your target audiences, and determine the key messages you want to communicate across your social media platforms. Your strategy lays the groundwork for how you want to be perceived by your adoring public and outlines how you intend to achieve those objectives.

A critical aspect of your social media strategy is identifying which platforms you’ll be active on, and how active you’ll be. Different platforms attract different demographics and the mindset of the users while on the platforms can also mean considering the different behaviours of those users. Understanding this allows you to tailor your approach, ensuring that you choose platforms that align with your audience.

A robust social media strategy also dives into how you tell your story. Your story should resonate with your audience, build community, and foster engagement. This narrative becomes the guiding force behind all content shared online, ensuring your voice is both consistent and authentic. Your brand is a big part of your story!

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Social Media Tactics: Crafting the Narrative

So now you’ve established a kick-ass social media strategy, it’s time to get tactical! Your social media tactics are the hands-on stuff, the implementation that executes your plan. Social media tactics are the specific actions you take to achieve the short-term goals that contribute to the overall strategy. Your tactical plan will likely include content creation, partnerships, paid ads, and community engagement… the list is endless! However, all of these items will be specific to each of your chosen social media platforms.

To give you an example, if your social media strategy aims to position your brand as an authority, your tactical plan would involve activities like creating and sharing informative content, participating in relevant conversations, and leveraging influencers or thought leaders within your niche. Each tactic is carefully chosen to contribute to the narrative crafted by the social media strategy, reinforcing the brand’s desired positioning.

Strategy and Tactics in Social Media Marketing

The relationship between social media strategy and tactics is kind of symbiotic. A well-defined strategy directs the tactical plan, ensuring that every post and interaction, every campaign aligns with the strategic goals. The data and insights gathered from implementing your tactical efforts provide the feedback needed so you can continuously refine, adjust and optimise. Your Strategy is your foundation, your constant. Your tactical plan will be ever-changing.

When it comes to making social media marketing work for you, adaptability is key. Trends come and go, algorithms evolve, and audience preferences shift. Your social media strategy provides the framework for navigating these changes, while your tactical plan gives you the flexibility needed to respond in real-time. Get your social media strategy and tactics right and you’ll ensure that you’ll not only capture attention but also build a genuine and lasting connection with your audience.

In Summary

To finish off, and to put it bluntly, having a solid social media strategy coupled with intentional tactical implementation is how you get results from social media marketing. Understand the difference between the two, and get these working in tandem so you can thrive online and build a meaningful social media presence.

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