Anyone who deals with strategy and tactics can hardly avoid paying attention to experiences and knowledge of military origin, unless one renounces these experiences and knowledge from centuries. It is smarter to learn from mistakes in order to avoid recognizable own ones.
Strategy and tactics are not the children or products of the military. On the contrary. The military has and had the primary task of implementation. Since in history political rule was often identical to military rule, this equation has unfortunately become commonplace.
Our aversion to the military roots of strategy and tactics stems from a time when war was the continuation of politics by military means (Clausewitz). However, this primarily points to the division of tasks and responsibility and defines the role of the military as an assistant to politics.
In modern times, strategy is a political task and dimension. Which is not necessarily to be equated with the fact that this task becomes easier or is solved better. So let’s learn from the mistakes of the past with an open mind and try to avoid them ourselves.
There are several definitions for strategy. The concept of strategy is comprehensively described on Wikipedia, for example. The development of the understanding of strategy in business can be read from these descriptions. If you compare the content with what the fathers of strategy has taken in terms of development – ie from Sun Tzu to Clausewitz and subsequent ones – you can see that there is still room for improvement on the economic level. The less clear and directly applicable a strategy model is, the more difficult it is to work with it in reality. And the more arbitrary are the results of the model.
The old and well-known definition of Clauswitz “strategy is an economy of forces” is still applicable, even if it does not reflect the whole essence of strategy. Especially since this definition actually only describes a chapter of Clausewitz’s standard work.
The task of tactic is to implement the strategy. The tactic describes how we use the available forces to implement the strategy. i.e. tactics deploy forces in detail. This includes resources such as staff, budgets, know-how, but also social media resources.
In Wikipedia there is a very pragmatic distinction between tactics and strategy.
What do I want (goal – only after that comes the strategy), how -with which steps- do I achieve it (strategy), and how do I implement the individual steps in practice on site (that would be the tactic).
Interesting in this context is the involvement of the personnel in the tactics – including their organization and line-up.
- No strategy without a goal: The task of a strategy is to achieve an (attainable) goal. Without this goal, a strategy can hardly be defined. The task of strategy is to be able to achieve an achievable goal from a given starting position.
- There is no goal without a strategy: in order to achieve a goal, there must be a way to get there. The strategy defines a path to a goal. Strategy is also the decision for a certain way and against other ways.
- No strategy without tactics: a strategy that is not implemented or cannot be implemented is relatively useless. i.e. when developing and deciding on a strategy, we also have to consider its tactical consequences. Otherwise, the risk of the strategy failing at the tactical level is likely.
- No tactic without strategy: Achievements that don’t contribute to a goal are essentially useless, but still require resources and are therefore even harmful.
The interdependencies are clear. If we act without a strategy, we are logically also acting without sense in the sense of an overarching goal.
Social media definitions
The definition of strategy for social media is explained in a separate post on this wiki.
As a tactic, we understand the use of social media potential as part of this strategy, i.e. how we use social media potential to implement the strategy.
So the tactics in social media consists in the design and use of the means that we use in social media, such as the social media usage formats – how we design an audience or a community. Whether we use an audience or a community – because of the importance of this decision – is a question of strategy.
Distinctions in Social Media
In a social media strategy, we determine which benefits of social media we want to use for the company and its business model. In doing so, we also determine which possible benefits we do not want to realize through social media.
In the tactics – i.e. the implementation of the strategy – we determine how we carry out the individual measures.
- Strategy: we support customer relationships in and through social media with a community. -> whether we use a community
- Tactics: how we implement the community. -> how we use a community.
Importance in and for social media
A fundamental difference between the use of strategy and tactics in social media versus their use at other levels should not be neglected. In social media, the competition is more complex and comprehensive. This has consequences for strategy and tactics.
- Classic situation: The strategy must be successful in a 1:1 situation. There are 2 parties or groups that are arguing.
- Economic situation: The strategy must be successful in a more complex 1:Na situation. NL stands for a number (N) of competitors with the same or similar services (L). This can be a significantly larger number than 1.
- Situation social media: The strategy must be successful in a very complex situation 1:NLA. This means that the strategy must prove itself in a competition with a much larger number of competitors consisting of performance competitors (L) and attention competitors (A).
Special essence of strategy
Strategy is not static, set in stone and unchangeable, but an extremely dynamic process with a beginning and an end. This has very practical consequences.
Need for adjustment
No strategy remains unchanged in contact with reality. i.e. we have a need to adjust the strategy, which can be significant, especially at the beginning of the implementation phase.
Worst case is the realization that the goals of the strategy have to be revised. So the strategy is obsolete.
Even successfully established strategies do not remain unchanged. Success changes strategies just as unforeseen competitive behavior or situations do.
The ability to recognize this potential for change early on is a competitive advantage. If we recognize it later, this can quickly result in a competitive disadvantage.
We recognize the need for changes in strategies – in addition to the competitive situation – also in changes in the assumptions and prerequisites on which a strategy is based.
It’s good to have a winning strategy. It is better to have someone who will also lead this strategy to success.
We need someone – also in social media – who is responsible for the strategy and pays attention to its implementation, adaptation and further development.