One of the fun parts of my job is that I work with very smart people–my clients. One of them told me that they have no interest in figuring out their LinkedIn strategy. It’s not that he doesn’t care about LinkedIn–far from it–but he is voicing something that is critically important in marketing: understanding the difference between tactics and strategy. His point is that if you don’t understand your overall strategy, you’re not ready to think about LinkedIn.
If this seems somehow off to you, let me try it a different way. Suppose you just landed at a new company in charge of marketing and someone walks into your office the first day and says, “We need a strategy for billboards.”–what would you say?
Now, understand, depending on the company, you might really need a strategy for billboards–I don’t know. But that’s the point. First, you need to understand your overall market strategy, and how digital fits into it, and then you can start thinking about social and maybe LinkedIn. It makes no sense to dive into LinkedIn just because all the cool kids are doing it. Or because your competitors are doing it. Or because the boss asked for it.
Now that’s not to say that you can’t have a LinkedIn strategy or a social strategy or a search strategy. In fact, we even provide training that helps you set your digital strategy in any of these areas. But it’s important that you be thinking strategically. What do any of these approaches do for your business? Why are they important? How do they fit with other things you are doing? How will you know they are working.
That’s a lot more important than being able to tell the boss that you have a LinkedIn group.