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By B.L. Ochman kiss.jpg
While there is a huge shortage of social media strategy, most of the huge amounts of money being spent produces an ROI of zero.

I’d like to do my part to help a few companies avoid spending a huge amount of money for nothing in return. Let’s KISS.

That stands for “Keep it Strategic Silly” and if you can just step out of the social media echo chamber long enough to read this post, you’ll thank me later. I’ll keep it short.

It’s raining tactics in social media marketing. Agencies and social media gurus are falling over themselves to implement the latest tactics, use the shiny new tools, and send big bills for their on-the-job-learning. The missing link, however, is strategy.

What’s the difference between strategy and tactics?
Let’s look at Google as an example:
Google’s strategy is to provide free services that are so valuable users become dependent on them, driving drive enough traffic to the services to generate ROI for advertisers and revenue for Google.
Google’s tactics:
• feature-rich Gmail with enormous storage capacity;
• Google Docs & other programs that are better, or at least as good as Microsoft’s paid software;
• Google Earth; Google maps
• free software, Google Chrome (which looks like it will be a great browser)
Google Wave – which looks like it’ll revolutionize our online workspace
• the best search on the planet, & much more – all free.
Let’s look at KFC:
KFC Strategy:
• Introduce grilled chicken to the menu
• Call the campaign Unthink
KFC Tactics:
• Hook up with Oprah to offer coupons for free grilled chicken to everyone on the planet.
• Wring hands and say OMG OMG when everyone in America showed up and there wasn’t enough chicken
• Run YouTube video contest for people to say how much they love KFC, get 4 entries in a month
• Expand contest to MySpace page
• Keep asking people to tell them what is so great about KFC
• Run print ads about the contests
• Be on Twitter. And Facebook.
• Give away a life-time supply of chicken
I’m sure i’ve missed a few of the KFC tactics, but so what. Just remember, they called the campaign Unthink.
They’ve thrown a whole bunch of tactics in the chicken bucket, but the strategy is still “Tell us why you think we’re wonderful” and that’s not what social media is about. Social media is about actually being wonderful. That would have started by having a strategy for the Oprah give-a-way.

How will you KISS?
How will you incorporate the tools of social media into your marketing strategy?
What tools will you employ? Blogging? Micro-blogging? Video? Podcasting? Social networks? Forums? Wikis? Which ones will help you connect members of your audience? How will one tactic be used to drive traffic to other parts of your campaign? Which combination of tools can be integrated into your marketing to help drive your sales?
Tread gently
Don’t hit people over the head with a sales message. Remember: we’re all humans. People are what matters, not companies.
And don’t forget to KISS.
Mashable – KFC’s MySpace Strategy: a Lifetime Supply of Chicken
What’s Next Blog: Marketers Need to KISS: Keep It Strategic Silly!