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“To think strategically is difficult and unnatural. You may imagine you are being strategic, but in all likelihood you are merely being tactical. To have the power that only strategy can bring, you must be able to elevate yourself above the battlefield, to focus on your long-term objectives, to craft an entire campaign, to get out of the reactive mode that so many battles in life lock you into. Keeping your overall goals in mind, it becomes much easier to decide when to fight and when to walk away. That makes the tactical decisions of daily life much simpler and more rational. Tactical people are heavy and stuck in the ground; strategists are light on their feet and can see far and wide.” – Robert Greene
Establishing the right coordinates is the first step in developing your social media strategy. Coordinates are essentially synchronized macro-level goals. This entails selecting a minimum of three interconnected and mutually reinforcing goals. Three strongly linked goals help you create order and provide an orienting structure in an otherwise bewildering environment of possibilities and ambiguity. More specifically, superior coordinates have the following features:
1) they represent tough, “big-picture” choices about what to do and what not to do,
2) they enrich one another, and
3) they robustly define the operating space.
To craft coordinates, the following protocol provides a path forward: first, review your competitive analysis and seek out hidden connections; second, construct a chart that lists business goals in one column and possible, associated communication goals in another column; and finally, discover clusters of goals or pods of insights from the communication goals that emerged.
- Characteristics of Superior Coordinates
- Superior coordinates represent tough, “big-picture” choices about what to do and what not to do
- Superior coordinates enrich one another
- Superior coordinates robustly define the operating space
- Principles for Formulating Coordinates
- Respect the “unequal dialogue” in your organization
- “Don’t fight the last war”
- Know when to play offense, defense, and use special teams
- A Discussion Protocol for Crafting Coordinates
- Review your competitive analysis and seek out hidden connections
- Construct a “brain-prodding” chart
- Discover clusters of goals or pods of insights
- Label and evaluate the pods
- Determine how the goals could be linked together to accomplish something unique and spectacular
Chapter Deep Dive Study Questions
These exercises are designed to enhance your understanding of the chapter’s key ideas, principles and approaches.
Forget about social media for a moment. List three of your personal or professional goals that enrich one another. Explain how these goals act as coordinates, enriching each other and your life.
Describe three potential dangers associated with taking the unequal dialogue principle too far. Provide examples.
The opening quote for the chapter argues that thinking strategically is difficult and unnatural. Create a two-column chart. In the first column identify three reasons why strategy is “difficult and unnatural.” In column two identify action steps to counter each reason.
[a] Points of connection. In the social media cosmos, they represent goals that are strongly linked, interconnected and mutually reinforcing.
[q] Insight Pods
[a] Related or connected insights gleaned from the competitive analysis.
[q] Unequal Dialogue
[a] Refers to the tenor of the discussion between organization leaders and social media managers. The social media managers should vigorously argue for their point-of-view, but in the final analysis, organizational goals always trump the social media goals.
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Question 1 of 10
Coordinates are the same as goals.Correct
Question 2 of 10
The fundamental sentiment behind “unequal dialogue” means thatCorrect
Question 3 of 10
Business goals and communication goals are often the same things.Correct
Question 4 of 10
Your author suggests using the “SMART” acronym (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, time-bound) – to formulate coordinates.Correct
Question 5 of 10
According to your author, establishing the right coordinates means you:Correct
Question 6 of 10
Coordinates are essentially synchronized macro-level goals.Correct
Question 7 of 10
A good starting point for crafting your organization’s coordinates would be to identify what your competitors’ goals are.Correct
Question 8 of 10
Posting nearly identical content from a flyer or a direct mail piece to a social media platform would be considered an example of a company that is “fighting the last war.”Correct
Question 9 of 10
Good strategists set aside worthy goals in favor of coordinated goals.Correct
Question 10 of 10
Good social media strategists define their job primarily as managing social media platforms.Correct