Is Strategy Always About Saying No?



There’s a saying we’ve become quite fond of here at SMC: strategy is about saying no.

What that means in essence is that it’s better to be very good at one or two things than have your hand in dozens of things and excel at none of them. On social media, that means that it’s best to find one or two things to really kick ass at and dedicate your time to, and then leave the rest for someone else.

We generally encourage clients not to change up their strategies too much in the early months. How can you really know if you’re seeing success if you’re changing your strategy all the time?

So, is strategy really always about saying no? Do you always have to stick to your set plan? Let’s take a look.

Why You Should Veer from Your Strategy…

Veering from your strategy could mean something as small as changing your messaging for a season, or as big as changing the direction of your content to cater to a different audience.

Potential logic surrounding these changes might include:

  • It can’t hurt anything. Right? If you’re targeting another group while sticking to your main strategy in all other places, there’s no value lost.
  • It expands brand awareness. Who wouldn’t want an opportunity to get their content in front of more groups of people?
  • It makes you accessible to other people. Again, why not be accessible? Maybe some of these side groups will become customers later on.

All of which are good things, right?

…And Why You Shouldn’t

Not so fast. For the other side of the coin, here are a few potential reasons you may want to stick to your guns:

  • If it isn’t adding value, why do it? If you’re not sure that targeting a new audience or testing out a new brand style is helping your company make money, why are you even doing it?
  • It encourages chasing shiny objects. Do you really need a new crowd, or to be on Meerkat, or to chase that new social network, or is it just a stunt to ‘change things up’?
  • You want the right people, not just any people. It doesn’t matter if 100,000 people see your content if only 10 of them are actual buyers.

Executed poorly, strategic shifts like the ones described here may only hurt you.

It All Comes Back to Value

If you can’t clearly trace the value of the change you want to make, don’t do it, whether that’s getting on Meerkat or going after a new demographic.

Strategy isn’t always about saying no. There will be times that the best move for your brand is veering from what you thought made the most sense and trying something new. You should review your strategy regularly to make sure you’re targeting the right people. You should be able to shift on a dime if your needs change.

But, it all comes back to value. Is the change you’re making adding value, or taking it away? Don’t proceed without knowing the answer to that question first.




Reprinted with permission

Image Credit: CC by Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig


About the author: John Darwin

John is a recent college graduate from Creighton University. He earned his B.A. in English, specializing in British Literature, and is currently working as an editor at Social Media Contractors.

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