Screw the strategy and just dive in

Recently I read a thought-provoking interview with the brilliant Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. If you’ve never heard of him, he’s the co-founder of Alltop.com and was previously the “chief evangelist” of Apple.

So, the guy knows something about how to best enchant people.

What struck me most in the interview was that Kawasaki told the interviewer that a researched and methodical social media strategy is simply not needed to begin using social networks.

Wait, what?

According to Kawasaki, people should “just dive in.”

This is the man who has written 10 books, most of them New York Times bestsellers. Don’t plan? Screw the strategy?

This philosophy goes against everything I tell my clients. It goes against every fiber of my hyper-analyzing, list-making, overthinking being.

To be a good, by-the-book social media marketer and consultant, you must plan. You must read article, make check lists, create elaborate strategies and build in ROI measurement.

I get together with my clients, identify their goals, write up a plan, fill out an editorial calendar, pinpoint which social networks to focus on, and viola. They are then, and only then, ready to jump in.

Kawasaki really gave me food for thought. With the typical person or business or organization, using the planning first method, it is usually a long way from the initial interest in social networking to the actual work of engaging and posting.

Kawasaki says that’s ridiculous, and I’m beginning to believe him.

He says, accurately, that it’s damn near impossible to create goals and strategies for something that you have never used before and are not familiar with.

Getting familiar and “testing the waters” first, he says, is the way to proceed. (Planning and measuring can all be done later.)

What do you think? Did you screw the strategy and just get started with social networking? Is it like the chicken or the egg – which comes first, planning or experience? Anything I’m missing?

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