I recently attended an informative Agile ScrumMaster certification course conducted by a client and friend of mine, Mark C. Layton of Platinum Edge, and was intrigued by his application of the Theory of Constraints (TOC) in project management. Then I thought to myself: Why not expand the theory to cover Social Media Marketing as a tool for overcoming social marketing obstacles.
The Theory of Constraints was first introduced in 1984 by Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt in his book titled The Goal, which focuses on helping organizations achieve their goals. According to Mr. Goldratt: “Theory of Constraints is based on the premise that the rate of goal achievement is limited by at least one constraining process. Only by increasing flow through the constraint can overall throughput be increased.” In essence, find what’s holding you back and eliminate it.
When marketing via social channels, the Theory of Constraints has multiple layers:
1) Gaining Exposure — Initially, the exposure barrier must be broken. This includes asking oneself questions like: Why aren’t my blog posts Retweeted often? Why is my website traffic showing minimal growth after major marketing efforts? How can I increase my Facebook “likes”? This are very valid and important questions to ask oneself, or one’s team, to help identify — and ultimately solve — constraints.
2) Becoming an Influencer — After exposure has been established, continuing and improving such exposure is critical. Reaching a level of influential zen is difficult, but can be had. Common constraints include: competitors/colleagues with previously established influence, minimal marketing budgets/resources, lack of information to share (articles, photos, videos, etc.), change resistors, and the list goes on. It’s easy to gain exposure, though becoming a respected, trusted, influential source is another animal that’s bred from true passion and transparency. Remember, exposure is not synonymous with influence.
3) Increasing Revenue — Once an individual or company is successful at gaining exposure and building influence, and only at this point, should the thought of increasing revenue be put into action. Constraints at this third and final layer relate to supply & demand, price points, choreographing a way to exert influence over one’s following, funnel management issues, consistently maintaining a competitive edge, and many other roadblocks.
In conclusion, Social Media Marketing is full of unknowns and it’s imperative to identify constraints as they surface, then blow them out of the water like a good game of Battleship.
Aaron Schoenberger is Founder of The Brainchild Group — a digital advertising agency that specializes in revolutionary Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing strategies. He’s known for his work with celebrity clients, top restaurants, professional athletes and Fortune 500 companies.
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