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Mike Templeton November 5, 2009 at 2:36 pm

I think the BusinessWeek article and the Corporate Executive Board is moving in the right direction on this, but I think we are caught up in semantics. Social media as a communication channel is certainly strategically relevant. If you don’t understand how this style of communication impacts your business as a whole (or how it fits in with your other efforts), you will end up with a mess of activities that don’t measure up to anything.

When the article talks about social media as “another set of tools,” I believe they are referring to the tools themselves: Twitter, Facebook, blogs, wikis, etc. Those are a set of tools that are to be mastered (in terms of how they are used and what they do), but a social media strategy looks at the results those tools will produce and how they match up to the organization’s objectives.

Also, relegating things like Twitter and Facebook to “tool” status is exactly the way to approach these platforms. The reason to treat them as tools and not to develop a “Twitter strategy” is because everything will change in a few short years. Your business needs to understand the style and method of social media–how it is different from the way things have been done before–because that is what you will carry forward, no matter what the tools are.

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