Strategic Social Dogma Disconnects

by Jay Deragon on 01/24/2011

The marketplace of conversations are filled with strategic social dogma  — “a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative.”  I am calling it strategic social dogma because while many suggest that “social” is of strategic value most are not thinking strategically about its value.

Social marketing, SEO, social advertising, get twitter followers, make money online etc. and the dogma proliferates our  attention and steals our time while the meaning and value becomes useless. Much of the dialog are about tactical uses rather than strategic value.

People and organizations tend to buy into the dogma: “this is how things are done,” they think — and then they do it over and over and get the same results but at higher cost. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity

Strategic Social Dogma needs to be challenged or the value of social media gets diminished. Here is my list of common things we are seeing in the social space that I would consider dogma:

  1. Social products. Most companies use social media to do the same thing they have always done, push their products in our face. Even companies that are producing social products have designed them to do what has always been done. A product isn’t innovative unless it does what has not been done.
  2. Social strategist. Everyone seems to be adding the term “strategy” to their online presence. Yet few seems to have any experience thinking strategically. Strategy and strategist means to think differently because the aim of a strategy is to do things differently. What is it — really — that makes you different?   Will your strategy produce anything different that isn’t already being used or available?
  3. Social distribution. Social technologies are  rolling out wave after wave of portals, channels, and platforms: all new distribution mechanisms. The problem is that they quickly become the same old distribution mechanisms, with a slightly different interface. Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and whatever else you use  will eventually be challenged.
  4. Social business models. Have you noticed that publishing business models has turned upside down and inside out? Have you also noticed that all business models are being effected by all things social? Governments, organizations and people are trying to adapt to the impact and dynamics of all things social. Wasting time investing in a model for today means you have to waste more time chasing tomorrows model.
  5. Social sales and service. Now organizations are discovering how to use social to better serve the customer and enhance sales. The art of engagement has become personal, passionate, and in real-time. The sales process has inverted where the customer is now the sales person and the process.

Chris Heuer writes: “From 2006 until just a few months ago, I had thought that social media would become the big tent where this sort of thinking would take hold and begin to reshape the very way organizations are managed. Now, however, it has become clear that social media, at least in larger organizations has become another silo, albeit an important one.

Much to my chagrin, social media is not the umbrella under which organizations are transforming. Instead it is being relegated to another silo of the disciplines that fall under digital or online marketing – despite the myriad of ways in which it changes all aspects of operations and strategy.

As soon as you stop challenging the social dogma your thinking begins to accept the “code of beliefs as being authoritative and definitive”. The reality is that all things social are changing everything and thus nothing will remain in a constant state. To see and create  change requires you to challenge your own thinking and those who believe their own dogma.

{ 1 comment }

Axel Schultze January 24, 2011 at 2:17 pm

The beauty of social media, user generated content and public opinion is that it creates a very fast and rich earning environment – primarily through different points of views and opinions.

And so I have a very different point of view and opinion.
Not sure what Chris Heuer’s opinion shaped but I can say most of the fortune 500 companies and I deal a lot with them, do not see social media as a silo but as a overarching business model element. Silos are created through consultants who propose outsourcing social media – but that is like outsourcing the love to customers – dead end.

Social media isn’t exactly new. I started as an early adviser to LinkedIn in 2003 – so that is now 7 years ago.

Yes, large scale social engagement is of strategic value if you explore scenarios like this:


Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 15 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: