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The Social Plan Is Not To Plan

How can you plan for change when you don’t know what will change? The only thing you can plan on is rapid learning. But learning about something new can be difficult for those who only know the old ways.

The evolution of the web is accelerating with new tools, new discoveries and the subsequent market dynamics effected by these changes. As more and more conversations begin to impact business models, market relations and the supply and demand equations the more traditional mind sets try and fit these changes into the old box.

Most executives are totally disconnected from the dynamics created by all things social. Yet the same executives expect their managers to come up with a plan to use this thing called social media.  If you ask someone for a plan that neither you or they understand you’ll get a plan that doesn’t create anything new rather it only addresses all things social in context to what they know.  What they know is not what they need to know.

Learning By Diving In

Guy Kawasaki: Don’t Plan Your Social Media; Just Do It | Inc.com says: Lets say an entrepreneur is new to the whole social media thing. Theres a tendency to hire a consultant and formulate a plan. Is that the right approach?No. Just dive in. Dive in to Facebook or Google+ or Twitter. Create a personal account and test the water. See what those sensibilities are, and just have at it. Ts is very different than the typical expert telling you that you first have to set your strategy and your goals and have this massive document and a working plan. I think thats a mistake. Its very difficult to create goals and strategies for something like Google+ or Facebook or Twitter if you’re not familiar with Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.

When Guy says ” if you’re not familiar with Google+, Facebook, and Twitter” I don’t think he is talking about the names or the technology rather the dynamics created by these tools.  There is a huge different between being familiar with a tool and knowing how to use it effectively.  The Cluetrain Manifesto talks about markets are conversations however since the industrial revolution the markets thought they were the conversations.  The web has changed the direction of the conversations and the directional change means everything you thought you could plan for is no longer what you thought.

When I say “the social plan is not the plan” I am not saying organizations need not plan. What I am saying is that the context of the plan ought to be more about understanding, learning and adapting to the new marketplace dynamics that are changing your relationships with buyers rather than planning for the wrong things.



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