Stop Using Social As A Tactic

by Jay Deragon on 03/17/2014

beliefAs we all know, the old expression “don’t put the cart before the horse” is a metaphor about doing things out of order and expecting things to work. That being said it has become more and more obvious that most people and organizations using “social media” have indeed got the “cart before the horse”.

The use of social media by most organizations reflects “the celebration of technique over intellect”. When we’re not blindly putting the media cart before the content horse, we’re assuming that people are as interested in an organizations product as the organization. Doc Searls said , “markets are conversations” and organizations think this means “That’s enough about me, let’s talk about me.”

Time to Change Beliefs….Philosophy

Many executives don’t take the time to think or learn what to think. Instead they simply react to market changes and apply old thinking to solutions they think will help them take advantage of the changes. That represents “stinking thinking from the neck up“.

Having the same mind-set about social media inside the corporate world, as the one we have had for decades is not going to improve anything! Quite the opposite!

We need some fresh thinking; we need to break the barriers of how business has been conducted in the last 50 years; we need to stop thinking about social media and push more along the lines of social philosophy.

Ethan McCarty writes in the Guardian: Social is dead…long live social! Well, I mean social media (as a distinct departmental construct) is dead. And while I’m at it: long live social business.

Social media as a distinct and ownable mission is cooked. From my vantage point at IBM’s marketing and communications lab in New York, the argument has been successfully made that social is critical for businesses that want to thrive in a contemporary, connected marketplace. It has fundamentally changed the way we produce, distribute and promote products and services.

For this reason, social is too important to simply be a specialisation within your organisation. We need to think beyond “social media departments” and finding the next “director of social media” and start looking for ways to make social an integrated part of our workplace and a core part of our company-wide training.

Using social media as a tactical marketing tool misses the essence of why social media has become so popular to people all around the world. The reason “social media” has become so popular is because it has become the medium for igniting philosophical changes in society, in the workforce and the markets.  A philosophical change represents a shift in beliefs.

When the market’s (noun) beliefs change then everything changes. Unless you understand the market’s beliefs you can’t possible reach them with old messages and methods that are irrelevant to their beliefs.  Get it?

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