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09/13/2010 Social Strategy is Like the Sledding Hill

Creating social strategies should involve examining a businesses opportunity to provide value, content and connection opportunities to customers and potential customers. Rather than trying to create something out of nothing, a social strategy identifies the areas of greatest potential and maps out a plan to develop two-way channels in the social space. 

When I help organizations develop social strategies and then watch those organizations doing the tactical executions, I can't help feeling like I'm on a sledding hill, with my kids, in the winter.

My job on the top of those hills is to give my kids the biggest push I can so they'll have the biggest momentum I can give them. I try to steer them toward the best possible path down the snowy slope as I watch and hope that they make it down to the bottom in one piece.

Sometimes they find the perfect path with their sleds and zip down with great speed and élan. Sometimes they lose their line and end up way off to the side. Other times, their sleds start to spin unexplainably and they wipe out half way down the hill. 

Good run or bad, my job on that hill is to shout words of encouragement, help them back up the hill, and give them another great push for their next run.


It's the same thing I do as a social strategist. Once an organization steps up to the social media plate, it's up to them to deliver. As a strategist, I can try to give them directions for the hill and give them a huge push with smart strategies. But it's up to them to actually act socially and steer their way through the social course.

At the end of the day, the strategist is like me at the sledding hill: yelling words of encouragement to my kids, as organizations race down the social media slopes, spinning, going wayward, or nailing the run.



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