• One of the things I liked best about the Gap program was that it rewarded the speakers for their achievements; the influence was something the women had earned through their work and participation in the conference program. BlogHer also tries to have 80% new speakers every year; every woman in the community can aspire to speak, and stands an equal chance of being selected. This means that some of the influential speakers this year were from smaller blogs, niche blogs, etc. Not necessarily the “usual suspects.”

    Full disclosure: I was a BlogHer speaker this year, and love my new clothes! But that’s not the only reason why I think the program is so good.

  • Thanks for this, Geoff. I enjoyed Now is Gone and I’m looking forward to your next book. A sincere question- what’s the value of such a taxonomy?

    I don’t consider myself a “marketing guy” though there are some aspects of marketing that I touch in my work. If I’m developing a plan for a client, and it’s touching on any number of things that affect reputation, do I need to worry about which idea fits in what category?

    Like you I’ve seen the debates over nomenclature evolve – “are bloggers journalists” or “is social media a marketing thing or a PR thing” and the conclusion many people reach is these debates are more distracting than anything else. How is what you’re proposing different?

    In short, what is the value of creating a terminology? And why should anyone care that “I’m doing it wrong” if what I’m doing is ethical, transparent, inherently social, and creates value for a client?

    Honestly not trying to be flip here – I respect your work a lot – just trying to understand why terminology matters.

  • @David: So I can structure the chapter on strategy in an understandable, methodical way. It’s not to be a distraction, but to parse the information in digestable chunks. Read any classic book on strategy, particularly the Asian ones (Art of War & Five Rings) and they have types of strategies separated and defined.

    And as to the way you execute in your agency, any master strategist understands the moves and tools at their disposable, rather than blindly walking down the road. While you may naturally process and internalize this, others learn and approach things differently.

  • Based on another comment I received via facebook, I am going to define strategy as used in the book, which is the common vernacular, in business (and in military engagement). Since my audience is business execs AND communicators, I want to keep it on the simple definition: How your org wants to plan and direct its approach towards achieving a goal.

  • thanks Geoff – helpful explanation and a good teaching tool.

  • As you both know I dislike putting things “in a box.” It often leads to laziness. In the case of integrating social media into the marketing strategy, I think a taxonomy is helpful in that it can help an organization match social media strategy with its culture and preferred type of *overall* marketing strategy.

  • I really tried to look at it as true strategy and not some BS twitterism. It’s my intent to be helpful to the book readers and present in a way that would be easy for them to grasp. Glad you both see where I’m coming from on this.

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  • Geoff,
    You have researched and know your subject well. Your article offers great insight as to why companies and individuals, depending on what their goals are, engage in social media for different reasons.

    I liked your observation, “there’s a fine line between serving and spamming”, and have shared a similar view with my connections.

    No matter what the reason for engaging in social media, a good “best practice” guideline worth remembering is, “it’s about building relationships, and offering something of value – not shameless self-promotion.”

    Thanks Geoff – for defining the categories and a framework for understanding the reasons that organizations choose to leverage social media.

    I have added your blog as a favorite and will share it with my followers.

    – @DWestJr

  • Love this Geoff. But I think that one of those needs to embrace my favorite strategy: partnering with the passionate consumer.
    It’s almost covered by 3 & 4 in your list – but it’s just a touch different than what you’ve already listed.

    I fully believe that partnering with existing brand evangelists has to be in there somewhere. Is it empowerment? Perhaps – but more of empowering the consumer rather than the employees. It’s not necessarily Top Down either – sometimes the effect of a thousand small pebbles in a pond is much greater than the effect of 10 large ones.

    Maybe call it enabling? Although that usually has a negative connotation with most people. Hm. I’ll ponder it.

    Meanwhile? As part of the Gap program myself (kudos to Susan for bringing it up) I can say that I agree that it was well done… and not just because I loved my own clothes – but because we all *were* talking about it.

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