(Update: as this post has been consistently the most visited on this site for the past two years, I felt an update was in order – overdue even. See Simple Template for Social Media Strategy: Update – posted November 30, 2009)So it was very timely this morning that I glanced at my Twitbin and saw that Jeremiah Owyang, Senior Analyst at Forrester, had provided there a link to a blog post by his colleague Josh Bernoff. The POST Method: a systematic approach to social strategy provides a neat framework for developing a strategy for any social media initiative.

As indicated by the blog post title, the strategy has an acronym, POST, standing for People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology.

People: assess your customer’s social activities

Objectives: decide what you want to accomplish

Strategy: plan for how relationships with customers will change

Technology: decide what social technologies to use

The approach looks simple, but reading through the explanation and thinking about my own experience in developing articulated strategies, I can see it’s roll-up-the-sleeves stuff. Some non-trivial thinking about to be activated.

The POST system, it is explained, is at the heart of the forthcoming book by Josh Bernoff and his colleague Charlene Li, Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies

I guess I won’t now be launching the new podcast site today. But when it is launched there will be a strategy in place. Which should in turn help with measurement.

Of course, if I’m to be rigorous in my strategizing, I have to be open to the possibility that a podcast show might not be what I want or need right now. Possible, but I do believe I’ve thought that through enough to press ahead on setting it up. It’s really a backtracking, checking and documenting process I have in mind, rather than re-thinking completely or starting from scratch.

What I’m confident I’ll get greater clarity on, through this process, is how what I’m about to do can be tweaked to meet my objectives better, faster, more economically.

I’m open to suggestions about what I might be missing here.

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Des Walsh is a business coach and social media strategist. He helps owners of small and medium business meet confidently the special challenges of this age of rapid transformation, deliver great results and stay balanced and happy in the process. Des has been actively engaged for over 20 years in promoting the business opportunities of the digital economy, is a certified specialist in social media strategy, a blogger, podcaster and co-author of the best-selling book LinkedIn for Recruiting.

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