Pillars, Building Blocks and Stages of Social Media

In much of the world, social media is still new. Companies are catching up, terms and process are evolving, the way we are doing business is changing. People are listening to learn, referring to terminology differently. However you want to explain social media pillars, building blocks, stages, etc. What is important is the groundwork is being laid and there are so many ways to explain them because some experts explanations are more detailed or technical than others. Let’s take a look at how some of the social media evangelists are trying to simplify the process.

Chris Brogan has many different ways that he explains the process of social media:   Inside Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore. Picture Curated by Kakie Fitzsimmons 1

  • Find where your consumers are
  • Listen to what they are saying
  • Report findings
  • Reach out
  • Engage
  • Add value
  • Participate
  • Repeat.

He also uses the following stages: Awareness, Attention, Engagement, execution, extension, blend it all together

Brian Solis has The 10 Stages of Social Media Integration in Business:

  • Observe and report
  • Setting stage plus dress rehearsal
  • Socializing media
  • Finding a voice and a sense of purpose
  • Putting words into action
  • Humanizing the brand and defining the experience
  • Community
  • Social Darwinism
  • Socialization of business process
  • Business performance metrics

Seth Godin lists Five Pillars of Success:

  • See (really see) what’s possible
  • Know specifically what you want to achieve
  • Make good decisions
  • Understand the tactics to get things done and to change minds
  • Earn the trust and respect of the people around you

What ever process or resources your organization uses, the premise will always be the same. Social media is about being social and creating relationships one person at a time. Social media is a different extension of marketing, but the process has not changed. What matters is that your organization embraces the process in ways that are meaningful for your brand.

A while back I listened to David Armano (@armano) speak about the future of advertising and wrote about it in a post called The Future of Advertising – Moving from WTF? to FTW! (graphic, I know, but there is a point and a method to my madness). It is that mistakes will be made along the way and it is okay because that is how we learn, which is a whole different post.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the process of social media with your brands. Please share below!

The Future of Advertising – Moving from WTF? to FTW!

Thanks to Tim Brunelle at Hello Viking, I had an opportunity to listen to David Armano speak at a Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association event. The title of the presentation was “The Future of Advertising WTF?” Below is my commentary.

Hey corporate america, we in social media have some things to share. If you are going to play in digital space, we need you to understand that the key is providing value to your consumers through function.  Start thinking about how you can pull your clients together to be a resource for one another. How can you engage your customers? The signs are everywhere telling us there is a new model that mass marketing hasn’t adopted yet. There are issues in advertising that are preventing agencies from working the way they should.

What are the cracks in the media model?

  1. Assembly line thinking – In this model, there are repeatable processes in place. The problem are the cracks in the machines. Using social media as a marketing tool heavily depends on finding a niche. The agency machine was built around communications to the masses
  2. Silos – As long as I have worked in Corporate America this has been an ongoing conversation that says “We need to breakdown silos.” Silos in organizations are occur because so many departments are created and no one is talking to one another. The result is that collaboration doesn’t happen, meetings do
  3. Large Scale Production – This is the old model that says “Appeal to the masses”. a 1-way flow of marketing information to the masses. In todays economy, most are not sure if it is right, but at the end of the day, money needs to be made so companies fall back on “business as usual. The question organizations need to ask is whether or not they are using the right production model. There is a fear of moving forward because there is no consistent historical data to prove what works and what doesn’t in social media.

Change is happening. “Craig is the new David and Goliath is in trouble” Craigslist has changed the mix. There is nothing sexy about how they look or behave. Why should consumers pay traditional publications like the New York Times or StarTribune, when they can do the same thing in a functional tool like Craigslist?

So what is the new reality?

  • The new copywriters and art directors now have competition and it is everyone.
  • When people are the message it is more real because they are passionate about issues and that shines through
  • They are moving from passive consumption to active participation
  • We have different mindsets
  • Customer service sucks, Twitter works

Have you ever spent 30 minutes responding to someone online? That is COMPLETE ENGAGEMENT and corporations should be moving in that direction. Imagine the power and impact brands can have if they do it right. Would you rather have thousands of fully engaged users? Or millions of users who are not? So, according to David, “The future of advertising is BEHAVIOR and companies need to embrace it.  Surprise customers by adding value, not cramming messages down their throat. That is the key to moving from WTF to FTW


  1. The “What” in WTF is the fact that the old advertising agency model is broken.
  2. The FTW means it is time to start embracing a new model and taking risks to do things differently

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