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Book Review of the Week-ish: POST study, Forrester Research

Josh Bernoff, Charlene Li and other fine folks at Forrester have a report on what they call “The POST Method” for social strategy. It’s an excellent report, well worth the read for many folks at larger companies interested in the best way to set social strategy for their firm. Charlene and Josh both have excellent insights into the right way to do social strategy.

For instance, the way that Josh got folks to review this report (and their forthcoming book) illustrates excellent social strategy implementation.

I learned about this report from a link on Josh and Charlene’s blog, encouraging bloggers to tweet Josh if they were interested in a review copy of the report. (Tweets are messages sent via Twitter, for those new to both). He offered the report to the first 100 TWITs. (TWITs are what many folks call the folks using Twitter. Ah, how we love our irony). What impressed me about this method is that Josh sized up his audience first, connected bloggers using social platforms such as blogs, RSS and Twitter. Who better to review a report about social strategy than the folks using social technologies. But, key to both the report and the approach is Josh didn’t start by saying, “I’ll use Twitter.” He started be knowing what mattered to his customers, then using tools that worked for those folks. It might sound obvious, but that’s precisely Josh’s point. Too many companies start with “Let’s use some cool new technology” without thinking first about what value it has to their customers. Your business can use Twitter in a number of ways. But that doesn’t mean you should in all cases. Josh just happened to demonstrate one of them. His colleague Peter Kim listed other uses for Twitter in a recent post, too. But without the right objectives and strategies in place, you won’t see the value you should.

So, should you buy the report? The answer depends on your budget. For many large companies, the cost is low relative to similar reports. For small companies though, I’d recommend waiting for Charlene and Josh’s book. I suspect it will cover everything in the book, plus some and for a much more reasonable price.

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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