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Social Toolkit – Reading the manual


We’ve been in the business of helping organisations adapt to the new market environment brought about by social media and its technologies for some while both as individuals and as collective at 90:10.

Every week we enter into a new discussion with a large organisation about their challenges which often results in some kind of orientation session and us laying out a series of steps to get them on the path of opening up their supply-chain bit-by-bit to the consumer in a way that works well with their business operations. Think of it as a manual revealing how to assemble all the constituent parts and apply the tools, bit-by-bit.

We are incredibly process driven. In fact it’s what we sell; a series of tried-and-tested processes each building upon the other. Most clients hire us specifically because of this methodical approach because it offers them reassurance that what they are building is going to stand the challenging test of day-to-day use, with all of its unpredictability, and last. But it takes time, patience and a lot of detail.

To some in their enthusiasm or anxiety to ‘do social’ this process and its complications seem like overkill. Perhaps everyone else seems to promise them the tactical outcomes, that may or may not come out of our processes, including a strategy in days. Often they decide to try and push ahead without reading the manual. I can understand why. Impatience is, regrettably, a personal trait of mine but through experience I’ve learnt, in the end, it pays to read the manual properly.
Increasingly we have those same people return some months later with an appreciation for the real challenge ahead of them. We don’t take pleasure from this fact. Actually we constantly reassess how we can allow our process to be more flexible and our thinking more pragmatic so they see the value of our particular manual before they start off in the wrong direction.

Whilst we always commend experimentation and recognise there is a value in learning the hard way what not to do. Inevitably the aborted route of rapid self-fulfilment has led to some tears and a lot of wasted time.

Hopefully nothing catastrophic happened along the way – but the feelings about the space are almost certainly soured. So whether with us or another take some time at the beginning to really scrutinise your method.