Skip to content

Stages of Social Media Integration

Anytime someone provides a list of steps to achieve complex tasks, my reaction is to turn and run. Lists are generally only useful for the people who make them. Situations and contexts change rapidly. What works now in one organization will likely not work in the future in another organization. But, complexity, ambiguity, and uncertainty are difficult to manage. So we turn to little techniques and ploys that provide us with a pseudo-sense of what’s really happening. Consider this article: The 10 Stages of Social Media Integration in Business. This is exactly how not to implement social media…at least if you’re looking for the transformative impact the author cites early in the article. If you make lists for managing social media, you’ve misunderstood social media.


  1. Jay Cross wrote:

    George, I respectfully disagree with your assessment of Brian Solis’s Ten Steps. I’ve talked with Brian; he’s an astute web authority. However, he’s a PR guy.

    His post has a misleading title. His ten steps aren’t about transforming the organization; they are a translation of how to implement public relations campaigns with social media.

    Friday, January 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Permalink
  2. gsiemens wrote:

    Hi Jay – thanks for the comment (and disagreement). I’ve seen – as have you, I’m sure – too many attempts to simplify and reduce complex implementations to simple steps. I generally enjoy Brian’s blog…this post just touched a nerve.

    Friday, January 22, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Permalink
  3. Doug Belshaw wrote:

    It’s difficult, isn’t it? It’s a bit like integrating technology in schools. You want things to be organic, bottom-up, grassroots – yet you know that without Senior Leadership buy-in and, to some extent, the stick they provide, nothing’s going to happen.

    I think there is some value in 10 step-like posts. But mainly for leaders rather than rank-and-file, to be honest. It’s all about context

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 6:56 am | Permalink
  4. ChrisVW wrote:

    I recognize that you’ve noted that the post touched a nerve for you, but lists like this shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand.

    It’s easy to say that the list maker, by believing that a complex topic can be reduced to a level of simplicity, may misunderstand social media. But lists like this can play a role in learning for those who are novices in a topic area by offering some degree of initial information, for example, or even suggesting further knowledge that needs to be sought.

    The real issue, from a novice’s perspective, is that one list alone isn’t enough – you really need a list of lists!

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 11:12 am | Permalink