Social by Design

July 27, 2009 § Leave a comment


With each emerging social media platform, too many businesses rush to have a presence without first designing how this platform fits into the totality of the brand’s online social experience. We’re left with a patchwork of “brand streams” that lack a guiding purpose and fail to offer anything of value. Perhaps it’s time we approach social media not as media at all, but as a design problem.  David Armano’s recent piece for the Harvard Business blog solidly makes this point and is well worth reading. Here’s a killer quote from the piece:

The current state of “social media” for many businesses looks more like an episode of MacGyver than Apple’s design process. Duct tape and bubble gum hold together fragile tactics such as Twitter accounts run by the summer college intern (nothing against college interns) or agency-generated Facebook fan pages that have few actual fans.

Armano calls for a design approach to social business, one that looks to improve the way we collaborate and communicate both internally and externally (a philosophy he’s now pioneering at dachis):

It may be time to approach social business by design. This means moving beyond our current definition of “social media” as a PR tool and thinking of it as something that can evolve the way we work, communicate, interact and collaborate at a core business level. If your organization has a Twitter account with someone practicing “transparent communications” while your entire ecosystem is siloed, then your existing system may be in need of a re-design.


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