Studying the impact of innovation on business and society

Engage was Written to Help You Find Answers in Social Media

I recently hosted a discussion on the need to lessen, not eliminate, the emphasis we place on the social media case studies and “how to” posts that are now universal, as they won’t apply to the specific circumstances or context of our challenges, opportunities, and market dynamics. I believe that we should use them solely for inspiration, but not as templates for our work. The best advice that I or anyone for that matter, can offer, lies in our ability to help you define the questions you must ask and answer yourself.


This is our time to become the very experts in our space that we once sought to answer our own questions. As such, our work should focus on self-empowerment, placing the responsibility of leadership and direction directly on us.

It’s why I wrote Engage! and also, why I am now introducing – a resource that shares the insights that didn’t make the final cut as well as new chapters that continue the education.

This is an investment in “you” and your role in leading the revolution from within. The key to success is context. And I wrote Engage to help you…

1. Redefine what you know and don’t know about social media to reset the foundation for learning and advancement (specific to your world)

2. Determine where to start, focus, grow, and to what extent

3. Collect and package information to win support for pilot programs and campaigns

4. Determine the amount of resources to support programs

5. Identify influential voices within social networks

6. Engage in meaningful and useful ways that deliver value and build both relations and relationships

7. Establish a conversational workflow to scale social media across departments

8. Build communities and inspire advocacy

9. Define useful metrics and measure everything from KPIs to ROI

10. Learn, adapt, and lead…

And that’s just the beginning.


40 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Engage was Written to Help You Find Answers in Social Media”

  1. And well written it was! Thanks Brian for all you contribute to our Social Media For Business community. Cheers

  2. The weight we place on social media studies or howto's in general may be exactly because they are so profuse. They're so profuse because there are thousands of people teaching themselves the same thing.

    “This is our time to become the very experts in our space that we once sought to answer our own questions”


  3. chrisheuer says:

    Brian. This is crazy. I just picked up our copy of engage, and in it you constantly reference what other companies have done with Social Media. You tell stories from BA, Mercedes, Zappos and more. More so, you write prescriptively, instructing people on exactly what you say they should do with different tools. I don't get this approach. Am I missing this, or did I read correctly when someone quoted you on stage saying “we dont need case studies”?

    If you go back to our conversations from 4+ years ago and in the time since, you may recall the emphasis I place on the fact that everything is situational – that we must put it all in context and understand the different variables unique to each situation. While we can not really duplicate the exact steps of another in every case, we can, indeed we must, adapt the lessons learned for our particular need. Indeed, this line of thinking you promote above is very much inline with what I have been telling companies (and you) for many years. But to do so in a way that says throw out case studies is not correct and ill advised, especially given the obvious hypocrisy in the statement when you are out sharing those stories and case studies so often as part of your professional speaking life.

    I love you man, but I gotta disagree with your approach here…

    That said, I also love the fact that you reinterpreted my well known mantra in that other post. As you know very well, I have long said “There is no box” (which was inspired by the kids in The Matrix saying there is no spoon and all those people saying 'think outside the box'). So your more exact explanation here is heart warming Brian: “Sometimes it’s easier to think outside the box, when there isn’t a box to begin with…”

    • briansolis says:

      Chris, you know, I always speak highly of you and your wisdom. To say, “we don't need case studies” is a bit extreme. To place them front and center as the source of our education and experimentation is ill advised and more accurate to the point I was making. In fact, your idea of “there is no box” is at the source of the passion shared in the post…as in my comment to Cathy, we might be saying the same thing. I also added a mention to you in the older post…I believe people should “hear” your passion when you speak about it because it's the message that needs to reverberate.

    • chrisheuer says:

      thank you Brian. given how many sources we all have each day I know how hard it is to attribute everything appropriately, but that is the reason why I strive so hard to credit others, even when I cant remember exactly where I got it from… its key to the “link economy” as Jeff Jarvis would say

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join Our Mailing List

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Stay Connected