POST is Forrester’s terrific new model for step-by-step strategy development using social media tools. With the ever-growing list of new media tools available for the for- and nonprofit organizations to use, picking the best tool for the project becomes a big issue.
Last Friday, my colleagues and I put on a training event for nonprofits on using social media. As part of the day’s workshop, participants split into small groups and were provided with a scenario about a nonprofit facing a certain dilemma and prompted to create a strategy that involved social media tools. Nearly all of the groups in the jumped right in to discussing tools available and consequently how they might use them. This lead to a lot of circular conversations and frustrated, not to mention overwhelmed, participants. With direction from the group leaders, though, the planning was quickly back on track.
Forrester’s POST approach, keeps you on track by making sure you don’t jump to the icing of the cake before you have decided what you are even baking.
In the POST process, you have four steps including: People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology. Addressing the issue of People means looking first at who the audience before doing anything else.
After you are confident about who you are reaching and some of their online characteristics, you can move on to Objectives. This is where you really think about what you are trying to do. Think small. Saving the world is on everyone’s list, but probably not quite as doable as provide event participants with collaboration and conversation access.
With your audience and goals in check, start thinking about the Strategy. Strategy doesn’t mean the social media tools, though, don’t rush! In this part, you want to focus on what the technology tools will change for you and your audience. How will things be after you have implemented the tools?
Okay, now you can pick the most applicable technology tools to use. It will be easier to see the right tools from the plethora that exists because you are looking through a specific lens that has the audience, goal and strategy layers. You will now be able to also have a more constructive view of why some and not some other options.
I wish that I would have had handouts of the POST method for our event for participants! Conversations and planning could have been much more focused. I am confident that in the future, the POST method will be able to help organizations across the spectrum fine tune their social media strategies and help get more direction to the new technology integration.
The POST process is a terrific way to help nonprofits and for-profits in their media decision making. Forrester, and specifically Josh Bernoff, has done terrific work on this. You should head over to Forrester’s website or to their blog to learn more about POST and the great work happening at Forrester.
POST will be featured in Forrester’s book Groundswell. The book is on pre-order now to be available in April. You can place a pre-order now if you are interested.