No longer young and sexy, POST Methodology just works

Way back in 2007,shortly after Ignite Social Media launched, our friends at Forrester Research were busy creating a new acronym for the best way to develop a social media marketing strategy. Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li, as part of their excellent book Groundswell, introduced POST as a new methodology.

jaiku logoI remember the time well. In late 2007 and for about two years after, a new tool was coming out seemingly weekly. We had Twitter competitors like Plurk and Jaiku (no). We were wondering if MySpace could hold off Facebook (no). Dossy came out with Twitter Karma so we could see who unfollowed us (woo!).

It was a time when about 40% of our day could be spent learning new tools and imagining how to use them for our clients. In other words, most of us were being pulled into considering technology and tactics as a huge part of our day.

In the midst of this wonderfully energizing chaos, Forrester Research had the wisdom to say,

“You’re doing it wrong. This is social media marketing. People have to choose to play along with us, and you’re doing it wrong.”

They introduced POST.


This put into much better words (or really, one word) what we’d been trying to tell our clients from the beginning. It’s not what can we do that matters in social media. It’s what should we do.

POST forces you to look at the people first. Only if you really understand your target audience as three dimensional people, and only if you carefully consider how your business objectives align with how those people think and behave, can you create strategies that will work in social media marketing. And only after you have those strategies should you be looking to specific tactics and specific technologies to carry out those strategies.

In the 8 years since, nearly everything has changed in social media marketing. Facebook created brand pages, then decimated their social lift. MySpace did (pretty much) go away. Twitter grew to 300M active users and got stuck there. Google’s made 8 or 10 different attempts at social media, including the aforementioned Jaiku, and only YouTube has thrived.

Virtually every tactic we use for our clients is different than it would have been just a few years ago. But one thing hasn’t changed at Ignite Social Media since 2007. We still use POST. For every strategy we build, we come back to that Forrester-created acronym and make sure we’re doing it right. People > Objectives > Strategies > Tactics/Technology.

Give it a try. You’ll end up with better outcomes in your social media marketing.

Ignite Social Media