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Backwards Thinking

by Randall Craig on June 22, 2011

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Management, Recruitment, Social Media

Tagged as: , , ,

How often do you crack open the instruction manual for the new TV, car, or piece of software? If you’re like most, the answer is never. Reading through an endless list of functions is both irrelevant, and incredibly dull. In other words, a colossal waste of time.

Why then, when it comes to social media “strategic plans”, the focus is too often on what each social media venue offers, instead of how social media fits into the processes and plans that currently exist?  In too many cases, social media is a solution in search of a problem.

Instead, a social media strategy should flip this equation around and think “backwards”: social media needs to make real world processes more efficient, more engaging, and less costly.  How can social media help the recruiting process? How can it be used for better lead generation and prospecting? How can it be used for more focused (and faster) product development? And so on.

This Week’s Action Plan: Consider the processes that you participate in. Instead of first thinking of the social media venue, can you use “backwards thinking” to improve the process itself using social media concepts?  When we take the emphasis off the tool, and emphasize the business, Backwards Thinking is really Fast Forward.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)





Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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