The 36th Thesis

Just as Martin Luther’s 95 Theses posted on October 31, 1517 on the church door at Wittenberg were not a comprehensive statement of his theology, the 35 Social Media Theses posted on the wall of SMUG 492 years later also were just a beginning of the discussion. So here for your reaction is the 36th thesis, which I’ve been trying out in some recent presentations:

If your organization can’t find a way to constructively use free tools that enable deep, two-way communication with anyone, anywhere, anytime, your real problem is lack of imagination.

If someone gave you free and unlimited long-distance calling, or the ability to send letters through the mail without paying postage, would you not find ways to take advantage of those opportunities?

Of course, with social media tools you don’t just get to send your messages for free: you also get to hear from key stakeholders, whether they be customers, prospects, employees or the community.

Maybe you’re doing fine without these tools, and you’re feeling really happy with how your organization is performing (although I doubt it, given the overall state of the economy.)

If you’re comfortable with the status quo, you can be confident of one thing: you’re too confident. If you don’t use these powerful communication tools, a competitor will. And it may not even be someone you consider a competitor today. After all, Blockbuster didn’t see Netflix coming.

So if you can’t think of a way to effectively use social media in your organization, or if the barriers to adoption seem too high, you need to think harder. Or, in the words of the famous Apple slogan:

Which is, after all, what the first 35 Social Media Theses were all about. You don’t need to be an Einstein. Just think like MacGyver.