Social, more than just connecting dots

Image by Joachim Stroh

Remember social is about connecting the dots so you can see the big picture”, to be honest it is more than that. If it was just connecting the dots, many organizations would have adopted social as the basis for all their activities.

Still there is a small truth in this picture, in the end it is about connecting the dots: making it so simple that people don’t even have to think on what to do, it is obvious. Every kid of the age of 4 can connect the dots, however I have never met a 4 year old kid that was able to make the design for shown on the left side of the image so other individuals are able to connect the dots.

That is why social is not about connecting the dots at first in organizations. Before you can make the dots, you have to make sure you have the design. You have to think on what you want to accomplish, which things should change, how they will be changed. There is no question who will be involved, because in the end everybody will be involved in such a transformation. However what should be thought of, how can enable everybody to connect the dots, since there is hardly a one size fits all approach for everybody to do this.

If a design is made: all dots are in its place, additional features are drawn and the numbers are next to the dot, then you can start connecting. If you start connecting before the design is finished then the elephant in this picture might become a whole different animal, or even worse: an abstract figure which nobody understands. The latter is a typical result of an undesigned social solution, dots everywhere and no bigger picture, just dots and lines, no meaning.

It is not about connecting the dots in the first place, it is about designing the dots and the pattern of it so well that these can be connected and that social is a no brainer and people will start doing it. Design poorly and your dots might just be that: dots without a bigger picture.