On Saturday, Umair Haque published the ‘Sun Tzu’ rules for the networked world. It is an important list. I am sure people who need to defend themselves against networked attacks will study the rules closely.
I wondered, if the rules could also tell us something about social media strategy in non-crisis situations.
So I’ve re-written the rules for normal engagement.
What do you think?
The rules are in very straightforward language – I hope. I say this to alert you that in each rule is a critical point that must not be lost. In the first, for example, the issue is speed. If you can reach every one faster by sending out runners, then do that. Don’t use social media for the sake of seeming modern!
Sun Tzu rules for the networked world
1 Who and where are our fans? How quickly can we reach our most remote “fan”? Could we reach them faster through Facebook, Twitter or any other social media channel?
2 What is the smallest chunk of information that makes sense? Can we break up our information into sensible small chunks preferably less 140 characters of a text message?
3 How can we send one message about what is happening and why it is important to the fans?
4 How can we break up our communication into cells so that if anyone part goes down, other parts are unaffected?
(Test: is there any one break that would crash the whole communication system?)
5 Can our fans quickly access resources and tools for them to respond to any meaningful scenario without referring back to us?
6 How do we monitor trending topics and join in relevant conversations?
7 What do we think are the appropriate ways for us to behave online and do we explain to our fans why we choose to behave as we do?
8 How do we help off-line groups and what resources do give them to help them organize themselves?
9 How do our fans remix our resources creatively and which formats help them do this?
10 What confuses our fans and where does confusing information emanate from? How can we counter the confusion at the source?
My first test of the Sun Tzu rules for the networked world
My first attempt to use the rules tells me that startups feel stressed on the first point. Startups understand too well the gap between their actual customers and the customers they desire.
The solution I will try is to help them draw their graph. I am going to write out a scenario for them (write out not just imagine) describing an existing customer or prospect.
- How does the startup contact the startup and how does the customer or prospect talk to other people?
- How does the customer or prospect reply to the startup?
- Should someone hear a good word through word-of-mouth, how would a new prospect ask existing customers about the startup?
- And what would they approach the startup about?
I will keep it concrete to avoid panic. Write, write, write will be my plan because activity relieves anxiety.
Any comment about the rewrite?
Have you been able to use the list? I’d be be interested in your experience.