Mastering social media is all about who LEADS!

Having been continuously inundated for the last few years with social media how to books, articles, the five steps to the ten steps of social media greatness and so on, I am now at the point of saying enough already, STOP!

Under such duress my brain has been crying out for a way to crystallize a simplified explanation of the core requirements and sequence required to assist people and businesses to master social media in a straight forward, meaningful and practical manner.

And so recently the LEADS social media concept was born and simply stated, it is an acronym for Listen, Engage, Activate, Dominate and Social mandate or just LEADS for short.

In May at our first #TheSocialCMO1 meeting in Memphis, The Social CMO Crew agreed to come together and write our first The Social CMO book and the LEADS concept forms a key part of the structure as described below.


The key to initiating successful personal and/or business social media activity is listening. What are the key listening strategies individuals and businesses can utilize? What types of methods and tools can be employed effectively for various monitoring approaches and budget scenarios? Creation and coordination of the joint effort to complete the LISTEN component of the Social CMO book will be handled by chapter captain @TreyPennington


Once the art of listening is mastered, it’s time to ENGAGE those who matter most to you and your organization through social media. What are the compelling and important reasons for establishing engagement? Extending engagement to advanced levels and approaches for dealing with engagement issues. The ENGAGEMENT chapter will be driven by co-captains @EricFletcher and Chris Herbert @B2Bspecialist


Moving from engagement to activation is where the rubber meets the road with social media. Why are you using social media if not to activate the desired response? What is meant by activation and how do you connect social media with actions in the real world? Co-captains @Ryan Sauers and @Renee3 Warren will guide the development and delivery of ACTIVATE.


When it comes to being a dominator in your topic or market through social media leadership, don’t discount the power of being first. And if you’re going to dominate you need a plan and then must follow through with execution excellence. And of course it is important to remain humble when you’re a dominator and tactics also exist for markets already heavily dominated by others. And @MarkWSchaefer along with @JeremyVictor will co-captain DOMINATE.


So where can social media lead us? Could social media be the cure for apathy? Whether you call it Cause Marketing or something else, opportunities exist to make your marketing budget dollars matter. Where do the worlds of politics and Social Media meet? What does your brand stand for? SOCIAL MANDATE will address these questions and more lead by co-captains @DebWeinstein and @AnneDGallaher

Closing out the first book by The Social CMO Crew will be SMORGASBORD a chapter captained by myself ( @JeffAshcroft ) and formed by gathering a collection of material on key topics such as Brand Marketing, Crisis Management, Social Media in the B2C marketplace, B2B Social Media Marketing from A to Z, Social Media in PR & Advertising and last but not least Social CRM .

But just before we set out to complete the challenging journey of creation laid out above we want your input, participation and contribution. More than 400 thousand people follow the members of The Social CMO Crew and we want your opinion on our proposed Table of Contents. Is there a topic or topics we’ve forgotten, do you have other suggestions that will help us make The Social CMO book the best that it can be? Over the next two weeks, please review the Table of Contents and respond to reflect the true power and difference social media can make to any project or endeavour.


Jeff Ashcroft


4 thoughts on “Mastering social media is all about who LEADS!

  1. Great initiative.. have a one, huge caveat though:

    Social Media Domination? really?

    If there is one thing I’ve learned it is that only the Customer (actually crowds of Customers) can dominate through Social Media..

    Striving to dominate a topic on Social Media is an oxymoron.. The social web is built on user generated content.. A company can never beat the hundreds of millions of items created each day, nor should they want to, not even on a specific topic..

    Humility starts with humble goals and promises. If the book is promising Social Media domination, it is holding on to old thinking.. and you know the saying: old organization/thinking + new technology = very expensive old organization

    Or do I interpret the word “domination” wrongly? Love to hear your arguments for it..

    Thx.. Wim

  2. Hello Wim,

    Thanks for your comment and feedback it is very much appreciated!

    We have purposely not used the terminology you stated “Social Media Domination” as that is not our intention. No book, person or other entity can/should ever promise social media domination and that is not the goal here or how this section should be interpreted.

    And of course there is absolutely no intention stated or inferred in our discussion or plans for the book to “dominate” the Customer as that would be absurd.

    The usage of dominate in this case is more attuned to a natural process of increased influence based on the mastery earned through a demonstration of leadership.

    Think of dominate in a similar light to the saying “Success is a journey not a destination” and that is what this section intends. The term used is Dominate not Domination and meant more to be a state of mind rather than a defined end point.

    There will be many dominators in any given space with a constant ebb and flow as they rise and fall from this evolutionary swamp we call social media.

    Your point highlights the reason for our original inclusion of the humility statement on the importance of remaining humble even as a dominator.

    But your comment also highlights the need for us to even further stress the interpretation laid out above in the opening of this chapter to ensure we capture the true hunger and desire for excellence of a prime athlete, but one who performs without arrogance seeking to dominate their sport in a context of true sportsmanship.

    Thanks you for your valuable input!




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