45-108569400_2854071477_m.jpgI’ve always maintained that you can find everything about marketing and social media in the bible. Why? Because it’s all about human behaviour at the end of the day and the bible is a fantastic documentation of human behaviour whether you agree with it’s conclusion or not!

My ultimate framework for Social is based on ‘Scatter, Gather, Matter’, a three step proces to becoming more and more social by socialising channels (scatter), then content (gather), and then culture (matter). These are the three social strategies that I consider exist today.

What you might not know is that this framework comes from Mark 4, something that I spoke about at The River Church, Exeter earlier this year. You can listen to the podcast episode on iTunes by following this link.


In this podcast I go through the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4, which Jesus tells as an analogy for how the gospel message is spread and also received. Scattering is the act of spreading your message without discrimination. Some seed will be eaten up, some won’t take root, and other seed will be chocked by thorns, but some seed will take root and grow, and the point is that it is dangerous to custom pick which seed you sow in which location because you don’t know what will prosper.

Most people when it comes to spreading a message like to carefully plant their seeds. They narrowly define who they want and focus on a very small number of people (normally people just like them) but expecting their message to get mass attention. It’s like fishing with a fishing rod, carefully planning which fish you want and how you want them, but then expecting to pull in a boat load.

We’ve all had times when the ones we thought who would come through for us didn’t, and the ones we didn’t expect did. In fact, this isn’t just some of the time, it’s all of the time. We have to continually readjust our expectations.


Seed becomes wheat that needs to be harvested else it will dry up, and this the act of gathering. When, out of the seed that you’ve scattered, some begins to participate back with you and bare fruit, you have to draw it to yourself.

The key here very much is to participate at the level to which you are being participated with. This is where volume becomes value. The volume play is in scattering the seed, in not limiting who follows you, in posting your content in various places, in putting your marketing where people are, in getting your organisations message slogan to become a mantra that everyone shares. The value play is then participating with those who participate with you – gathering.

The trick of gathering is that you don’t draw them to you as much as you respond to their first step towards you. You must provide a place for people to gather.

Gathering means you know who you have, and provides a way for you to increase your relationship with those people. In church we have many “gathering points” and these serve to increase the involvement of someone in church and increase their spiritual life.


What do you do with the harvest? What happens with the seed that is planted in the ground? A harvest feeds people and a tree bear fruits that feeds poeple.

The whole aim of this is tied up in mattering to people, because people matter. It’s not enough to say “add value”, we must matter to people by helping them matter for others. This is the two folds of the point – mattering to people, in order for them to matter to others. Thus the crux of this third and final stage is empowerment.

I had a very valuable conversation with Catherine White and others over the weekend about social media campaigns. It appears the end of many is just awareness. They would get far more long term return if instead they focussed on empowerment. What use is an aware person if they do not build upon that awareness and become empowered? Then, they can help themselves and help others.

Listen to this

Again, You can listen to the podcast episode for FREE on iTunes by following this link.

Your Leading Thoughts

  • How can you apply the Scatter, Gather, Matter framework to your projects?

Photo courtesy of Pandiyan

Archived Comments

  • http://www.sytaylor.net sytaylor

    You’re a people person. That sets you apart.

    Love the new blog design btw.

  • / Scott Gould