Becoming A Social Business Is Your Next Big Challenge
Becoming A Social Business Is Your Next Big Challenge
by

You’re going to hear more and more people in the social media space start using the term “social business” in the coming months. It will likely replace “community building” as the corporate catch phrase of the moment. Trend setters in the industry like Charlene Li, Jeremiah Owyang, Peter Kim and random other former Forrester Research employees now cashing in are already tossing it around. It puts a prettier wrapping paper on the larger payoff for what social media thinkers do.

Social BusinessWhat the term implies, at least from my perspective, is that the business in question, or what they’re trying to sell you, is one that is not driven by products or services. A social business is one that has products and services but prioritizes connecting with people, and facilitating connections between people, in an environment that is conducive to the company’s success. This is not to say they can’t have a sales goal or be bottom-line oriented, but that creating a compelling buying environment is just as, if not more important, than creating a compelling sales pitch.

I’ll give you an example of a traditional business that has naturally become social businesses, perhaps without even knowing it.

Chick-Fil-A used to be mall chicken. Founded in the mid-1960s, its first free-standing restaurant didn’t open until 1986. As they evolved into a more traditional fast food restaurant chain, they knew that mall chicken in a stand-alone building wouldn’t stand out on it’s own. Besides, taking on KFC isn’t real smart business.

But Chick-Fil-A prioritized customer service and did little things to build an environment conducive to driving store traffic and, thus, sales. Almost all Chick-Fil-A buildings are constructed with indoor play areas for children. WiFi has been added to many locations to ensure the parents can flip open the laptop at the table while junior plays in the jungle gym. Employees routinely pass through and refill your drinks or even clear your table of trash as if you were dining in a more formal establishment.

What this has done, in many Chick-Fil-A locations, is create a place for the desperate housewives to gather and nosh on weekday afternoons. The children can go away, while being within arm’s reach, someone is constantly waiting on them for drink refills and they can chit-chat or plug in to their heart’s content. It gets better on the weekends as the moms and dads find the environment a nice semi-break from chasing the rug rats.

All of these qualities have helped Chick-Fil-A continue a 16-year trend of double-digit growth. In that span of time, mind you, the chicken hasn’t changed. It’s not about the food. It’s about the social environment created that is conducive to buying the food.

The challenge we face as social media for business evolves into developing social ecosystems around business is to find those elements that make our environment conducive to success. If you have a location, make visiting your location a social event. Why do you think many bookstores now have coffee shops built in? If you’re a meeting place as well as a place to buy things, people will frequent your location for reasons other than buying stuff. But that makes your location a more likely place to buy when they decide to.

But a social business isn’t just one which fans the flames of external social connections. It’s also one that creates a similar environment internally. How popular is your company’s cafeteria? How much of that popularity has to do with the food? Probably not much. It probably has to do more with the company you keep while you’re eating there.

Incorporating social media into your business doesn’t always mean you need to turn to software or the Internet. Sometimes you just have to tear down the cubicle walls that stand between your employees. Employee lounges or commons areas that are used for informal meetings make a business more social as well.

To help you find ways to make your business more social, find answers to these questions and you’ll start to see the shape taking hold:

  1. Is there something I can do about our location to make it fun or interesting for people to just hang out there?
  2. Can I provide something for my customers than they can share with their friends?
  3. Are there people in my business that are natural conversationalists and social butterflies? Can I put them in constant contact with our customers?
  4. Am I standing in the way of letting my employees enjoy each other’s company? What can I do to put them together in interesting and fun environments?

Those are my thoughts. What are yours? What can businesses, large and small, do to become more social? The comments are yours.

IMAGE: Copyright Zsolt Nyulaszi from Shutterstock.com. Used with permission.

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About the Author

Jason Falls
Jason Falls is the founder of Social Media Explorer and one of the most notable and outspoken voices in the social media marketing industry. He is a noted marketing keynote speaker, author of two books and unapologetic bourbon aficionado. He can also be found at JasonFalls.com.
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  • Sure do. Thanks for chiming in.

  • Very nice ideas Jason. Something social doesn't take much time to spread arround. But if you use internet it will help alot don't you think.

  • Sure do. Thanks for chiming in.

  • Sure do. Thanks for chiming in.

  • Very nice ideas Jason. Something social doesn't take much time to spread arround. But if you use internet it will help alot don't you think.

  • Very nice ideas Jason. Something social doesn't take much time to spread arround. But if you use internet it will help alot don't you think.

  • Very nice ideas Jason. Something social doesn't take much time to spread arround. But if you use internet it will help alot don't you think.

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  • winter123

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    We are professional brand shoes, Gucci Handbags, Gucci Shoes and satisfied customers always come first. We have huge quantity of Gucci Purses, Gucci Belts, Gucci Loafers and Gucci Sneakers for sale! You can find the exact gucci whether Gucci Men's Shoes or Gucci Women's Shoes you want at a price that's right for you.Moreover,we have the best quality Louis Vuitton Shoes on sale including Men's Shoes,

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  • Thanks for the quick reply Jason.

    While trying to find exceptions, I got thinking on the lines of scale/size.
    I am wondering if there's a minimum size below which you don't get much(ROI) out of social business and can in fact turn harmful..Just thinking..

  • Thanks for the quick reply Jason.

    While trying to find exceptions, I got thinking on the lines of scale/size.
    I am wondering if there's a minimum size below which you don't get much(ROI) out of social business and can in fact turn harmful..Just thinking..

  • Thanks for the quick reply Jason.

    While trying to find exceptions, I got thinking on the lines of scale/size.
    I am wondering if there's a minimum size below which you don't get much(ROI) out of social business and can in fact turn harmful..Just thinking..

  • Good question. I think there can always be elements of social businesses in every business. I think B2B is the area with the biggest challenge, but providing your customers or potential customers with valuable insight and access or building internal social structures than enable your employees to collaborate for the company benefit make you a social business, too. There might be an example out there than would be an exception, but I'm having a hard time finding it. Thanks for the thought provoking question!

  • Good question. I think there can always be elements of social businesses in every business. I think B2B is the area with the biggest challenge, but providing your customers or potential customers with valuable insight and access or building internal social structures than enable your employees to collaborate for the company benefit make you a social business, too. There might be an example out there than would be an exception, but I'm having a hard time finding it. Thanks for the thought provoking question!

  • Good question. I think there can always be elements of social businesses in every business. I think B2B is the area with the biggest challenge, but providing your customers or potential customers with valuable insight and access or building internal social structures than enable your employees to collaborate for the company benefit make you a social business, too. There might be an example out there than would be an exception, but I'm having a hard time finding it. Thanks for the thought provoking question!

  • Thanks for the comment, Alexis.

  • Thanks for the comment, Alexis.

  • Thanks for the comment, Alexis.

  • I think you nailed it. Thanks for the summary.

  • I think you nailed it. Thanks for the summary.

  • I think you nailed it. Thanks for the summary.

  • Well said, James. Thanks for the comment.

  • Well said, James. Thanks for the comment.

  • Well said, James. Thanks for the comment.

  • Couldn't agree more, Vanessa. Thank you for that and for the link.

  • Couldn't agree more, Vanessa. Thank you for that and for the link.

  • Couldn't agree more, Vanessa. Thank you for that and for the link.

  • Interesting analogy, Larna. I'm going to stew on that one a bit. Thanks for the fodder.

  • Interesting analogy, Larna. I'm going to stew on that one a bit. Thanks for the fodder.

  • Interesting analogy, Larna. I'm going to stew on that one a bit. Thanks for the fodder.

  • Thanks Bill. Appreciate the perspective. And you're tapping into something that is critical in building social businesses: building them internally as well. Good for you!

  • Thanks Bill. Appreciate the perspective. And you're tapping into something that is critical in building social businesses: building them internally as well. Good for you!

  • Thanks Bill. Appreciate the perspective. And you're tapping into something that is critical in building social businesses: building them internally as well. Good for you!

  • Thanks Justin, and sorry for the lapse in response. I think companies like Zappos and Chick-Fil-A look beyond the numbers and realize they want to embrace the social benefit (building trust and social capital with consumers) that accompanies such action. It's not a strategy, per say, but rather an inherent value in their organization. Truett Cathy (Chick-Fil-A) was apparently just a great guy who treated people well. He wanted his restaurant to do the same. It's not a measure of success. It's not something that is reported. It's a given.

  • Thanks Justin, and sorry for the lapse in response. I think companies like Zappos and Chick-Fil-A look beyond the numbers and realize they want to embrace the social benefit (building trust and social capital with consumers) that accompanies such action. It's not a strategy, per say, but rather an inherent value in their organization. Truett Cathy (Chick-Fil-A) was apparently just a great guy who treated people well. He wanted his restaurant to do the same. It's not a measure of success. It's not something that is reported. It's a given.

  • Thanks Justin, and sorry for the lapse in response. I think companies like Zappos and Chick-Fil-A look beyond the numbers and realize they want to embrace the social benefit (building trust and social capital with consumers) that accompanies such action. It's not a strategy, per say, but rather an inherent value in their organization. Truett Cathy (Chick-Fil-A) was apparently just a great guy who treated people well. He wanted his restaurant to do the same. It's not a measure of success. It's not something that is reported. It's a given.

  • Very nicely put Jason. I particularly like the idea of extending the scope beyond software/internet.

    Question: Will every business do well as a social business or there are some exceptions?

  • Very nicely put Jason. I particularly like the idea of extending the scope beyond software/internet.

    Question: Will every business do well as a social business or there are some exceptions?

  • Very nicely put Jason. I particularly like the idea of extending the scope beyond software/internet.

    Question: Will every business do well as a social business or there are some exceptions?

  • Very nicely put Jason. I particularly like the idea of extending the scope beyond software/internet.

    Question: Will every business do well as a social business or there are some exceptions?

    • Good question. I think there can always be elements of social businesses in every business. I think B2B is the area with the biggest challenge, but providing your customers or potential customers with valuable insight and access or building internal social structures than enable your employees to collaborate for the company benefit make you a social business, too. There might be an example out there than would be an exception, but I'm having a hard time finding it. Thanks for the thought provoking question!

      • Thanks for the quick reply Jason.

        While trying to find exceptions, I got thinking on the lines of scale/size.
        I am wondering if there's a minimum size below which you don't get much(ROI) out of social business and can in fact turn harmful..Just thinking..

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  • Excellent… I really enjoyed your insights and examples. :)

  • Excellent… I really enjoyed your insights and examples. :)

  • AlexisCeule

    Excellent… I really enjoyed your insights and examples. :)

  • AlexisCeule

    Excellent… I really enjoyed your insights and examples. :)

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  • Nice insight, Jason. I guess it all boils down to two things:

    1. Getting past the Industrial Revolution mentality that customers are faceless, nameless numbers. They're complex messy humans with needs. And…

    2. Asking what do my humans need? Then providing it.

    Thanks for all the thought provoking posts.

  • Nice insight, Jason. I guess it all boils down to two things:

    1. Getting past the Industrial Revolution mentality that customers are faceless, nameless numbers. They're complex messy humans with needs. And…

    2. Asking what do my humans need? Then providing it.

    Thanks for all the thought provoking posts.

  • Nice insight, Jason. I guess it all boils down to two things:

    1. Getting past the Industrial Revolution mentality that customers are faceless, nameless numbers. They're complex messy humans with needs. And…

    2. Asking what do my humans need? Then providing it.

    Thanks for all the thought provoking posts.

  • Nice insight, Jason. I guess it all boils down to two things:

    1. Getting past the Industrial Revolution mentality that customers are faceless, nameless numbers. They're complex messy humans with needs. And…

    2. Asking what do my humans need? Then providing it.

    Thanks for all the thought provoking posts.

    • I think you nailed it. Thanks for the summary.

  • Great article. It really simplifies what social media marketing is and always has been. I've always personally been attracted to businesses that could treat their customers right. It's interesting to see how businesses are all trying to figure out and embrace what “social media marketing” is, acting like it's a new phenomenon and not knowing how to approach it when, really, it's just being a more interactive business, within and without.

  • Great article. It really simplifies what social media marketing is and always has been. I've always personally been attracted to businesses that could treat their customers right. It's interesting to see how businesses are all trying to figure out and embrace what “social media marketing” is, acting like it's a new phenomenon and not knowing how to approach it when, really, it's just being a more interactive business, within and without.

  • Great article. It really simplifies what social media marketing is and always has been. I've always personally been attracted to businesses that could treat their customers right. It's interesting to see how businesses are all trying to figure out and embrace what “social media marketing” is, acting like it's a new phenomenon and not knowing how to approach it when, really, it's just being a more interactive business, within and without.

  • Great article. It really simplifies what social media marketing is and always has been. I've always personally been attracted to businesses that could treat their customers right. It's interesting to see how businesses are all trying to figure out and embrace what “social media marketing” is, acting like it's a new phenomenon and not knowing how to approach it when, really, it's just being a more interactive business, within and without.

    • Well said, James. Thanks for the comment.

  • Charlene Li replied to a comment I left on her blog yesterday via email. Hopefully I'll be interviewing her next week for my book and looking at other collaborative activities with her group for crowdsourcing research.

  • Charlene Li replied to a comment I left on her blog yesterday via email. Hopefully I'll be interviewing her next week for my book and looking at other collaborative activities with her group for crowdsourcing research.

  • Charlene Li replied to a comment I left on her blog yesterday via email. Hopefully I'll be interviewing her next week for my book and looking at other collaborative activities with her group for crowdsourcing research.

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  • Great post and this all goes back to what I call “Getting Back to the Basics.” People act like social media is this mysterious tool that they MUST figure out so that they can generate more business. The truth is that it is really just common sense to connect with your customers and serve their needs. Remember that book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarted?” That applies to social media too! Check out the post here http://besociallysmart.wordpress.com/

  • Great post and this all goes back to what I call “Getting Back to the Basics.” People act like social media is this mysterious tool that they MUST figure out so that they can generate more business. The truth is that it is really just common sense to connect with your customers and serve their needs. Remember that book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarted?” That applies to social media too! Check out the post here http://besociallysmart.wordpress.com/

  • Great post and this all goes back to what I call “Getting Back to the Basics.” People act like social media is this mysterious tool that they MUST figure out so that they can generate more business. The truth is that it is really just common sense to connect with your customers and serve their needs. Remember that book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarted?” That applies to social media too! Check out the post here http://besociallysmart.wordpress.com/

  • Great post and this all goes back to what I call “Getting Back to the Basics.” People act like social media is this mysterious tool that they MUST figure out so that they can generate more business. The truth is that it is really just common sense to connect with your customers and serve their needs. Remember that book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarted?” That applies to social media too! Check out the post here http://besociallysmart.wordpress.com/

    • Couldn't agree more, Vanessa. Thank you for that and for the link.

  • There is an age old 'social business' that has worked for years and is now being used as a model for all business who want to become more social in line with the social media explosion…. that is the direct sales profession…… for years women have been socializing while they shop and learn to do new things whether it be cooking, makeup etc etc…… now traditional business is following their model…. and its working.

  • There is an age old 'social business' that has worked for years and is now being used as a model for all business who want to become more social in line with the social media explosion…. that is the direct sales profession…… for years women have been socializing while they shop and learn to do new things whether it be cooking, makeup etc etc…… now traditional business is following their model…. and its working.

  • LarnaPittiglio

    There is an age old 'social business' that has worked for years and is now being used as a model for all business who want to become more social in line with the social media explosion…. that is the direct sales profession…… for years women have been socializing while they shop and learn to do new things whether it be cooking, makeup etc etc…… now traditional business is following their model…. and its working.

  • LarnaPittiglio

    There is an age old 'social business' that has worked for years and is now being used as a model for all business who want to become more social in line with the social media explosion…. that is the direct sales profession…… for years women have been socializing while they shop and learn to do new things whether it be cooking, makeup etc etc…… now traditional business is following their model…. and its working.

    • Interesting analogy, Larna. I'm going to stew on that one a bit. Thanks for the fodder.

  • bill_free

    Great post, Jason. Right on the money. I speak as a very satisfied customer of my local Chik-Fil-A, and as an internal communicator working to create an internal environment that fosters social connectedness. It's a journey not without obstacles. Some are mundane, like a property manager that seriously restricts what can be done with space in our building. More challenging is remolding our culture to recognize and support “social business” as a driver of creativity, innovation and employee/customer satisfaction.

  • bill_free

    Great post, Jason. Right on the money. I speak as a very satisfied customer of my local Chik-Fil-A, and as an internal communicator working to create an internal environment that fosters social connectedness. It's a journey not without obstacles. Some are mundane, like a property manager that seriously restricts what can be done with space in our building. More challenging is remolding our culture to recognize and support “social business” as a driver of creativity, innovation and employee/customer satisfaction.

  • bill_free

    Great post, Jason. Right on the money. I speak as a very satisfied customer of my local Chik-Fil-A, and as an internal communicator working to create an internal environment that fosters social connectedness. It's a journey not without obstacles. Some are mundane, like a property manager that seriously restricts what can be done with space in our building. More challenging is remolding our culture to recognize and support “social business” as a driver of creativity, innovation and employee/customer satisfaction.

  • bill_free

    Great post, Jason. Right on the money. I speak as a very satisfied customer of my local Chik-Fil-A, and as an internal communicator working to create an internal environment that fosters social connectedness. It's a journey not without obstacles. Some are mundane, like a property manager that seriously restricts what can be done with space in our building. More challenging is remolding our culture to recognize and support “social business” as a driver of creativity, innovation and employee/customer satisfaction.

    • Thanks Bill. Appreciate the perspective. And you're tapping into something that is critical in building social businesses: building them internally as well. Good for you!

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  • StoresOnline1

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  • StoresOnline1

    Hey all! the information which is given is written well and easy to understand all the terms so this is very informative and innovative one,keep up post cont and stay tune with us.Thanks a lot for the innovative post.:)

  • StoresOnline1

    Hey all! the information which is given is written well and easy to understand all the terms so this is very informative and innovative one,keep up post cont and stay tune with us.Thanks a lot for the innovative post.:)

  • Hey yup! I like this blog and its very creative,so its one of the best informative site,Marketers need to stop trying to sell me and start trying ways to help me buy.I'll make right decision what to do……..Thanks for the informative post.

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  • Hey yup! I like this blog and its very creative,so its one of the best informative site,Marketers need to stop trying to sell me and start trying ways to help me buy.I'll make right decision what to do……..Thanks for the informative post.

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  • Lots of great points from you, Jason, and in the comments. A few interesting notes:

    1) I have been hearing a lot of Chick-Fil-A stories lately, most centering around something fun the company is doing to engage with customers or make people's dining experiences memorable — and that's saying a lot when you're a fast food joint. Chick-Fil-A is obviously allowing its employees to have fun, which is leading to positive WOM about the brand. Sounds simple, but few companies have grasped this idea that you did such a nice job of describing in your post.

    2) Greg mentioned Zappos. In everything I've read about Big Z, they basically decided to emphasize customer service and let that shape the company culture, how they deal with people and their advertising (mostly WOM). This brings up an idea I've been tossing around a lot lately — Can companies use social media to change their culture? If a brand that has struggled with customer service or brand perception turns its focus to people, will everything else fall into place? It may not be that simple, but it seems corporate leaders often make culture change too complicated and social media can be a great place to start.

    3) Think the emphasis on people you highlighted throughout the post is right on. People who participate in social networks aren't “nerds in pajamas” as Shel Holtz often mentions. If anything, we seek personal connections often times more than those who label social media and emerging technologies as antisocial behaviors. Why else do we continue to see people use social media as a way to set up meetings “in real life?”

    4) I hear your story about Chick-Fil-A or read about Zappos and say these companies embody social business and they truly “get it.” But a large number of the corporate leaders we have to convince to be social still want “the magic number.” Does a company like Chick-Fil-A have a magic statistical correlation between its success and being social? Or is it a matter of us educating by highlighting the correlation between the Chick-Fil-A's, Southwests and Zappos of the world and their positive sales? Need to take it a step further?

    Appreciate your perspectives. Cheers.

    Justin

  • Lots of great points from you, Jason, and in the comments. A few interesting notes:

    1) I have been hearing a lot of Chick-Fil-A stories lately, most centering around something fun the company is doing to engage with customers or make people's dining experiences memorable — and that's saying a lot when you're a fast food joint. Chick-Fil-A is obviously allowing its employees to have fun, which is leading to positive WOM about the brand. Sounds simple, but few companies have grasped this idea that you did such a nice job of describing in your post.

    2) Greg mentioned Zappos. In everything I've read about Big Z, they basically decided to emphasize customer service and let that shape the company culture, how they deal with people and their advertising (mostly WOM). This brings up an idea I've been tossing around a lot lately — Can companies use social media to change their culture? If a brand that has struggled with customer service or brand perception turns its focus to people, will everything else fall into place? It may not be that simple, but it seems corporate leaders often make culture change too complicated and social media can be a great place to start.

    3) Think the emphasis on people you highlighted throughout the post is right on. People who participate in social networks aren't “nerds in pajamas” as Shel Holtz often mentions. If anything, we seek personal connections often times more than those who label social media and emerging technologies as antisocial behaviors. Why else do we continue to see people use social media as a way to set up meetings “in real life?”

    4) I hear your story about Chick-Fil-A or read about Zappos and say these companies embody social business and they truly “get it.” But a large number of the corporate leaders we have to convince to be social still want “the magic number.” Does a company like Chick-Fil-A have a magic statistical correlation between its success and being social? Or is it a matter of us educating by highlighting the correlation between the Chick-Fil-A's, Southwests and Zappos of the world and their positive sales? Need to take it a step further?

    Appreciate your perspectives. Cheers.

    Justin

  • Lots of great points from you, Jason, and in the comments. A few interesting notes:

    1) I have been hearing a lot of Chick-Fil-A stories lately, most centering around something fun the company is doing to engage with customers or make people's dining experiences memorable — and that's saying a lot when you're a fast food joint. Chick-Fil-A is obviously allowing its employees to have fun, which is leading to positive WOM about the brand. Sounds simple, but few companies have grasped this idea that you did such a nice job of describing in your post.

    2) Greg mentioned Zappos. In everything I've read about Big Z, they basically decided to emphasize customer service and let that shape the company culture, how they deal with people and their advertising (mostly WOM). This brings up an idea I've been tossing around a lot lately — Can companies use social media to change their culture? If a brand that has struggled with customer service or brand perception turns its focus to people, will everything else fall into place? It may not be that simple, but it seems corporate leaders often make culture change too complicated and social media can be a great place to start.

    3) Think the emphasis on people you highlighted throughout the post is right on. People who participate in social networks aren't “nerds in pajamas” as Shel Holtz often mentions. If anything, we seek personal connections often times more than those who label social media and emerging technologies as antisocial behaviors. Why else do we continue to see people use social media as a way to set up meetings “in real life?”

    4) I hear your story about Chick-Fil-A or read about Zappos and say these companies embody social business and they truly “get it.” But a large number of the corporate leaders we have to convince to be social still want “the magic number.” Does a company like Chick-Fil-A have a magic statistical correlation between its success and being social? Or is it a matter of us educating by highlighting the correlation between the Chick-Fil-A's, Southwests and Zappos of the world and their positive sales? Need to take it a step further?

    Appreciate your perspectives. Cheers.

    Justin

  • Lots of great points from you, Jason, and in the comments. A few interesting notes:

    1) I have been hearing a lot of Chick-Fil-A stories lately, most centering around something fun the company is doing to engage with customers or make people's dining experiences memorable — and that's saying a lot when you're a fast food joint. Chick-Fil-A is obviously allowing its employees to have fun, which is leading to positive WOM about the brand. Sounds simple, but few companies have grasped this idea that you did such a nice job of describing in your post.

    2) Greg mentioned Zappos. In everything I've read about Big Z, they basically decided to emphasize customer service and let that shape the company culture, how they deal with people and their advertising (mostly WOM). This brings up an idea I've been tossing around a lot lately — Can companies use social media to change their culture? If a brand that has struggled with customer service or brand perception turns its focus to people, will everything else fall into place? It may not be that simple, but it seems corporate leaders often make culture change too complicated and social media can be a great place to start.

    3) Think the emphasis on people you highlighted throughout the post is right on. People who participate in social networks aren't “nerds in pajamas” as Shel Holtz often mentions. If anything, we seek personal connections often times more than those who label social media and emerging technologies as antisocial behaviors. Why else do we continue to see people use social media as a way to set up meetings “in real life?”

    4) I hear your story about Chick-Fil-A or read about Zappos and say these companies embody social business and they truly “get it.” But a large number of the corporate leaders we have to convince to be social still want “the magic number.” Does a company like Chick-Fil-A have a magic statistical correlation between its success and being social? Or is it a matter of us educating by highlighting the correlation between the Chick-Fil-A's, Southwests and Zappos of the world and their positive sales? Need to take it a step further?

    Appreciate your perspectives. Cheers.

    Justin

  • Lots of great points from you, Jason, and in the comments. A few interesting notes:

    1) I have been hearing a lot of Chick-Fil-A stories lately, most centering around something fun the company is doing to engage with customers or make people's dining experiences memorable — and that's saying a lot when you're a fast food joint. Chick-Fil-A is obviously allowing its employees to have fun, which is leading to positive WOM about the brand. Sounds simple, but few companies have grasped this idea that you did such a nice job of describing in your post.

    2) Greg mentioned Zappos. In everything I've read about Big Z, they basically decided to emphasize customer service and let that shape the company culture, how they deal with people and their advertising (mostly WOM). This brings up an idea I've been tossing around a lot lately — Can companies use social media to change their culture? If a brand that has struggled with customer service or brand perception turns its focus to people, will everything else fall into place? It may not be that simple, but it seems corporate leaders often make culture change too complicated and social media can be a great place to start.

    3) Think the emphasis on people you highlighted throughout the post is right on. People who participate in social networks aren't “nerds in pajamas” as Shel Holtz often mentions. If anything, we seek personal connections often times more than those who label social media and emerging technologies as antisocial behaviors. Why else do we continue to see people use social media as a way to set up meetings “in real life?”

    4) I hear your story about Chick-Fil-A or read about Zappos and say these companies embody social business and they truly “get it.” But a large number of the corporate leaders we have to convince to be social still want “the magic number.” Does a company like Chick-Fil-A have a magic statistical correlation between its success and being social? Or is it a matter of us educating by highlighting the correlation between the Chick-Fil-A's, Southwests and Zappos of the world and their positive sales? Need to take it a step further?

    Appreciate your perspectives. Cheers.

    Justin

  • Lots of great points from you, Jason, and in the comments. A few interesting notes:

    1) I have been hearing a lot of Chick-Fil-A stories lately, most centering around something fun the company is doing to engage with customers or make people's dining experiences memorable — and that's saying a lot when you're a fast food joint. Chick-Fil-A is obviously allowing its employees to have fun, which is leading to positive WOM about the brand. Sounds simple, but few companies have grasped this idea that you did such a nice job of describing in your post.

    2) Greg mentioned Zappos. In everything I've read about Big Z, they basically decided to emphasize customer service and let that shape the company culture, how they deal with people and their advertising (mostly WOM). This brings up an idea I've been tossing around a lot lately — Can companies use social media to change their culture? If a brand that has struggled with customer service or brand perception turns its focus to people, will everything else fall into place? It may not be that simple, but it seems corporate leaders often make culture change too complicated and social media can be a great place to start.

    3) Think the emphasis on people you highlighted throughout the post is right on. People who participate in social networks aren't “nerds in pajamas” as Shel Holtz often mentions. If anything, we seek personal connections often times more than those who label social media and emerging technologies as antisocial behaviors. Why else do we continue to see people use social media as a way to set up meetings “in real life?”

    4) I hear your story about Chick-Fil-A or read about Zappos and say these companies embody social business and they truly “get it.” But a large number of the corporate leaders we have to convince to be social still want “the magic number.” Does a company like Chick-Fil-A have a magic statistical correlation between its success and being social? Or is it a matter of us educating by highlighting the correlation between the Chick-Fil-A's, Southwests and Zappos of the world and their positive sales? Need to take it a step further?

    Appreciate your perspectives. Cheers.

    Justin

  • Lots of great points from you, Jason, and in the comments. A few interesting notes:

    1) I have been hearing a lot of Chick-Fil-A stories lately, most centering around something fun the company is doing to engage with customers or make people's dining experiences memorable — and that's saying a lot when you're a fast food joint. Chick-Fil-A is obviously allowing its employees to have fun, which is leading to positive WOM about the brand. Sounds simple, but few companies have grasped this idea that you did such a nice job of describing in your post.

    2) Greg mentioned Zappos. In everything I've read about Big Z, they basically decided to emphasize customer service and let that shape the company culture, how they deal with people and their advertising (mostly WOM). This brings up an idea I've been tossing around a lot lately — Can companies use social media to change their culture? If a brand that has struggled with customer service or brand perception turns its focus to people, will everything else fall into place? It may not be that simple, but it seems corporate leaders often make culture change too complicated and social media can be a great place to start.

    3) Think the emphasis on people you highlighted throughout the post is right on. People who participate in social networks aren't “nerds in pajamas” as Shel Holtz often mentions. If anything, we seek personal connections often times more than those who label social media and emerging technologies as antisocial behaviors. Why else do we continue to see people use social media as a way to set up meetings “in real life?”

    4) I hear your story about Chick-Fil-A or read about Zappos and say these companies embody social business and they truly “get it.” But a large number of the corporate leaders we have to convince to be social still want “the magic number.” Does a company like Chick-Fil-A have a magic statistical correlation between its success and being social? Or is it a matter of us educating by highlighting the correlation between the Chick-Fil-A's, Southwests and Zappos of the world and their positive sales? Need to take it a step further?

    Appreciate your perspectives. Cheers.

    Justin

  • Lots of great points from you, Jason, and in the comments. A few interesting notes:

    1) I have been hearing a lot of Chick-Fil-A stories lately, most centering around something fun the company is doing to engage with customers or make people's dining experiences memorable — and that's saying a lot when you're a fast food joint. Chick-Fil-A is obviously allowing its employees to have fun, which is leading to positive WOM about the brand. Sounds simple, but few companies have grasped this idea that you did such a nice job of describing in your post.

    2) Greg mentioned Zappos. In everything I've read about Big Z, they basically decided to emphasize customer service and let that shape the company culture, how they deal with people and their advertising (mostly WOM). This brings up an idea I've been tossing around a lot lately — Can companies use social media to change their culture? If a brand that has struggled with customer service or brand perception turns its focus to people, will everything else fall into place? It may not be that simple, but it seems corporate leaders often make culture change too complicated and social media can be a great place to start.

    3) Think the emphasis on people you highlighted throughout the post is right on. People who participate in social networks aren't “nerds in pajamas” as Shel Holtz often mentions. If anything, we seek personal connections often times more than those who label social media and emerging technologies as antisocial behaviors. Why else do we continue to see people use social media as a way to set up meetings “in real life?”

    4) I hear your story about Chick-Fil-A or read about Zappos and say these companies embody social business and they truly “get it.” But a large number of the corporate leaders we have to convince to be social still want “the magic number.” Does a company like Chick-Fil-A have a magic statistical correlation between its success and being social? Or is it a matter of us educating by highlighting the correlation between the Chick-Fil-A's, Southwests and Zappos of the world and their positive sales? Need to take it a step further?

    Appreciate your perspectives. Cheers.

    Justin

    • Thanks Justin, and sorry for the lapse in response. I think companies like Zappos and Chick-Fil-A look beyond the numbers and realize they want to embrace the social benefit (building trust and social capital with consumers) that accompanies such action. It's not a strategy, per say, but rather an inherent value in their organization. Truett Cathy (Chick-Fil-A) was apparently just a great guy who treated people well. He wanted his restaurant to do the same. It's not a measure of success. It's not something that is reported. It's a given.

  • Thanks, Seth. Social media is about communications for me, not tools. Tools are part of it, but only a small part. Appreciate the recognition.

  • Thanks, Seth. Social media is about communications for me, not tools. Tools are part of it, but only a small part. Appreciate the recognition.

  • Thanks, Seth. Social media is about communications for me, not tools. Tools are part of it, but only a small part. Appreciate the recognition.

  • Thanks Andrew. Hopefully someone can help you find the EMI folks.

  • Thanks Andrew. Hopefully someone can help you find the EMI folks.

  • Thanks Andrew. Hopefully someone can help you find the EMI folks.

  • One of my favorite quotes ever is from Chris Heuer, who once said something along the lines of, “Marketers need to stop trying to sell me and start trying ways to help me buy.” That'll do it.

  • One of my favorite quotes ever is from Chris Heuer, who once said something along the lines of, “Marketers need to stop trying to sell me and start trying ways to help me buy.” That'll do it.

  • One of my favorite quotes ever is from Chris Heuer, who once said something along the lines of, “Marketers need to stop trying to sell me and start trying ways to help me buy.” That'll do it.

  • Well said. Thanks for the comment!

  • Well said. Thanks for the comment!

  • Well said. Thanks for the comment!

  • Oh yeah. I'm pretty sure they're moving away from mall locations, but I don't know that for certain. Great places, especially for parents … and kids.

  • Oh yeah. I'm pretty sure they're moving away from mall locations, but I don't know that for certain. Great places, especially for parents … and kids.

  • Oh yeah. I'm pretty sure they're moving away from mall locations, but I don't know that for certain. Great places, especially for parents … and kids.

  • Not quite sure what you mean, but capturing the internal and sharing with external audiences … via blogs, collaboration sites/software, etc. … might work?

  • Not quite sure what you mean, but capturing the internal and sharing with external audiences … via blogs, collaboration sites/software, etc. … might work?

  • Not quite sure what you mean, but capturing the internal and sharing with external audiences … via blogs, collaboration sites/software, etc. … might work?

  • Although social media tools get all the attention, I always find it refreshing when someone remembers that people are really at the center of the social media phenomenon.

    Jason hits the point dead on with the definition of “social business” as one that “prioritizes connecting with people, and facilitating connections between people.” There's no assumption of digital tools or marketing discipline, just a definition that centers on people. From there, marketers can focus on the strategies that achieve their objectives, whether it be store design and placement for Chick-Fil-A or a Twitter-based help desk for Best Buy.

  • Although social media tools get all the attention, I always find it refreshing when someone remembers that people are really at the center of the social media phenomenon.

    Jason hits the point dead on with the definition of “social business” as one that “prioritizes connecting with people, and facilitating connections between people.” There's no assumption of digital tools or marketing discipline, just a definition that centers on people. From there, marketers can focus on the strategies that achieve their objectives, whether it be store design and placement for Chick-Fil-A or a Twitter-based help desk for Best Buy.

  • Although social media tools get all the attention, I always find it refreshing when someone remembers that people are really at the center of the social media phenomenon.

    Jason hits the point dead on with the definition of “social business” as one that “prioritizes connecting with people, and facilitating connections between people.” There's no assumption of digital tools or marketing discipline, just a definition that centers on people. From there, marketers can focus on the strategies that achieve their objectives, whether it be store design and placement for Chick-Fil-A or a Twitter-based help desk for Best Buy.

  • SethOrNone

    Although social media tools get all the attention, I always find it refreshing when someone remembers that people are really at the center of the social media phenomenon.

    Jason hits the point dead on with the definition of “social business” as one that “prioritizes connecting with people, and facilitating connections between people.” There's no assumption of digital tools or marketing discipline, just a definition that centers on people. From there, marketers can focus on the strategies that achieve their objectives, whether it be store design and placement for Chick-Fil-A or a Twitter-based help desk for Best Buy.

    • Thanks, Seth. Social media is about communications for me, not tools. Tools are part of it, but only a small part. Appreciate the recognition.

  • About a decade ago I was part of strategic planning team given permission to design the next retail business for the coming ten years for what was once Thorn EMI in their retail division. One of the things we heavily researched was making the business very talkworthy through creative brand positioning and integrating into the reality of how people shopped for their home furnishings.

    We researched reactions to having play centers for men who statistically did not enjoy shopping for home furnishings and preferred electronic purchases. Qualitative and quantitative data came back highly supportive of combining an adult coffee center that included gaming stations, sports magazines and news channels on TV that was near the kids play center. Despite sounding immature and stereotypical it represented that consumers welcomed having a business that offered social solutions that addressed shopping the way the target audience wanted to potentially enjoy the experience.

    On another note, if you have more information on their work I would be interested in making contact with the group. I am presently writing a book for Pearson on social media monetization from a marketing perspective. One of the premises of the book is overlaying social media on top of mainstream marketing principles. If their position fits the flow of the book I would be interested in potentially quoting them, especially in the last chapter where I look at future trends. Please contact me at andrew@solsolutions.ca

  • About a decade ago I was part of strategic planning team given permission to design the next retail business for the coming ten years for what was once Thorn EMI in their retail division. One of the things we heavily researched was making the business very talkworthy through creative brand positioning and integrating into the reality of how people shopped for their home furnishings.

    We researched reactions to having play centers for men who statistically did not enjoy shopping for home furnishings and preferred electronic purchases. Qualitative and quantitative data came back highly supportive of combining an adult coffee center that included gaming stations, sports magazines and news channels on TV that was near the kids play center. Despite sounding immature and stereotypical it represented that consumers welcomed having a business that offered social solutions that addressed shopping the way the target audience wanted to potentially enjoy the experience.

    On another note, if you have more information on their work I would be interested in making contact with the group. I am presently writing a book for Pearson on social media monetization from a marketing perspective. One of the premises of the book is overlaying social media on top of mainstream marketing principles. If their position fits the flow of the book I would be interested in potentially quoting them, especially in the last chapter where I look at future trends. Please contact me at andrew@solsolutions.ca

  • About a decade ago I was part of strategic planning team given permission to design the next retail business for the coming ten years for what was once Thorn EMI in their retail division. One of the things we heavily researched was making the business very talkworthy through creative brand positioning and integrating into the reality of how people shopped for their home furnishings.

    We researched reactions to having play centers for men who statistically did not enjoy shopping for home furnishings and preferred electronic purchases. Qualitative and quantitative data came back highly supportive of combining an adult coffee center that included gaming stations, sports magazines and news channels on TV that was near the kids play center. Despite sounding immature and stereotypical it represented that consumers welcomed having a business that offered social solutions that addressed shopping the way the target audience wanted to potentially enjoy the experience.

    On another note, if you have more information on their work I would be interested in making contact with the group. I am presently writing a book for Pearson on social media monetization from a marketing perspective. One of the premises of the book is overlaying social media on top of mainstream marketing principles. If their position fits the flow of the book I would be interested in potentially quoting them, especially in the last chapter where I look at future trends. Please contact me at andrew@solsolutions.ca

  • About a decade ago I was part of strategic planning team given permission to design the next retail business for the coming ten years for what was once Thorn EMI in their retail division. One of the things we heavily researched was making the business very talkworthy through creative brand positioning and integrating into the reality of how people shopped for their home furnishings.

    We researched reactions to having play centers for men who statistically did not enjoy shopping for home furnishings and preferred electronic purchases. Qualitative and quantitative data came back highly supportive of combining an adult coffee center that included gaming stations, sports magazines and news channels on TV that was near the kids play center.

    If you have more information on their work I would be interested in making contact with the group. I am presently writing a book for Pearson on social media monetization from a marketing perspective. One of the premises of the book is overlaying social media on top of mainstream marketing principles. If their position fits the flow of the book I would be interested in potentially quoting them, especially in the last chapter where I look at future trends. Please contact me at andrew@solsolutions.ca

    • Thanks Andrew. Hopefully someone can help you find the EMI folks.

      • Charlene Li replied to a comment I left on her blog yesterday via email. Hopefully I'll be interviewing her next week for my book and looking at other collaborative activities with her group for crowdsourcing research.

  • Well said! That is a critical point and one that needs to be made over and over again by social media/social business evangelists. Turning the board room from a sales-focused viewpoint to a relationship driven one is our new challenge. Well said, indeed.

  • Well said! That is a critical point and one that needs to be made over and over again by social media/social business evangelists. Turning the board room from a sales-focused viewpoint to a relationship driven one is our new challenge. Well said, indeed.

  • Well said! That is a critical point and one that needs to be made over and over again by social media/social business evangelists. Turning the board room from a sales-focused viewpoint to a relationship driven one is our new challenge. Well said, indeed.

  • Greg D

    Beyond being a “social business”, I, like most people, admire companies that have a strong product and reinforce that with customer service and an internal culture that matches. I see Zappos as a great example company – built on a pillar of “customer service”. I'm not affiliated with Zappos in any fashion, but I can tell you that my wife has become a huge fan due to their no-nonsense return policy. Imagine making it easy for “customers” to buy your product…

  • Greg D

    Beyond being a “social business”, I, like most people, admire companies that have a strong product and reinforce that with customer service and an internal culture that matches. I see Zappos as a great example company – built on a pillar of “customer service”. I'm not affiliated with Zappos in any fashion, but I can tell you that my wife has become a huge fan due to their no-nonsense return policy. Imagine making it easy for “customers” to buy your product…

  • Greg D

    Beyond being a “social business”, I, like most people, admire companies that have a strong product and reinforce that with customer service and an internal culture that matches. I see Zappos as a great example company – built on a pillar of “customer service”. I'm not affiliated with Zappos in any fashion, but I can tell you that my wife has become a huge fan due to their no-nonsense return policy. Imagine making it easy for “customers” to buy your product…

  • Greg D

    Beyond being a “social business”, I, like most people, admire companies that have a strong product and reinforce that with customer service and an internal culture that matches. I see Zappos as a great example company – built on a pillar of “customer service”. I'm not affiliated with Zappos in any fashion, but I can tell you that my wife has become a huge fan due to their no-nonsense return policy. Imagine making it easy for “customers” to buy your product…

    • One of my favorite quotes ever is from Chris Heuer, who once said something along the lines of, “Marketers need to stop trying to sell me and start trying ways to help me buy.” That'll do it.

  • I'm on the “social business” train as well, where brands stand to become just that by practicing a holistic blend of experiential and social marketing. Every touchpoint of a brand must be prepared, or present the opportunity, for a conversation. Indeed, the steering terms of “guidelines”, “response”, and “impression” should be less weighted in the business mix. The audience is not limited to folks in seats watching the show, but expands every day to encompass all extensions of a brand, physical and virtual, human and media.

  • I'm on the “social business” train as well, where brands stand to become just that by practicing a holistic blend of experiential and social marketing. Every touchpoint of a brand must be prepared, or present the opportunity, for a conversation. Indeed, the steering terms of “guidelines”, “response”, and “impression” should be less weighted in the business mix. The audience is not limited to folks in seats watching the show, but expands every day to encompass all extensions of a brand, physical and virtual, human and media.

  • I'm on the “social business” train as well, where brands stand to become just that by practicing a holistic blend of experiential and social marketing. Every touchpoint of a brand must be prepared, or present the opportunity, for a conversation. Indeed, the steering terms of “guidelines”, “response”, and “impression” should be less weighted in the business mix. The audience is not limited to folks in seats watching the show, but expands every day to encompass all extensions of a brand, physical and virtual, human and media.

  • I'm on the “social business” train as well, where brands stand to become just that by practicing a holistic blend of experiential and social marketing. Every touchpoint of a brand must be prepared, or present the opportunity, for a conversation. Indeed, the steering terms of “guidelines”, “response”, and “impression” should be less weighted in the business mix. The audience is not limited to folks in seats watching the show, but expands every day to encompass all extensions of a brand, physical and virtual, human and media.

  • I had no idea Chick-Fil-A had stand alone stores. The only one I've ever frequented was the one in the Watterson food court at Illinois State University.

    I think it's cool though how they've added social elements like a playground, wi-fi, and improved service. Goes to show how all this social hubbub goes well beyond the online world.

  • I had no idea Chick-Fil-A had stand alone stores. The only one I've ever frequented was the one in the Watterson food court at Illinois State University.

    I think it's cool though how they've added social elements like a playground, wi-fi, and improved service. Goes to show how all this social hubbub goes well beyond the online world.

  • I had no idea Chick-Fil-A had stand alone stores. The only one I've ever frequented was the one in the Watterson food court at Illinois State University.

    I think it's cool though how they've added social elements like a playground, wi-fi, and improved service. Goes to show how all this social hubbub goes well beyond the online world.

  • I had no idea Chick-Fil-A had stand alone stores. The only one I've ever frequented was the one in the Watterson food court at Illinois State University.

    I think it's cool though how they've added social elements like a playground, wi-fi, and improved service. Goes to show how all this social hubbub goes well beyond the online world.

    • Oh yeah. I'm pretty sure they're moving away from mall locations, but I don't know that for certain. Great places, especially for parents … and kids.

  • Than you, Jason. This is a really helpful post. I especially find that creating a social environment as you've described is beneficial to support organizations. I think a lot of knowledge is transferred in these informal conversations.

    I wonder how to best translate that to external knowledge sharing? Any ideas?

  • Than you, Jason. This is a really helpful post. I especially find that creating a social environment as you've described is beneficial to support organizations. I think a lot of knowledge is transferred in these informal conversations.

    I wonder how to best translate that to external knowledge sharing? Any ideas?

  • Than you, Jason. This is a really helpful post. I especially find that creating a social environment as you've described is beneficial to support organizations. I think a lot of knowledge is transferred in these informal conversations.

    I wonder how to best translate that to external knowledge sharing? Any ideas?

  • Than you, Jason. This is a really helpful post. I especially find that creating a social environment as you've described is beneficial to support organizations. I think a lot of knowledge is transferred in these informal conversations.

    I wonder how to best translate that to external knowledge sharing? Any ideas?

    • Not quite sure what you mean, but capturing the internal and sharing with external audiences … via blogs, collaboration sites/software, etc. … might work?

  • gianandreafacchini

    First of all, your post is hitting a crucial point: the definition of a Roi which is not sales based. My take is that if you engaged me today and turn my feeling into a positive one toward, say, a car brand but I have just bought a car, in purely terms of sales you clearly lose your money. But from a wider perspective, if you keep me engaged there is a high chance that my next car will be one of your brand. So Roi purely based on sales could not be the right metric for this kind of activity.

    The second point is that we should consider our workforce as our first customers. A satisfied employee is the best starter for a WOM activity.

  • gianandreafacchini

    First of all, your post is hitting a crucial point: the definition of a Roi which is not sales based. My take is that if you engaged me today and turn my feeling into a positive one toward, say, a car brand but I have just bought a car, in purely terms of sales you clearly lose your money. But from a wider perspective, if you keep me engaged there is a high chance that my next car will be one of your brand. So Roi purely based on sales could not be the right metric for this kind of activity.

    The second point is that we should consider our workforce as our first customers. A satisfied employee is the best starter for a WOM activity.

  • gianandreafacchini

    First of all, your post is hitting a crucial point: the definition of a Roi which is not sales based. My take is that if you engaged me today and turn my feeling into a positive one toward, say, a car brand but I have just bought a car, in purely terms of sales you clearly lose your money. But from a wider perspective, if you keep me engaged there is a high chance that my next car will be one of your brand. So Roi purely based on sales could not be the right metric for this kind of activity.

    The second point is that we should consider our workforce as our first customers. A satisfied employee is the best starter for a WOM activity.

  • gianandreafacchini

    First of all, your post is hitting a crucial point: the definition of a Roi which is not sales based. My take is that if you engaged me today and turn my feeling into a positive one toward, say, a car brand but I have just bought a car, in purely terms of sales you clearly lose your money. But from a wider perspective, if you keep me engaged there is a high chance that my next car will be one of your brand. So Roi purely based on sales could not be the right metric for this kind of activity.

    The second point is that we should consider our workforce as our first customers. A satisfied employee is the best starter for a WOM activity.

    • Well said! That is a critical point and one that needs to be made over and over again by social media/social business evangelists. Turning the board room from a sales-focused viewpoint to a relationship driven one is our new challenge. Well said, indeed.

  • Thanks David. Coming from the Dachis folks, that's a high compliment. Appreciate you stopping by and adding to the discussion.

  • Thanks David. Coming from the Dachis folks, that's a high compliment. Appreciate you stopping by and adding to the discussion.

  • Thanks David. Coming from the Dachis folks, that's a high compliment. Appreciate you stopping by and adding to the discussion.

  • Thank you. I think. Are you a bot or a human?

  • Thank you. I think. Are you a bot or a human?

  • Thank you. I think. Are you a bot or a human?

  • Excellent commentary Azam. Thank you for the insights. You've hit on a key challenge … balancing the top-down vs. bottom-up approaches of influence for this. Walking the fine line between the two … allowing bottom-up to take hold with top-down involvement and approval … THAT will be the turning point for most organizations. Thanks for the comment.

  • Excellent commentary Azam. Thank you for the insights. You've hit on a key challenge … balancing the top-down vs. bottom-up approaches of influence for this. Walking the fine line between the two … allowing bottom-up to take hold with top-down involvement and approval … THAT will be the turning point for most organizations. Thanks for the comment.

  • Excellent commentary Azam. Thank you for the insights. You've hit on a key challenge … balancing the top-down vs. bottom-up approaches of influence for this. Walking the fine line between the two … allowing bottom-up to take hold with top-down involvement and approval … THAT will be the turning point for most organizations. Thanks for the comment.

  • Very well said, Tim. That is what it does. Now getting the CEOs to understand that people are as important … that's what we have to do next.

  • Very well said, Tim. That is what it does. Now getting the CEOs to understand that people are as important … that's what we have to do next.

  • Very well said, Tim. That is what it does. Now getting the CEOs to understand that people are as important … that's what we have to do next.

  • Great post.I commend you for your service to the future bloggers.I think they will appreciate it.Thanks for sharing.Keep it up.

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  • Jason,

    I think you've really done a nice job at deconstructing this in terms that social media practitioners can appreciate. I think this especially nails it.

    “But a social business isn’t just one which fans the flames of external social connections. It’s also one that creates a similar environment internally.”

    There can be no truly transformational social initiatives until change happens from within. This is we hope to achieve with social business design. Adaptation via employee, customer and business partner levels. These three areas define a businesses heartbeat.

  • Jason,

    I think you've really done a nice job at deconstructing this in terms that social media practitioners can appreciate. I think this especially nails it.

    “But a social business isn’t just one which fans the flames of external social connections. It’s also one that creates a similar environment internally.”

    There can be no truly transformational social initiatives until change happens from within. This is we hope to achieve with social business design. Adaptation via employee, customer and business partner levels. These three areas define a businesses heartbeat.

  • Jason,

    I think you've really done a nice job at deconstructing this in terms that social media practitioners can appreciate. I think this especially nails it.

    “But a social business isn’t just one which fans the flames of external social connections. It’s also one that creates a similar environment internally.”

    There can be no truly transformational social initiatives until change happens from within. This is we hope to achieve with social business design. Adaptation via employee, customer and business partner levels. These three areas define a businesses heartbeat.

  • Jason,

    I think you've really done a nice job at deconstructing this in terms that social media practitioners can appreciate. I think this especially nails it.

    “But a social business isn’t just one which fans the flames of external social connections. It’s also one that creates a similar environment internally.”

    There can be no truly transformational social initiatives until change happens from within. This is we hope to achieve with social business design. Adaptation via employee, customer and business partner levels. These three areas define a businesses heartbeat.

    • Thanks David. Coming from the Dachis folks, that's a high compliment. Appreciate you stopping by and adding to the discussion.

  • Very interesting thoughts.I totally agree with timbursch's word.This takes away the hierarchy and walls that the corporation build.And I think companies can be more relational than transactional by using social model.Nice post.Thanks for sharing.

  • Very interesting thoughts.I totally agree with timbursch's word.This takes away the hierarchy and walls that the corporation build.And I think companies can be more relational than transactional by using social model.Nice post.Thanks for sharing.

  • Very interesting thoughts.I totally agree with timbursch's word.This takes away the hierarchy and walls that the corporation build.And I think companies can be more relational than transactional by using social model.Nice post.Thanks for sharing.

  • Very interesting thoughts.I totally agree with timbursch's word.This takes away the hierarchy and walls that the corporation build.And I think companies can be more relational than transactional by using social model.Nice post.Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you. I think. Are you a bot or a human?

  • All this talk about social technologies is really hinting at the phenomenon of businesses becoming social, and social media marketing is leading the way to the social enterprise, where terms like internal microblogging (offered by services such as socialtext) and social crm (buzzstream) become prevalent.

    I find this taking place in our own company where I have people using social media monitoring tools and this 'social crm' to try track down where conversations are taking place. Also various employees themselves either blog or engage in othe forms of communication that can potentially lead to profitability. The question becomes then how can we empower these people while also providing them guidelines on engaging prospects through social media.

    Each industry or organization will have their own rules about social media engagement. The National Football League issued a new social media policy that bars players from posting updates on Twitter or Facebook just before, during and just after games.

    History has shown that when you try to control humans and their communications, violent outbreaks can ensue. Any “communications” which tries to evoke control over human behavior initiates resistance and is detrimental to the ultimate goal of controlling

    Jay Deragon states, “Control can be instituted via persuasion or by the power of influence. The power of influence can be driven either via bottom up or top down. Top down power doesn’t work well because it represents a few trying to control the many. Bottom up power represents the many given the power to influence the few whom think they possess the power.”

    In any case, that is just an implication on a macro scale that we will see emerge. For now, I think we definitely need the top-down support to make our businesses more social, whether its the physical environment in which we dwell or empowering employees to serve as brand ambassadors or evangelizing our existing customers.

  • All this talk about social technologies is really hinting at the phenomenon of businesses becoming social, and social media marketing is leading the way to the social enterprise, where terms like internal microblogging (offered by services such as socialtext) and social crm (buzzstream) become prevalent.

    I find this taking place in our own company where I have people using social media monitoring tools and this 'social crm' to try track down where conversations are taking place. Also various employees themselves either blog or engage in othe forms of communication that can potentially lead to profitability. The question becomes then how can we empower these people while also providing them guidelines on engaging prospects through social media.

    Each industry or organization will have their own rules about social media engagement. The National Football League issued a new social media policy that bars players from posting updates on Twitter or Facebook just before, during and just after games.

    History has shown that when you try to control humans and their communications, violent outbreaks can ensue. Any “communications” which tries to evoke control over human behavior initiates resistance and is detrimental to the ultimate goal of controlling

    Jay Deragon states, “Control can be instituted via persuasion or by the power of influence. The power of influence can be driven either via bottom up or top down. Top down power doesn’t work well because it represents a few trying to control the many. Bottom up power represents the many given the power to influence the few whom think they possess the power.”

    In any case, that is just an implication on a macro scale that we will see emerge. For now, I think we definitely need the top-down support to make our businesses more social, whether its the physical environment in which we dwell or empowering employees to serve as brand ambassadors or evangelizing our existing customers.

  • All this talk about social technologies is really hinting at the phenomenon of businesses becoming social, and social media marketing is leading the way to the social enterprise, where terms like internal microblogging (offered by services such as socialtext) and social crm (buzzstream) become prevalent.

    I find this taking place in our own company where I have people using social media monitoring tools and this 'social crm' to try track down where conversations are taking place. Also various employees themselves either blog or engage in othe forms of communication that can potentially lead to profitability. The question becomes then how can we empower these people while also providing them guidelines on engaging prospects through social media.

    Each industry or organization will have their own rules about social media engagement. The National Football League issued a new social media policy that bars players from posting updates on Twitter or Facebook just before, during and just after games.

    History has shown that when you try to control humans and their communications, violent outbreaks can ensue. Any “communications” which tries to evoke control over human behavior initiates resistance and is detrimental to the ultimate goal of controlling

    Jay Deragon states, “Control can be instituted via persuasion or by the power of influence. The power of influence can be driven either via bottom up or top down. Top down power doesn’t work well because it represents a few trying to control the many. Bottom up power represents the many given the power to influence the few whom think they possess the power.”

    In any case, that is just an implication on a macro scale that we will see emerge. For now, I think we definitely need the top-down support to make our businesses more social, whether its the physical environment in which we dwell or empowering employees to serve as brand ambassadors or evangelizing our existing customers.

  • All this talk about social technologies is really hinting at the phenomenon of businesses becoming social, and social media marketing is leading the way to the social enterprise, where terms like internal microblogging (offered by services such as socialtext) and social crm (buzzstream) become prevalent.

    I find this taking place in our own company where I have people using social media monitoring tools and this 'social crm' to try track down where conversations are taking place. Also various employees themselves either blog or engage in othe forms of communication that can potentially lead to profitability. The question becomes then how can we empower these people while also providing them guidelines on engaging prospects through social media.

    Each industry or organization will have their own rules about social media engagement. The National Football League issued a new social media policy that bars players from posting updates on Twitter or Facebook just before, during and just after games.

    History has shown that when you try to control humans and their communications, violent outbreaks can ensue. Any “communications” which tries to evoke control over human behavior initiates resistance and is detrimental to the ultimate goal of controlling

    Jay Deragon states, “Control can be instituted via persuasion or by the power of influence. The power of influence can be driven either via bottom up or top down. Top down power doesn’t work well because it represents a few trying to control the many. Bottom up power represents the many given the power to influence the few whom think they possess the power.”

    In any case, that is just an implication on a macro scale that we will see emerge. For now, I think we definitely need the top-down support to make our businesses more social, whether its the physical environment in which we dwell or empowering employees to serve as brand ambassadors or evangelizing our existing customers.

    • Excellent commentary Azam. Thank you for the insights. You've hit on a key challenge … balancing the top-down vs. bottom-up approaches of influence for this. Walking the fine line between the two … allowing bottom-up to take hold with top-down involvement and approval … THAT will be the turning point for most organizations. Thanks for the comment.

  • Jason,
    Very interesting thoughts. This takes away the hierarchy and walls that the corporation built. It opens a conversation with all people in and out of the business.

    I think companies can be more relational than transactional using a social model. It puts people at the center not just profits.

  • Jason,
    Very interesting thoughts. This takes away the hierarchy and walls that the corporation built. It opens a conversation with all people in and out of the business.

    I think companies can be more relational than transactional using a social model. It puts people at the center not just profits.

  • Jason,
    Very interesting thoughts. This takes away the hierarchy and walls that the corporation built. It opens a conversation with all people in and out of the business.

    I think companies can be more relational than transactional using a social model. It puts people at the center not just profits.

  • Jason,
    Very interesting thoughts. This takes away the hierarchy and walls that the corporation built. It opens a conversation with all people in and out of the business.

    I think companies can be more relational than transactional using a social model. It puts people at the center not just profits.

    • Very well said, Tim. That is what it does. Now getting the CEOs to understand that people are as important … that's what we have to do next.

  • Mike Whitehouse

    Jason, You interviewed a woman in London about a “people's journalism” project which I think is called Indigo News??

    You didn't give a website or contact info – at least that I could find?

  • Mike Whitehouse

    Jason, You interviewed a woman in London about a “people's journalism” project which I think is called Indigo News??

    You didn't give a website or contact info – at least that I could find?

  • Mike Whitehouse

    Jason, You interviewed a woman in London about a “people's journalism” project which I think is called Indigo News??

    You didn't give a website or contact info – at least that I could find?

  • Mike Whitehouse

    Jason, You interviewed a woman in London about a “people's journalism” project which I think is called Indigo News??

    You didn't give a website or contact info – at least that I could find?

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  • Well said, sir. Very much agreed.

  • Well said, sir. Very much agreed.

  • Well said, sir. Very much agreed.

  • I think a lot of it boils down to a simple forumla: What are we providing + what do our customers REALLY want in connection with what we're providing?

  • I think a lot of it boils down to a simple forumla: What are we providing + what do our customers REALLY want in connection with what we're providing?

  • I think a lot of it boils down to a simple forumla: What are we providing + what do our customers REALLY want in connection with what we're providing?

  • I think a lot of it boils down to a simple forumla: What are we providing + what do our customers REALLY want in connection with what we're providing?