Best Practices: Five Simple Rules For Social Business


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Early Adopters And Pioneers Have Benefited From Social

Across executive board rooms and even in living rooms, social business is all the rage. In 2010, social crm (SCRM) and Enterprise 2.0 (E20) rose into mainstream conversation. Despite the mindshare and awareness, a majority of business leaders have yet to begin these initiatives. The good news – those organizational leaders who have adopted disruptive technologies in social, have already realized the benefits. Those benefits include:

  • Faster product time to market and customer adoption
  • Reduced marketing spend and increased marketing engagement
  • Reduced incident to resolution times that lead to greater customer retention
  • Greater market influence and brand awareness
  • Improved collaboration across departments and improved knowledge bases

SCRM and E2.0 Evolve Into An Uber Category Of Social Business In 2011

Fast followers have noticed the business benefits and have begun planning for social business initiatives in 2011. Innovative management teams can expect social businesses to bring together the many concepts of social media, social analytics, social media monitoring, social marketing, SCRM, E20, community platforms, and Vendor Relationship Management (VRM). Leaders seeking to understand social business can succeed by following these five simple rules for social business (see Figure 1.):

Figure 1. Five Simple Rules For Social Business

  1.  Trust is the new social currency. Trust drives influence, engagement, and relationships. People and organizations must earn trust through their actions across their relationships. Trust can be expended to gain influence, create engagement, and foster relationships. Trust can be taken away through lack of credibility, bad behaviour, and dishonesty.
  2. Social is a cultural shift. Social is not a fad. The growing preference for engagement through social channels drives new relationship models. Social has moved beyond the tipping point. How social evolves and permeates our lives is the question. Expect a smaller but strident anti-social movement to counter this current trend. Social is here to stay and is one of the five forces of consumer tech entering the enterprise.
  3. Building community is the goal. People and organizations seek a sense of belonging. Communities form around personal ecosystems that transcend geographies, time, and individual status. Communities provide the force multipliers to amplify messages through advocates and detractors. Communities require curation and nurturing for success. Once you have a community, organizations and individual must earn trust to create social currency.
  4. P2P is today’s reality. B2B and B2C are dead. Social business is conducted through Peer-to-peer (P2P) relationships. Attempts to stove pipe individuals into forced-fit, artificial categories, fail because each individual brings multiple roles to the community.
  5. Social business is just good business. While the moniker social will eventually go away, business has always been social. Breakthroughs in technology and cultural adoption drive the social business phenomenon. However, business can not be conducted without relationships. Social business will be omniscient.

The Bottom Line -Embrace Social In 2011 Or Be Left Behind

The train has left. Organizations must put together a social business strategy that meets their business objectives, matches their organizational culture, and provides the right level of technological support. Expect reference architectures for social business to emerge that incorporate design thinking, innovative user experience models, business API’s, and deeper vertical focus. Not all organizations can and will adopt social business. However, those that succeed will leapfrog their competition with a disruptive technology and business model for 2011 and beyond.

Your POV.

Having trouble convincing management its time for Social Business? Looking to build out a Social Business strategy? You can post or send on to rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwaresinsider dot org and we’ll keep your anonymity or better yet, join the community!

Please let us know if you need help with your Social Business efforts. Here’s how we can help:

  • Assessing social business/social CRM readiness
  • Developing your social business/ social CRM strategy
  • Vendor selection
  • Implementation partner selection
  • Connecting with other pioneers
  • Sharing best practices
  • Designing a next gen apps strategy
  • Providing contract negotiations and software licensing support
  • Demystifying software licensing


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Copyright © 2010 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.


  1. Very useful article, Ray.

    As you pointed out, trust is the new currency. I think that when dealing with social this is one of the hardest conceptual obstacles for business leaders to get over, as in practice it can go against some classic business principles, while not necessarily yielding instant results. Meanwhile, trust doesn’t pay for staff wages nor hired office space. However, it does improve customer retention and create waves that drive new business over the mid-term. And, of course, that is something that reaps sustainable economic dividends.

    Short termism never does a business any good, and, thankfully, all good business leaders know this. As you pointed out, there are some already picking up on the benefits of sCRM and will continue to do so. However, as you also pointed out, there are those still waiting in the wings.

    SCRM is still relatively young, conceptually, but even more so practically. Perhaps others are waiting to see for more evidence to mount showcasing the benefits as practical and able to bring in dollars. I’m extremely confident that we’ll get there sooner rather than later, with more case studies to add credence to the excitement.


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