Six Steps Towards Social Business Transformation

By November 15, 2012
OfflinePhoto of Christine Gondos

After reading Mark Fidelman's new book, 'Socialized! How the Most Successful Businesses Harness the Power of SociaI', I thought I would touch on his six steps toward social business transformation.

"Like it or not, the world is changing how we do business," asserts Forbes writer Mark Fidelman.  "Gone are the days of traditional command-and-control management, where top executives can successfully reside within their corporate castles, hoarding valuable information from customers and fellow employees and dictating change." 

Businesses like Netflix are learning this lesson the hard way.  The company received eighty thousand negative comments on its blogs, Twitter, and Facebook page in response to an executive decision to divide its offerings in two.  Within months, the company had lost eight hundred thousand customers and two-thirds of its market value.

Despite the stinging sense of urgency that their businesses must adopt a true social business model if they are to remain relevant, sustainable and profitable, most businesses simply don't know how to go about it.  According to Fidelman, a small but growing number of organizations have made the requisite changes to tap into the collective wisdom of its employees and external communities.   

Based on interviews with more than 150 social business leaders and influencers, as well as his personal experience leading social business transformation, he has written Socialized! How the Most Successful Businesses Harness the Power of Social, a business playbook with detailed strategies for capturing capture the full power of social inside the organization and out. "In social business, the first play is to win over your staff, your management, and your decision makers and mesh them together into a team, equipped with a single view of customers and productions.  Your next play can be to win over your partners; and then the plays can be about winning over your audience and key influencers."

To spearhead social business transformation, Fidelman strongly recommends bringing a Chief Social Officer (CSO) on board.  This person is responsible for creating the social business vision and strategy and ensuring that the proper team members and resources are in place to execute on it. The CSO is also responsible for socializing the strategy with key executive stakeholders so that the organization is in alignment.  The CSO focuses on 5 key areas:


  • The digital village (internal social networks): people responsible for building and maintaining collaboration and social technologies using technologies such as Igloo software, to make it easy to capture, store, and share organizational intelligence.
  • The digital network (external social networks): people responsible for engaging customers, prospects, and partners on external social networks, blogs, and other social media.
  • Community managers: people responsible for nurturing and developing the digital communities by engaging in them with helpful content and answers.
  • Analyticals: data jocks responsible for making sense of the social data created internally and externally in order to draw insights for the organization.
  • Content producers. Unless everyone on the social team possesses all of the qualities of expert content designer, extraordinary writer and Hollywood video producer, you'll need a team to create quality content for them.


Shout out to Mark Fidelman on his new book, Socialized! How the Most Successful Businesses Harness the Power of Social . I am still reading it now  and it offers wonderful insights into how and why organizations are wanting to become a social business.


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