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Let's face it: The business world is changing. Rapidly. Although the object of the game is still to drive revenue, the methods have changed. Instead of one-way interaction, business is now being conducted through constant and meaningful two-way conversations between organizations and constituents—at every stage of organizational development.

And that's a good thing.

Not so long ago, the object of the game was to be cutthroat and dictatorial about business, and it helped if you could check your emotions and personality at the door. Deep down, did most of us really buy the old "nothing personal—it's just business" line? Of course not! After all, building a thriving business is all about making lasting, personal, and reliable connections inside and outside of your company.

And these days, there's no better way to do that than through social media—in essence, by building your company's own Social Nation.

As the chairman and CEO of a company that provides social software to businesses, quite literally it's my job to be social-media savvy. Building your own Social Nation is increasingly necessary in the business world.

It's true. Your employees and your customers want to be engaged on a personal level, and not just through a survey or an annual conference. And here's the clincher: If you choose not to engage with these folks, they'll do it without you—and you definitely don't want that.

Thriving Social Nations

Examples of Social Nations are everywhere.

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Barry Libert is author of Social Nation: How to Harness the Power of Social Media to Attract Customers, Motivate Employees, and Grow Your Business (Wiley, 2010). He is chairman and CEO of Mzinga, a leading provider of social software, services, and analytics that improve business performance.