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Seven Principles for Social Success and the Companies Already Getting Them Right

by Barry Libert  |  
April 6, 2011

In this article, you'll learn...

  • Why you should build your own Social Nation
  • Seven key rules to developing a social media strategy at your company

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.

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  • by eleanor Wed Apr 6, 2011 via web

    Good stuff - best rules are #3 & #4. Don't let the need or "social pressure" prevent you from thinking (& re-reading) before hitting that "send" button. Never hesitate to ask others if you are unsure if something is appropriate.

  • by Dhana@Loyaltics Wed Apr 6, 2011 via web

    Good article. Rule (2) is important and that will pave the way for the rest !.

  • by Nick Stamoulis Thu Apr 7, 2011 via web

    I think a lot of companies need to invest more in rule 3. Getting your employees on social networking site is all well and good, but you have to provide perimeters for them to work in. Look at what happened when the Chrysler account accidentally dropped the f-bomb in a Tweet.

  • by Roy Young Fri Apr 8, 2011 via web

    Smart guidance. However, who "owns" social media with this ambitious agenda? Who is responsible for mastering the "rules" and accountable for the impact? Isn't social media adoption and results far beyond the responsibility of the Marketing function if it is expected to be a tool that can harness the power of employees in all functions throughout the organization? Marketing may be an ambassador and even a trainer, but to accomplish the results promised, it seems like social media usage must go far beyond Marketing. If so, what can Marketing do to not only "evangelize" but demonstrate the business case for adoption and widespread use? This may be particularly challenging in organizations with decentralized operations.

  • by Jiri Marousek Wed Apr 27, 2011 via web

    Unfortunately the Ducati example, and many others, are also examples of right intention and a slight shiny object syndrome over solid understanding of social media, digital and how key integration actually is today. Ducati launch of their recent community is a personification of that. Good thought, dated and poor execution. More here:

  • by Jiri Marousek Wed Apr 27, 2011 via web

    By the way a quick comment for Roy Young. You hit it right on the head with who is the owner and driver. The challenge is that social media has been pushed to manage to entry level staff due to the fact that senior marketing leadership frequently just doesn't get it and doesn't understand how to best integrated it into the rest of the marketing and business processes. The change needed is for executive level to understand digital, social as a tool component and even more importantly analytics and monitoring capabilities to best drive and lead how each tool is actually used and integrated.

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