As we strive to maintain impressive brand personas in the world of social media, unforeseen challenges can arise—from the inside out. It pays to bear in mind that things invisible to the outside world—"the anarchy, conflict, confusion, lack of communication and organizational silos" behind your firewall, as Michael Brito puts it—can manifest externally and make social brand-building far more difficult and less effective than predicted.

Fortunately, Brito has written a manifesto on the three internal "pillars" of social media readiness (illustrated here) that best equip companies for social interaction and brand building. They are:

People. Break down your internal silos and get your teams collaborating. If your employees lack open channels of communication among themselves, they certainly won't be able to form a front line to face the outside world.

Governance. Create processes for managing chaos behind the firewall; social media training, guidelines and policies are crucial. Make sure your social media training is offered consistently across your organization. Doing so won't just protect you on the outside; it will also help make your employees feel more empowered.

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