On CMSWire, Web engagement strategist Dion Heathcliff shares what he has learned from successful—and not so successful—social businesses in recent years. The lessons he offers address "what to focus on and what drives improved outcomes when applying social media within a large organization." Read the full article for the meat, but here are a few observations to whet the appetite.

Changing staff behavior is more important—and harder—than selecting social tools. Today's workers multitask over a wide array of tools—too many, actually, Heathcliff says. Your task is to get them to change their habits in a natural and intuitive way. Imposing more tools is the typical approach to doing this, but it's an ineffective shortcut, he argues. Work processes must become more open, shared and transparent in the social business world.

The more control over social you seek, the less you'll have. It is imperative that you design your social outreach for how you want users to behave. Create their paths in ways that take your needs, legal and otherwise, into account from the very beginning of their engagement journey.

Help people help each other. Successful social communities aren't purely self-organizing. They still need leaders and effective support systems (like community management and well-integrated CRM that acknowledges the most pertinent current user needs).

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