I bought Mark FidelmanSocialized!on Amazon at its full price (no discounts or coupons from Mark) and just finished devouring it. Fidelman delivers a fundamental work that greatly contributes to the heated debate of Social Business development. Fidelman not only shows, but proves how quintessential it is for businesses to harness the power of social. Not only with tools and technologies, but first with their immediate communities aka company workforce. Time is ripe for dismantling the prevailing command-and-control leadership style. The militaristic/hierarchical leadership approach ought to be replaced with Jon Husband’s Wirearchy structure. So why should you read Socialized!? Social Media ROI expert Dr. Natalie Petouhoff: “Fidelman’s ability to simplify key concepts like the Digital Village, Darwin’s Funnel, and the Digital Network, gives the reader a unique and important understanding of the power of Social Business. You’ll be sorry if you don’t read this book before your competitors do.”
Fidelman and his team interviewed business leaders around the globe in order to present to us a state-of-the-art social business road-map. Fidelman lives and breathes what he writes. He is the sort of individual any social minded person ought to connect with; either on Twitter/LinkedIn, and Forbes where he is a regular contributor. Socialized! not only talks the walk but most importantly walks the talk. It is a practical text-book backed up with countless case studies and examples anyone aspiring to become a social leader should be aware of and study
2. Culture, culture and more culture is the foundation to any social business undertakingFidelman emphasizes culture as the 101 prerequisite to any potentially successful Social Business Strategy. Fidelman: “Why after all do we insist on employees following our orders, and why do we call it insubordination if they question them? … Yet the companies that are leading in today’s world recognize the benefit of an empowered workforce that feels connected to the organization. Empowered employees understand not only how to make great products, but more importantly how to create cultures that continue to make great products well into the future.” Socialized!will assist CMOs and CCOs (Chief Cultural/Customer Officers) not only to analyze their existent Social Business state, but provide them with a detailed 10-point Social Business Culture development program.
3. Building first an internal digital village and then an external digital network
Once the infrastructure of a cooperative culture has been established, business leaders will need to handpick the internalevangelists and shepherds (regardless of their rank) who will co-create their internal digital village — the nuts and bolts to any Social Business foundation. CXOs need to remember that becoming a Customer Service or/and Customer-Experience oriented company first requires the emotional support and buy-in of their internalcommunities or “Smart Tribes” (as coined by Christine Comaford in her brand new book). These “Smart Tribes” or internal communities represent the company’s intrinsic power that will transform the traditional working communities into enthusiastic business advocates. After the creation of an apropos culture and the establishment of the right people foundation, the social team will need to select the social media platforms and its supportive collaborative technologies (Intranet/Extranet/SCRM/Social Business Software). This will make sure that the Social Business community sets up the proper internal tools to construct its external digital network.4. The new Social Business PlaybookYoutility author Jay Baer states: “Socialized!is an imminently readable, practical, and modern guide to social business. The playbook section alone is worth the price, and then some. Fidelman has added an important piece to the corporate social transformation puzzle.” Fidelman: “In practice, management should provide the right atmosphere, guidelines, technologies, and opportunities for employees to thrive.” Socialized! delivers a 15-point playbook: here are some of the highlights:
– Building an internal and external community
– Connecting and empowering thought leaders
– Recruiting a Chief Social Strategist or a Chief Cultural/Customer Officer
– Becoming an own media publisher, which makes me think of Michael Brito’s upcoming book: Your Brand.
– Replacing traditional inbound marketing with content marketing
– Leveraging employees, suppliers and partners to foster innovation
– Enhancing customer support to become the strength of your company
– Using Gamification to engage employees, partners and customers
– Creating the potential for serendipitous relationships
This last point is my favorite and reminds me of the romantic comedy “Serendipity” starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. Fidelman himself gives a wonderful example of serendipity with StaffUnity: an automated employee lunch club system provider.
5. The rise of the social employeeFidelman makes the case that, social networks, consumerization of IT, mobility, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device: smartphones, phablets and tablets) and cloud computing are all being part of the social and technological developments a 21st century enterprise cannot fail anymore to ignore.
6. Measuring the ROI (Return On Investment) of a Social Business StrategyFidelman stresses that social business initiatives should only be undertaken if those can be measured. He goes on to say: “Before starting any social initiatives, you must first identify objectives such as: “improving customer relationships, product innovation, acquiring and retaining employees and growing revenues.”
Image Credit: PulsePointGroup.com: The Economics of the Socially Engaged Enterprise
Social Business metrics and ROI are very well documented in a 2012 study by MIT in collaboration with the Deloitte institute. The Economist Intelligence Unit and the PulsePoint Group published a study showing that 81% of interviewed leaders agree that social engagement has the following tangible benefits on the following areas:
– Project management
– Efficiency gains
– Cost saving
In conclusion, Fidelman’s Socialized!is a management textbook that provides all the necessary steps for a clear pathway towards a successful social enterprise journey:
1. Reviewing the existent culture of an enterprise
2. Setting up an internal digital village
3. Attaching an external digital village to the internal one
4. Establishing a social business strategy
5. Measuring Social Business ROI
6. Reviewing, correcting, adapting and repeating
Any leader wanting to understand the implications and repercussions of a Social Business development program should study and dissect Socialized!. Kudos and thanks to Mark Fidelman’s altruistic attitude for having taken the time to give us one of the best researched Social Business Strategy text-books ever written thus far.Follow Bruno Gebarski on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+