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Social Technology and Business Decisions

The real business challenge with the Social Web isn’t social media itself, but rather its relationship to the business or organizational processes that create the experiences that are talked about in the first place. Understanding how your internal processes drive the conversations that circulate on the 109 Social Web—and how social analytics can be used to inform business decisions and potential process changes that relates to them—is the hinge point in moving to a social business.

Create a Social Business

Part I of this book started with the engagement processes and the ways in which interaction and participation with social content can connect your audience with your brand (for better or for worse!). Built into the engagement process is a recognition of the new role of the customer, now much more of a participant in the marketplace and increasingly in the businesses and organizations that serve it.

The fi nal foundational element of Part I—the social business ecosystem and its collaborative processes— exposed the collective knowledge of the Social Web and showed you how to use it in building, running, and evolving your business or organization. Collaboration Software between the business as a whole and its customers is the hallmark of a social business.

For example, an outbound marketing message may claim to be “Created for working mothers like you!” If it also turns out that the fi rm does not equitably promote women within the workplace, this contradiction will inevitably become known, very likely being spread through social channels. This raises the requirements for active listening and the incorporation of customer feedback into your business processes:

Without a strategic basis for participation, any involvement in the Social Web will be limited to listening (but not responding) and using platforms such as Twitter or Facebook for talking (as opposed to participating). Neither of these is optimal, and  neither will result in the desired outcomes.

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