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GET BOLD with your Social Business AGENDA | Get Bold Book Review

By: Christopher Craft

 

“Social media” is not cute. It’s real and it’s necessary. Sandy Carter’s Get Bold is the blueprint for turning your business into a Social Business. Carter is the Vice President / Social Business Evangelism at IBM. Many of the examples of social engagement in Get Bold are from IBM. Fortunately, these tactics can be applied to almost any business. The book is centered around The Social Business AGENDA framework. The framework is broken down into the following six workstreams:

A - Align Organizational Goals & Culture
G
- Gain Social Trust
E
- Engage through Experiences
N
- Network York Business Processes
D
- Design for Reputation and Risk Management
A
- Analyze Your Data

When discussing the aligning of organization goals and culture, Carter stresses having a plan for internal use of social media for businesses. Support for this social culture must come from up top (the leadership/executives) so the employees can comfortably and confidently become ambassadors for the brand. Developing a culture for a social business takes time and everybody must buy-in and comply to policy rules.

Gaining social trust speaks to the precious nature of customer relationships in the present age. Carter mentions that 79% of the Fortune 500 uses social media to engage their customers and stakeholders. I’m surprised that number isn’t higher. Customers feel more comfortable supporting their “friends”. Gaining trust with good customer support and educating your customers helps secure good business.

Engaging through experiences involves how Social Businesses effectively communicate with their supporters. The supporters of the business includes the employees and the customers. Your team must enjoy their work and they must be heard. Your customers must also enjoy doing business with you. Giving customers an outlet for giving praise and criticism is key to this.

Networking your business processes calls for the Social Business to seek making its existing business processes more efficient through social technology. Carter writes that every facet of the business should be social and connected. I’m not sure if a custodian staff member tweeting, “Okay, bathrooms are clean.” will add any value to operations, but I could be wrong. Going further, Carter talks about how some businesses are innovating the purchasing process by allowing their customers to be vocal/social via the businesses’ platforms.

Designing for reputation and risk management focuses on preventing and recovering from negative press. It comes down to having a contingency plan so the Social Business can be resilient in rough times. Carter puts weight on the speed of response. Response to a negative occurrence must be immediate.

Analyzing your data is can be complex. Carter does a great job in explaining what the Social Business should measure (social reach and share of voice, reputation/influence, time, and engagement) and what they should do with the data (determine target buyers, understand future trends, understand your customer needs, help you make messaging decisions to enhance reputation with your customers, increase brand loyalty by engaging influencers, respond quickly to customer requests, understand employee sentiment, explore changes for employee retention, understand how to onboard employees, help facilitate sessions on new product ideas, and respond quickly to top talent employees’ needs).

Get Bold is uber-educational without going over the head of the reader. The case studies provide clear information and examples that make it easy for the reader to transfer the concepts to their business. Carter ties it all together by walking the reader through steps for drawing up their AGENDA.

“It is imperative that you have a bold agenda to engage your clients, your partners and your employees. The Social Business AGENDA is the connection to outperforming in the marketplace.” says Sandy. Amen.

Christopher Craft is the CVO/Founder of Nao Media and Consulting, an Atlanta-based social media consultancy. He blogs at The Nao Blog.


**Social Media Club members (Open/Pro/SMB/Corporate) are welcome to participate in a free webinar hosted by Social Media Club featuring Sandy Carter, Author of Get Bold on Tuesday, March 27th at 2pm EDT. Register here!**

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