“Why? Social Business” – My E-book

UPDATE: The 5 day give-away of my E-book has ended. I can say it’s been a tremendous success. So much so that I don’t want to disappoint you, so if you still want a free copy, you can sign up (and get 60 Pieces of Blogging Advice too), or just get your Kindle copy for only a couple of bucks.


When I realised that the various jobs I held over the past had some major social business elements in them, I started to take the term serious and started digging into it more and more.

Eventually leading me to write Why? Social Business, a 33 page E-book explaining why a business should get on this train. I wanted to make the “why” crystal clear for me and anybody who’d read the book.

why? social business ebookMy first real moment where I could name “Social Business” was when I saw an interview with Mark Fidelman, done by Dino Dogan. Mark had written a book; “Socialized!: How the Most Successful Businesses Harness the Power of Social (Social Century)“, and the way he described it fitted perfectly with what I had in my when it came to social and business. At least in part.

Add to that (mandatory reading): “What’s the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences” by Brian Solis and “Social Business By Design: Transformative Social Media Strategies for the Connected Company” by Dion Hinchcliffe and Peter Kim and the image becomes crystal clear.

What I learned was that Social Business is so much more than just implementing a tool, a piece of software or adopting a social media platform. In fact, technology (and social media) is only the enabler. It’s people who are the driving force behind a Social Business.

The philosophy of a company needs to change, the mindset. For some companies their whole way of thinking and day-to-day routine must change. These are some significant realisations.

It’s still business mind you. There still has to be a ROI, the changes still have to be lead to results. I would not go as far as saying it’s a project. A project, by definition has an end. Social Business doesn’t “end”. It’s something you do. Sure, the implementation of a specific tool, or the change of a workflow are still projects.

It the long run, social business will become business as usual.

Why? Social Business

Why Social Business E-book
Why? Social Business

Back to the book and this post. I asked Mark Fidelman to write the foreword of my E-book. Mainly, because it was he who opened my eyes and I wanted to thank him for that.

“Use this book as a jumping-off point to spark your company’s dialogue about social business. Bring it to the higher-ups, and show them why they need to adapt… or else risk extinction.”

– Mark Fidelman

The premise of the book was to help those who are wondering what the heck we’re all talking about. The buzz around SocBiz is tangible, however, I still have the feeling that few know what it entails. I can imagine many mid- and top-level managers would love some answers, a rough guide if you will.

This is not a ‘for dummies’ book and it’s not a complete field manual for transforming your business. I too have learned form others.

I wrote about Geoff Livingston’s personal exodus, and however this is not a novel, nor in print, nor a quadrillion pages thick.., it was still a tour de force. It forced to write down all my wandering thoughts into a coherent (and readable) format.


For the next 5 days I’m offering my first E-book for free to my readers. In fact, if you know anybody who might benefit from this book, let them know, so they can get a copy too, then go ahead. Don’t forget to claim this wonderful find for yourself. Your friends will think you’re just awesome!!

I am proud of my work (can I say that.., sure I can). I’m very content. I didn’t write it to become rich, I am a pragmatic realist (yes, that helps with Social Business too). But, I do want to share my achievement with the world, with my readers and friends.


So.., there it is.

All I ask in return is let other people know about it and if you wish, leave a comment or a rating on Amazon.

Also, feel free to leave a comment, I’d love some feedback.

The books

Below are the books I use, which are my reference (these are affiliate links, if you don’t want that, click on the links at the beginning of the post).

I added “Why? Social Business” because, let’s face, it looks mighty cool.

Do your business goals and social goals align?

We know by know Social Media/Business is something you can’t “just do”. Or, you can, but that’s missing the point and wasting time, effort and money.

In “The Seven Success Factors of Social Business Strategy“, the latest publication from the Altimeter Group, written by Charlene Li and Brian Solis, the alignment between business objectives and social strategy is put front and centre.
alignementNow we can say, with authority, that Social has come of age. That we no longer can treat it as something we “just have to do”. Time to grow up.

It makes sense when you think about it. Anything a company does, any effort it makes should align with the company’s goals. Even charity or pro-bono work should, in one form or another, fit into “the greater plan”. It’s the only way to make sure that everything you do, as a business, is worth the effort.

Have a Coke

Coca-Cola has created a strategy to rival most out there. Basically it states that any expression should fit into the overall story being told by the company. Creating a fluidity where anybody can add or use content, as long as it abides to a few rules.
And the overall story is aligned with the company’s goals.

Coca-Cola is one of the most recognized brands in the world and a huge enterprise. Their resources seem infinite and implementing a plan like this seems easy enough. But, Coke is a world-wide brand with almost 150 thousand employees, and despite its resources, aligning anything is not an easy task.., at all.

The message is; If Coke can do it on such a huge scale.., surely we can do this in a smaller (and more controllable) environment.

The Seven

This list is simply fantastic.

It’s one of those pieces of information that makes you go.., hmmmmm…. Silly really, because each point on that list is common sense for most major projects and changes. Yet, with social media we tend to ignore proper business altogether.

The Seven Success Factors of Social Business StrategyHere’s the list:

  1. Define the overall business goals
  2. Establish the long-term vision
  3. Ensure executive support
  4. Define the strategy roadmap
  5. Establish governance and guidelines
  6. Secure staff, resources, and funding
  7. Invest in technology platforms that evolve

You need to read the book for all the details of course, but coming from Altimeter you can rely on  a proper foundation of the information.

As said, it makes sense. For instance, executive support (3) is paramount to success. Especially if you want to secure staff and resources (6). To invest in technology (7) you need funding (6). And in order to define the roadmap (4) you need to know the goals (1) and you have to establish the long-term vision (2).

See? It makes total sense…

Align your Efforts

The point of matter is that when (not if) you decide to start the social business journey you (really) should make the effort to do it right. I know, this is easier said than done. The Why? is pretty clear by now, it’s the How? we get stuck on. The “The Seven Success Factors of Social Business Strategy” can help you create the vision you need to support the necessary passion.

So, just do it, but do it right. There is enough information out there to support you, and more and more professionals to guide you. No more excuses.

Do you have a Social Business Strategy?

Why I Love Social Media

I love staying in touch with old friends and colleagues, even when they live on the other side of the world.
But that is something which I would have done anyway, in most cases.

No, it’s the strangers and their responses that intrigues me.

People seek a connection with you because of a common interest and in some cases those people become friends.., even though we’ve never met in real life (although some I actually do meet, @SchmoozyFox).

And then there’s the ‘famous’ people. I do social media at work and therefore I follow quite some people and stories, to stay on top of things, to stay informed.
Now I know the ‘gurus’ are busy people with a lot of followers and a lot of mentions and that they actually take time to reply is why I think Social Media is here to stay; (@JasonFalls@BrianSolis and @MissDestructo for instance).

Never before was it so easy to connect with people far away or potentially out of reach.
Granted, some people will never reply or connect on a personal level.

But those that do make all the difference.