Transparency, Communicating Online and Why Social Business (podcasts)

podcastsOne of the more prominant podcasters I know is Jon Buscall. With over 100 podcasts under his belt and providing solid “how to” information on his website, you can say he is an authority on podcasting. Combine that with a worthy topic; “Online Marketing and Communications” (which is his profession) and you have quite the recipe.

This is a blog about Social Business, so why, I hear you ask, is ‘online marketing and communication’ so important. Well, this is something you’ll learn in the two podcasts below.

But, as to not leave you hanging. The point is that everything is converging more and more. In a couple of years, or maybe sooner, you cannot have one without the other. Having a social business is the only way to support your online activities, and your online activities drive your social business.

The Podcasts

The first ‘cast is with the unmatched Luis Suarez, a principal social business advocate at IBM and a real life example of how to live and breath social. Luis hasn’t used email for 6 years, for instance.

The second ‘cast is with yours truly. Jon approached me because of my eBook about why you need to be a social business.

Unbeknownst to Luis and I, Jon planned these two podcasts as episode 102 and 103 purely accidental, but they fit very well together. Creating a great and valuable piece of content. Something I simply have to share with you.


Click here to listen to “Transparency & Communicating Online”

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Click here to listen to “Why Social Business”

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Where do you put ‘Social’ in your business?

There is still a lot of debate who should be in charge of Social Media. I believe no department should be “in charge”, unless it’s a department run by the CSBO, the Chief Social Business Officer.

it never rains, but it poorsLet’s not beat around the bush. Social Media is not a fad, not a trend, not a fleeting gimmick and it’s not a bubble. Granted, some platforms may come and go, money will be made and money will be lost, Digg and MySpace are good examples, both are still alive though.

Ignoring Social as a company can be a fatal mistake. Unless you operate in a vacuum or are a true monopolist in a strict B2B market, then maybe you can ignore it. But, anybody else, simply cannot.

It never rains, but it pours

When Formula1 is racing, and the rain comes, the teams have to change to rain tyres. You can gamble on the weather clearing up, save your self a pit stop, or maybe two and win the race. But, by now we know, it will not stop raining. And keeping your cars out on slicks will, inevitably loose you the race. And, it no longer rains, but it pours.

We also know that “Social” goes well beyond just customer care, and well beyond marketing. Also, for communication or PR it’s just another channel. And this is just one part of where Social touches Business. For every department within a company there is a possible scenario where they themselves, independently, use Social to communicate with their audience. Whether that be via Tweets, a community forum or a blog (or some other platform). And we’re still only talking about ‘external’ communication.


All these channels and platforms must have an impact on the way people communicate. The more Social is being used, through company structures or through personal use, the more people expect to communicate like this all the time.

The structures that need to be in place to satisfy these needs are unified under Social Business.

A New Product

Wouldn’t it be cool with a the launch of a new service that all departments are on the same page at the same time? Yes, that would be cool.

Imagine, before the launch individual employees can drop hints with their audience, or get valuable feedback for the developers, that HR can recruit on specific set of skill, that PR can prepare the press release, that customer care can access the knowledge base with updated info, and that Marketing has its campaign all ready to go.

All these Social Business efforts need to be synchronised and coordinated. This can never happen when every department kinda just does what it wants.

One Big Happy Family

When a company has everything well organised and employees use new ways to communicate with each other and with customers, brand ambassadors and partners, then everything becomes one integrated system. A system that grows organically, because technology gives it the opportunity to do so.

But, as with all business processes, you need to be able to control it, or at the very least, monitor it. You need to know what’s happening. Giving employees the power to broadcast can be a powerful ally, but it also harbours potential risk.

The system needs to provide a way to control that risk. The system (whatever that may be) needs to be monitored. And depending on the size of your business, this can not be done by a single person, you need a department, run by someone who can wear many hats and can talk to every other department in the company.

Because Social touches every aspect of a business, it has to be, by it’s very nature, a department of its own. And every Social endeavour needs to be  aligned with this department.



Social Media Goes Beyond Marketing

Most current social media strategies focus on outward communication. They usually start with finding out where your target audience is and what they are saying. After that you join that conversation and build your strategy around the information you have and the goals you have set.

But looking inward might be just as important.

When we’re talking about a big company which has a settled Communications department and a successful Marketing department the process seems easy. The outward communications are already in place, so adding a few extra channels shouldn’t be a problem. And chances are you might even have success with that strategy. But it would still be outbound communication, probably one way too. And therefore, limited.

Social media goes beyond marketing, way beyond.

Continue reading “Social Media Goes Beyond Marketing”