Best of 2010: The Future of Business is Social by briansolis


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									Best of 2010: The Future of Business is Social
By Brian Solis, blogger at and principal of FutureWorks, Author of the highly
acclaimed book on social business Engage!

Social media and marketing have become synonymous over the years. At the same time, social
media is placing the customer back in customer service. Each movement represents important and
overdue (r)evolutions within business, but this is just the beginning. With every step toward progress
we make in social media, we uncover what’s necessary to make real headway in the progress of

The future of business is social and as such, every aspect of business affected by outside activity
will require a social extension. Businesses must shift from reacting to the outside in, bottom up
groundswell to also leading a top down, inside out program to earn relevance, community, and
authority. In order to do so, the social business will take a human touch…and internal transformation.

At the moment, it is the champion who ignites change from within. They understand how social
affects business dynamics and builds support among key players to engage. Typically marketing
and/or customer service run pilot programs to prove the merit of new media. From there, trials
graduate to ongoing initiatives dedicated to social marketing, service or both. It starts with listening
and monitoring and evolves to reactive engagement. Through strategy and creative processes,
social programs eventually mature into proactive participation over time.

Everything starts with defining the voice and the persona of the brand as well as its mission and
purpose for engagement. While intention counts, it is our actions and words that define outcomes. In
the last mile of engagement, consumers must see beyond the personal brand tied to the

(cc) Brian Solis, - Twitter, @briansolis
representative to see the brand the individual represents. The elements of traditional branding still
apply, they’re just humanized now.

When we shift from monitoring to hearing what people are saying and the context of their
conversations, we discover that reactive and proactive engagement spans across the entire
business. And even in the cases where participation isn’t required, there is still much opportunity to
adapt products and processes based on insights gleaned from concentrations of meaningful

Many of the social media cases that I review today and even those that I have worked on in the past,
reach one audience…an audience of existing and potential customers. So, when we run a creative
campaign or a personalized social customer program, we quickly realize that our audience is
actually an audience with audiences who also have audiences. And, within each, are subsets of
people with distinctive needs and also those who represent real world opportunities.

At any one moment, they are…

Decision                                                                                      Makers

(cc) Brian Solis, - Twitter, @briansolis
We are on the right path. We just have much to learn. In 2011 and for the next several years, social
businesses will transform the organization from within. For those ready to lead tomorrow’s
businesses today, we are indeed talking about organizational transformation and change
management. Starting with the philosophy, culture, and reverberating throughout systems,
processes, workflow, business units and the people at every step of the way, the business of
business will evolve…it already is.

Please read and share…

The 2010 Series on the Social Business

- The 10 Stages of Social Media Integration in Business

- The Social Media Style Guide: 8 Steps to Creating a Brand Persona

- The Last Mile: The Socialization of Business

- Social CRM is Just the Beginning: Looking Beyond Customers

(cc) Brian Solis, - Twitter, @briansolis
- SCRM and SRM: Potay-to, Potah-to When Done Right (Paul Greenberg)

- The Socialization of Business: Your Dirty Little Secrets are No Longer Secrets

- Social Business Takes a Human Touch, No Really

- Following Dell’s Approach To Social Media

Connect with Brian Solis on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook

(cc) Brian Solis, - Twitter, @briansolis
Brian Solis is globally recognized as one of most prominent thought leaders and
published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has
studied and influenced the effects of emerging media in business, culture and the
convergence of marketing, communications, and publishing. He is principal of
FutureWorks, an award-winning business management and New Media consultancy in
San Francisco and has led change management and social programs for Fortune 500
companies, notable celebrities, and Web 2.0 startups. is ranked among
the top of world's leading business and marketing websites.

Solis is the author of Engage! The complete guide for businesses to build, cultivate and
measure success in the new Web.

Connect with Brian Solis on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook
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(cc) Brian Solis, - Twitter, @briansolis

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