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Final Thoughts

Much of the hype that has permeated social media discussions over the past several years has led some executives to perceive it as a magic pill, whereas others simply dismiss it as “soft.” The truth is, it’s neither.

Yes, social media is game-changing technology. But as for any tool, it takes the right people and the right processes to make it work. And for social to work really well, it requires a fundamental shift in business mindset to a culture of collaboration and caring that supersedes functional group or role in the company. Business leaders are sensing the inevitability of social, but many fear the death of familiarity. They want to innovate but are concerned about the potential for failure in such public venues. They want to empower customers and staff but struggle to retain control of “the message.”

It’s hard to go from being a centralized organization that’s powered by hierarchies and traditional business processes to a dispersed community that’s powered by passion, fluidity, and collaboration.

No, building a social business is not easy. But remember, it is demonstrating your good intentions, being human—and even making mistakes—that gives relationships their resilience. And though these relationships might take time and focused efforts to blossom, forging robust relationships with customers will sustain community over the long term and bolster your company’s capability to endure the ups and downs the market inevitably deals any organization.

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