Social technologies, on a mass scale, connect people in ways that facilitate sharing information, thereby reducing the opportunities for marketplace exploitation whether by charging more than a competing supplier for otherwise identical goods and services or charging anything at all for products that simply don’t work. Sunlight is a powerful disinfectant, and the collective knowledge that powers the Social Web is the sunlight that shines in these new connected marketplaces. The Social Web dramatically levels the playing field by making information plentiful, just as it also levels businesses and organizations that operate on the principles of making information scarce.
The Social Web exposes the good, the bad, and the ugly, simultaneously raising up what works and putting down what doesn’t without regard for the interests of any specific party. Web 2.0 technologies expressed through social CRM, vendor relationship management, collective ideation, customer-driven support forums, and communities where participants engage in all forms of social discourse act together to equalize the market positions of suppliers, manufacturers, business, and organizational leaders, customers and stakeholders.
To again quote Sir Tim Berners-Lee, If misunderstandings are the cause of many of the world’s woes, then (we can) work them out in cyberspace. And, having worked them out, we leave for those who follow a trail of our reasoning and assumptions for them to adopt, or correct.
Social Business Fundamentals
At just over 100 pages, Part I will get you up-to-speed quickly on the primary aspects of social technology and how it applies to business. Its four chapters include plenty of examples and references to experts and thought leaders freely accessible via the Web, along with a set of “hands-on” exercises that will provide you with a firm grasp of social technology, applied to business.
Run a Social Business
deeper into the application of social technology to your business or organization, showing you how business decisions are informed through collaborative software and surrounding processes. Part II provides a starting point for measurement and, like Part, I, includes references and pointers that quickly take you further as you develop your specific social business programs and initiatives. Part II concludes with a set of tips and best practices, along with a couple of things not to do and what to do instead.
Social Business Building Blocks
social technology as it is applied to business down to its basic elements. More abstract than Parts I and II, Part III includes cases and examples that bring the essential core social concepts to life. Engagement and Customer Advocacy, Social CRM, social objects, and the social graph are all covered (and defined) to give you a solid understanding of the principles of social business and the use of social technology. Each of the five chapters in Part III presents one key concept, in-depth and again with hands-on exercises and additional pointers to online references and thought leaders.
Appendix A (key definitions), Appendix B (thought leaders and resources), and Appendix C (hands-on exercises) are applicable to anyone reading this book. They provide a handy way to quickly locate key terms, find thought leaders, and revisit the hands-on exercises presented at the end of each of the individual chapters.