There are different ways to look at what being a social business in today's world means.
- Actively using social channels to reach out to the market - let's call this REACH (e.g BBC)
- Actively engaging in social channels to connect and converse with the market - let's call this CONNECT (e.g Gary Vaynerchuck and his wine company)
- Actively moving from creating actions today based on the past...to creating actions today relating to feedback gained today - let's call this REALTIME (e.g Dell Idea Storm)
Brands use either one of these strategies or a combination, depending on how they feel about social media, what type of product and service they offer and of course how they define social media as a tactic to growth.
Too often people see just the one approach to social media - and the whole point of social media is that they are the tools which express your brand.....so the how, why, what and when of social media is less about what you should do and more about a mindset to your business.
That is why for social media to work it needs three components
1) "People" people - people who think in a connected, networked, real time way.
2) A culture of continuous improvement with risk being a seen as a by product of progress not a sign of failure
3) Commitment to a changing world. Business is now in constant beta...it is now about set, directive plans...it is about set mindsets that believe that there is always a better way.
Forget the tools...which mindset matches the skills you have in your company? Which mindset reflects your goals....of course there will be an element of each but it is about which of these approaches is your main mindset?