5 Must Have’s of Social Business

Social business is not just about a business embracing social media…well, not for me anyway. Social business is about the whole business becoming social, or maybe a better word would be connected to the outside world. In a way merging of the company, supplier, customer, consumer and the stakeholders. 

For this to happen there are 5 must have's

  1. Transparency – for two reasons. Tranparent to create trust in the brand and also because anything else will be found out in the digital sharing age.
  2. Symmetry – Internally actions and words must match to create engagement. Without internal engagement it will be harder, if not impossible, to engage the market. Symmetry is also about making sure that you see digital platforms as different ways of connecting so the vehicle of delivery may change but the message must stay true to the brand.
  3. Freedom – Control in so many ways was replaced by freedom not total freedom…but freedom with responsibility. So brands need to allow employees to have the freedom to talk for the brand – not about the brand. However, if anyone abuses that freedom, the shield is the responsibility shield. Brands also need to accept the freedom of the market, that consumers don't have to buy from you, don't have to come and talk to you….they have choice, they have Google to find their own recommendations. Don't see freedom as anarchy, see freedom as disruptive to tradtional business and use it as a spur for greater conversational, content marketing.
  4. Collaboration – Recognise that a meeting which compromises to gain consensus is weaker than a company that collaborates across functions to find a way round the immediate problems. Issues are the blocks for your competitor and the step to growth for you!
  5. Participation – A social business is not one that you can delegate to communications or marketing. Social businesses have leaders, employees, customers, suppliers, employees and stakeholders who participate each day to create conversations…not for conversations sake but for the sake of finding great ideas, fabulous experiences and of course profitable growth. Happy, loyal customers pay more!



social business



Anna has spent over 20 years as a Board Director at several global brands. She now runs her own company The Engaging Brand which supports business leaders who want to transition to the new social business model. She is also a speaker, writer and radio show presenter on social business, indeed her podcast The Engaging Brand has been nominated 6 years running as Best Business Podcast at the Podcast Awards. She brings an unusual mix of experience to business - she has a 1st Class Law Degree, MBA in marketing and is a qualified Chartered Accountant. This unusual mix means not just explaining the why of being social but how to turn social into a measurable business tactic to grow your bottom line. Her blog www.theengagingbrand.com is recognised as one of the leading UK marketing blogs.


  1. steve@spongenb.com'
    November 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Collaboration is certainly crucial. I struggled at first to let go and “allow” the team to get involved. Once I did, it resulted in a better Facebook page, more Twitter activity, a Pinterest page and an invigorated team. Our social activity is all over our site – http://www.spongenb.com – and thanks to the team’s input, it’s no longer a chore.

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