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Get Bold - Book Review

1 February 2014
Dr. Moria Levy
book cover

The book "Get Bold: Using Social Media to Create a New Type of Social Business" was authored by Sandy Carter in 2012. It delves into the concepts and tools necessary for transforming an organization into a "social business." Sandy Carter, a senior manager at IBM, leverages her extensive experience in the social world and insights gained at IBM, a recognized leader in the use of social media.

The book addresses the following topics:

  • Defining a social business

  • Developing a social media strategy

  • Managing trust, reputation, and risk

  • Integrating social media into workflows

  • Identifying key roles within the organization

  • Discussing technology support

  • Measuring profits and outcomes

Throughout the book, numerous examples of companies are provided, spanning social media, collaboration, and traditional knowledge management in the context of collaboration.

This book comes highly recommended for those interested in the subject!

Defining a social business

A social business is an enterprise that integrates social tools into its work processes to motivate and enhance its competitiveness, prioritizing people over technology. It exhibits three primary attributes:

  • Engaged: This indicates an organization effectively connecting individuals with experts and expertise.

  • Transparent: This signifies an organization committed to erasing boundaries between internal and external experts and excelling in learning from its customers, suppliers, and the general public.

  • Agile and nimble: A social business utilizes social media to expedite operations, gain insights, and enhance decision-making.

Becoming a social business involves more than merely adopting social media management tools. The transformation into a social business necessitates a cultural shift within the organization, fostering an open environment where employees are encouraged to share, develop, and innovate. While achieving this transition is not solely about implementing social media tools, the rewards are substantial.

Becoming a social business should be a collective aspiration. Research demonstrates that people prefer to do business with friends, even when other supplier-selection factors are equal. This preference holds even when other factors are not similar. Consequently, the choice of a supplier becomes a significant parameter in more dimensions than we traditionally encounter.

Social business strongly emphasizes people and humanity, which may deviate from the traditional business concepts we are familiar with. (ML)

Developing a social media strategy

The first crucial step for an organization is formulating a strategy for becoming a social business. The most effective strategy nurtures an organizational culture, balancing top-down guidance, bottom-up initiatives, and engagement with customers and external parties. As Peggy Dow of MAD Perspectives LLC points out, achieving this cultural equilibrium is essential.

A significant yet often underestimated link exists between an organization's business objectives and the required organizational culture to support these goals. To transition into a connected, transparent, and agile social organization, practical steps and concrete goals must be defined. These goals may encompass strengthening employees' expertise to contribute to the audience and managing change aligned with characteristics like transparency.

The strategy should encompass objectives, and it is advisable to establish measurable goals tailored to the organization's specific needs. In the "Profits and Results" chapter below, you can find examples of potential objectives that can be integrated into the strategy. Some acceptable goals in the strategy include:

  • Streamlining work processes

  • Accelerating innovation

  • Deepening customer relationships

Concerning the organizational culture, it's essential to:

  • Define the desired culture

  • Provide recommendations for the cultural change process

For such a process, it's essential to outline the roles of both management and employees, offering guidance on empowering, enabling, and fostering habits that embody the essence of a social business. This includes creating a mechanism for a cyclical process of experimentation, learning from lessons, and continuous improvement.

In terms of policy (governance), it is vital to define policies and processes within various areas, such as:

  1. Leadership and the Center of Excellence

  2. Community management and content management

  3. Image management and risk management

  4. Metrics and measurement

  5. Guidelines and standards

The strategy should also involve training, experimentation, and assimilation processes overseen by a dedicated role holder at the organization-wide level.

Managing trust, reputation, and risk


The trust serves as the cornerstone of a social business. An organization must cultivate trust in its brand, employees, and products among various target audiences:

  • Employees: Trust naturally evolves through work interactions.

  • Customers and prospects: These groups may not engage in structured interactions with the organization. Building trust with them hinges on honesty, delivering value, initiating interactions, and actively listening to customers.

  • Partners and suppliers: The level of trust here varies depending on the nature of the relationship, encompassing elements of both employee and customer trust-building.

Developing social trust is pivotal for any organization aspiring to be a social business. This trust encompasses several components:

  • Leadership and expertise: Demonstrating knowledge and competence in the relevant field remains paramount.

  • Responsiveness and consistency: Swift responses are vital for trust-building. Implementing mechanisms to ensure timely responses is essential.

  • Transparency and open dialogue: Modern companies must not only promote themselves but also listen to their audience. Achieving genuine transparency requires substantial organizational change.

Trust is nurtured through three groups of people: followers, friends, and influencers. This applies both within and outside the organization.

Within the organization (employees), trust fosters passion, efficiency, organizational connection, and innovation.

Outside the organization (customers), trust drives loyalty, support, customer retention, and satisfaction.

Influencers play a significant role, and identifying and valuing them is crucial. They can significantly enhance trust through their credibility in the media.

Establishing a presence is essential not only on the company's website and various social networks but also in locations where people gather. Listening and responding to their conversations and cultivating influencers can substantially contribute to trust-building.

Within the organization, community leaders should be empowered to make a difference.

A community goes beyond being merely a public. It involves leadership, commitment, collaboration, and a sense of belonging. These aspects should be the primary focus for building trust.

Trust is constructed through a combination of factors, including interaction through mobile platforms, gamification, giveaways, location services, crowdsourcing, online and offline channels integration, and personalization in content, emotion, and engagement.

Some tips for nurturing trust include:

  • Utilizing video for trust-building, as video is more effective than audio, and audio is more effective than chat.

  • Understanding what customers seek in their connection with the company, such as influencers, activists, and passive customers, and catering to their needs.

  • Recognizing that customer relationships can exist at three levels: with the organization, its products, and its employees, and investing in nurturing connections at each level.

  • Setting relationship goals and maintaining consistency in connection and responsiveness.

  • Defining a content strategy.

  • Prioritizing quality connections over quantity.

  • Employing various social techniques to foster trust.

Reputation and risk management

The image represents the perception that others hold of an organization, product, or brand. Managing this image and mitigating risks involves staying informed about public sentiment, engaging in positive initiatives, and formulating strategies for addressing negative feedback. When constructing an image, seven fundamental principles should be considered and internalized:

  1. Knowledge and Skills: An organization's quality is constrained by its employees' knowledge and skills.

  2. Emotional Attribution: Consumers associate emotions with products and brands, leading them to distinguish between companies based on these emotions.

  3. Importance of Visionary Leadership: Stakeholders highly value organizations led by visionary and passionate individuals.

  4. Product Quality: The quality and consistency of products significantly contribute to the overall image.

  5. Economic Confidence: An organization's image is influenced by perceptions of its financial stability.

  6. Social Responsibility: People appreciate organizations that prioritize factors beyond profitability.

  7. Environmental Responsibility: Organizations with eco-friendly practices tend to have a more favorable image.

Effective image and risk management involve several components, including:

  • Listening: Actively monitoring public sentiment and feedback.

  • Image Builders: Assembling both internal and external teams dedicated to shaping a positive image.

  • Response Policies: Establish guidelines for who should respond, when, and how to react to various situations.

Integrating social media into workflows

Social media integration can and should seamlessly integrate into various departments and organizational units to enhance their activities and efficiency. Below, you will find several administrative units and potential ways to incorporate social media, leveraging their functions:

Human Resources:

Key Challenges:

  1. Developing skills and knowledge.

  2. Facilitating knowledge transfer within a complex, networked organization.

  3. Fostering dynamic leadership in a global organization.

Social Media Added Value:

  • Identifying experts.

  • Providing tutorials.

  • Enhancing intra-organizational communication.


Key Challenges:

  1. Targeting relevant customer suggestions.

  2. Exploring new markets and fast-paced emerging opportunities.

  3. Navigating increasing competition.

Social Media Added Value:

  • Increasing awareness.

  • Enhancing profitability.

  • Improving communication effectiveness.

Customer Service:

Key Challenges:

  1. Ensuring a positive customer response, especially during frustrating interactions.

  2. Addressing growing consumer demands.

  3. Managing high employee turnover, omnichannel demands, and budget constraints.

Social Media Value-Added:

  • Expediting access to enterprise experts.

  • Facilitating access to organizational knowledge.

  • Reducing external communication costs.

Product Development and Innovation:

Key Challenges:

  1. Fostering innovation and aligning products with customer needs.

  2. Enhancing development efficiency and product quality.

Social Media Added Value:

  • Speeding up access to external experts.

  • Scaling up successful innovations.

  • Reducing time to market for new products and services.

Identifying critical roles within the organization

Social media exerts a multifaceted impact on various organizational units, underscoring the need for effective collaboration. This complexity renders the organizational structure pivotal and often subject to evolution as the organization matures in this domain. The organizational structure's evolution may involve transitioning from:

  • A reduced to an expanded structure.

  • A narrow to a comprehensive framework.

  • A centralized to a decentralized structure, ultimately integrating various elements.

As the organization's social media domain develops, it is advisable to consider incorporating the following components into the structure:

  1. Leadership: A dedicated position focused on social media strategy and management.

  2. Center of Excellence: Comprising centralized role holders responsible for image and risk management, measurement management and analysis, and methodological consulting for all relevant partners within the organization.

  3. Community Leaders: Appointed for both internal and external organizational communities.

  4. Customer Service and Social Support: A unit responsible for addressing customer needs and providing social support.

  5. Social Innovation in Products: A role that fosters product innovation through social media.

Discussing technology support

Supporting computing in the context of social media involves two key levels:

1.Social Media Tools: Social media tools are available across multiple channels, primarily on the web and smartphones. External social media encompasses online interactions, whether on designated websites or their integrated components, such as conversations and blogs, as well as participation on open networks like a Facebook page, uploading YouTube videos, and participating in professional forums. Supporting computing is primarily necessary for external designated sites, which often require expanded computing capabilities compared to past standards. For internal social media, organizations may require tools that replicate the features of external social media platforms.

The technological capabilities of social media tools encompass four core components:

  • User experience and mobility

  • Interaction features, including communities, gamification, and jams

  • Content management, such as user profiles, content filtering, and cloud-based information

  • Insights derived from user interactions, data analysis, and other sources.

2.Measurement: In contrast to other fields, social media measurement demands various tools due to the numerous platforms and channels where measurements must be conducted, as well as the complexity of measurement topics and their depth. Measurement topics include media traffic and outreach, assessing the organization's image and influence, measuring various time-related factors, and evaluating engagement and relationships. The author provides concrete examples for each measurement topic.

Measuring profits and outcomes

As mentioned in the initial summary, integrating social media is a valuable means to expand the customer base and foster engagement, as people tend to prefer doing business with familiar entities. Furthermore, the transformation into a social organization yields various benefits:

  1. Enhanced Employee Loyalty: Increased employee satisfaction and retention.

  2. Streamlined Recruitment Processes: More efficient hiring procedures.

  3. Improved Activity and Efficiency: Enhanced operational efficiency due to the sharing of both internal and external knowledge.

  4. Promotion of Innovation: Fosters an environment conducive to innovation.

Utilizing analytical tools for rhinoplasty offers valuable advantages for achieving the desired outcome:

  • Data-Driven Decision-Making: Supports decision-making based on comprehensive data.

  • Holistic Business Perspective: Provides a more complete understanding of the business.

  • Facilitates Knowledge Collaboration: Promotes collaboration and knowledge sharing.

  • Guides Decision-Making with Insights: Offers insights for making informed decisions.

In conclusion, social organizations are becoming increasingly prevalent worldwide. Becoming a social organization enhances customer and employee satisfaction and significantly contributes to the organization's efficiency, effectiveness, and overall success. This transformation is indeed worthwhile!

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