Can a company be social?

handshakeThat’s really the question most companies interested in social media are trying to answer: can we learn to be social?

We all know that people buy products based on the recommendations of other people. These “other people” don’t have to be their friends or even have gained any level of trust, although I assume that would help. You are more likely to buy a car based on what your neighbor says than the comprehensive and unbiased studies of consumer reports (assuming you’re the average person).

Companies want to figure out how to get in on this social phenomenon since it might be the most powerful selling tool in history. But beyond even selling, it has proven to be useful for getting feedback to design new products, provide support and retain customers, and the list goes on. Incredible!

So what does it mean for a company to be social? How do they get all these benefits? That will be the more pointed subject of this blog going forward. I’ll try and pass on the different ways that companies are being social and how they do it.

The last thing I’ll say in this post is that a company has three assets for being social:

1. It’s employees

2. It’s customers

3. It’s prospective customers

A company cannot be social, only it’s people can be social and companies that try to be social as a corporate entity are likely to run into major roadblocks.

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