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How to Succeed in Adapting your Company to the Social, Always Connected, Sharing Economy

By June 13, 2016Article

It’s clear that business models are shifting to address the powerful wave of social business, always-connected consumers and the sharing economy. But some businesses are not sure how to adapt to this new world – especially quickly – without taking too many risks. So for now they’re maintaining the status quo. But Clara Shih, author of “THE SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE: Adapting Your Business Model to the Always-Connected Customer” (Pearson/Prentice Hall, April 2016) says maintaining the status quo is the riskiest thing to do. 

I admit I questioned that claim as I began reading her new book; after all, she’s a pioneer in the social media industry and a top expert on social business, so I would expect her to tout the importance of moving a company to a social business model. However, I soon realized I wasn’t reading a book about the reasons for adapting one’s business; instead, this is the ultimate guide to help any business understand exactly how to grab the valuable opportunities of a social business. 

Clara ShihThe author grabbed my attention when she stated that succeeding as a social business requires the focus of the C-suite and board and that it can’t be just “a program” or a one-off team. Shih, who is CEO and founder of Hearsay Social, which advises Fortune 500 companies on how to transform legacy business practices, shares tips on how CEOs and management teams can get started on engaging in social media along with a social business scorecard to guide executives plus questions for boards of directors to ask to assess a company’s social business position. 

Reading Shih’s book will help you know how the collaborative economy and the foundation of online trust in social networks are driving unlimited attitudes that are transforming business. You’ll understand that the new “middleman” is collaborative companies, and you’ll read concrete examples of their tremendous power and how they’re making customer expectations important to all businesses. 

If you want to know how to operationalize a social business, I recommend this book. “THE SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE” presents far more than a lot of real-world cases of adapting enterprises to this new on-demand business world. Shih’s book is full of advice “Do’s and Don’ts” lists, insights on identifying and tracking trends, the behaviors and actions of a social business and descriptions of what’s required for effective social media communication, tips on mobile-optimizing social communication, conducting integrated multi-cloud marketing campaigns, employee training in social business and a lot more. Plus, there’s an important chapter on legal, governance and compliance networks, which includes a discussion of the key areas of social media risk. 

Shih warns in “THE SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE” that businesses that lack digital touchpoints and/or have infrequent or indirect customer interactions are already at risk today. The good news is that they can grab valuable opportunities in the sharing economy. Read the book and learn how. 

Clara Shih, founder and CEO of Hearsay Social, is a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur and bestselling author. She developed Faceforce, the first social business application, in 2007 and subsequently authored the bestseller, “The Facebook Era.” She previously served in technical, product and marketing roles at Google, Microsoft and Shih was named one of Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs,” Fast Company’s “Most Influential People in Technology,” BusinessWeek’s “Top Young Entrepreneurs” and Fortune’s and Ad Age’s “40 Under 40.”












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