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The Social Business Imperative

“This is a must-read for any business leader who wants to thrive in this time of disruptive change.” —Chip Bergh, President & CEO, Levi Strauss & Co.

The Social Business Imperative

Adapting your business model to the always-connected customer

About the book

From tech entrepreneur and bestselling author Clara Shih, Social Business Imperative makes a compelling case for why social media and digital have become too important and too strategic for organization leaders to completely delegate. In the Facebook Era, “digital” is everyone’s job.

From management teams to front-line sales and customer service agents, today’s professionals must personally grasp the tectonic changes arising from the always-connected customer, and then rethink traditional business models, business practices, and even their own job responsibilities and careers.

This is not “yet another” digital marketing book for digital marketers. It is a powerful guide for business transformation for everyone to learn how to adapt and thrive in this brilliant new world order.

What People Are Saying

When it comes to mapping the brave new terrain of social technologies, Clara is miles ahead of the curve. The Social Business Imperative serves up a detailed and flexible plan of attack that will prove invaluable to forward-thinkers everywhere.
Neil Blumenthal
Neil Blumenthal
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Warby Parker
Whether you're a global brand, small local business, or individual who wants to turn your passion into a livelihood, this book simply and clearly articulates how to channel the power of social media to delight audiences and grow your business.
Marne Levine
Marne Levine
COO, Instagram
Every company today must think of itself as a technology company and become customer-obsessed. The Social Business Imperative elegantly, succinctly, and powerfully describes why, how, and what to do.
Kristin Lemkau
Kristin Lemkau
Chief Marketing Officer, J.P. Morgan, Chase, & Co.
The power of Clara's book is it highlights not only social media practices but fundamental business practices and how company leaders need to entirely rethink customer engagement models. This book provides a powerful vision and compelling call to action for company leaders everywhere.
Ted Mathas
Ted Mathas
Chairman and CEO, New York Life
From understanding the needs of millennials to powerful marketing and customer strategies that drive sustained growth, The Social Business Imperative offers a comprehensive guide to implementing a social media platform and culture change to address the complex demands of today’s social, mobile, digital and in-charge customer.
Dave McKay
Dave McKay
President and CEO, Royal Bank of Canada
Since her breakout book The Facebook Era in 2009, Clara has been showing us the way social media is changing our world. Clara's new book cuts through the tech-world jargon to deliver a message to business leaders everywhere: We are all Social beings and in businesses as in life, building relationships first is the key to success.
Jim McCann
Jim McCann
Founder and CEO, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM

What’s in the book

I. New business models

The first section discusses how the last mile into the hearts, minds, and wallets of today’s customer is increasingly social, mobile, and digital, and how social media has given rise to the Internet of Everything and collaborative, on-demand economy. The risk traditional retailers and product manufacturers face is losing direct customer control and of commoditization due to intermediation by “someone else’s” mobile app and marketplace. Functional heads, company leaders, and even boards of directors must play an active role in enabling and owning Social Business.

II. Business functions reimagined

From marketing to customer service to recruiting, today’s business functions are being transformed by customer expectations of a cohesive and consistent experience across departments, from social to online to brick-and-mortar. Take sales, for example. In a world where customers have full access to information and transaction capability online, today’s reps must reinvent themselves as trusted advisors and be easily accessible via social, mobile, and web. Meanwhile, marketers’ role has expanded to cover the full length of the customer journey and experience. Yet increasingly, many members of the marketing team are not in marketing—they are salespeople, recruiters, other employee brand ambassadors, customers, and third-party social media influencers.

III. How to make change happen

Vision is easy. Execution is hard. The final section provides a concrete playbook for enterprises to bring together multiple Social Business initiatives spanning different departments, product lines, and geographies to unlock synergies without unleashing bureaucracy. Legal and compliance teams play a critical role in enabling Social Business, especially in highly regulated industries, such as financial services, healthcare, and pharma. Finally, CIOs and IT departments must expand their charter from playing defense and maintenance only to also going on the offensive with strategic innovation projects including Social Business.

About the author

Clara Shih is founder and CEO of Hearsay Social, an enterprise software company whose predictive, omnichannel marketing platform helps financial advisors engage clients across all social media while complying with industry regulations. Clara has been named one of Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs” and both Fortune’s and Ad Age’s “40 Under 40.” She was also named a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum. Clara is a member of the Starbucks board of directors.

Clara’s first book, The Facebook Era, was a global bestseller and has been translated into eleven languages.

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The Social Business Imperative

The Social Business Imperative

Adapting your business model to the always-connected customer