Social Business

@dhinchcliffe on “The Path to Co-Creating a Social Business: The Early Adoption Phase”

I love this piece by Dion Hinchcliffe. He’s required reading. The descriptions of each strategy are concise, authoritative, and linked. I do not see here, though, a concept I’ve been thinking a lot about lately: specifically the use of internal social efforts as a breeding ground for external habits. I believe that by growing a social culture internally, you can prepare your employees to participate more effectively in the social world on behalf of your company — thus extending social R&D, marketing, sales, service, and general brand management into the social space.

This post is part of a four part series on social business adoption that will explore each of these phases, with early adoption being examined here. For this effort, I’ve contacted over a dozen experienced social business practitioners, tapped into my research, and aggregated the results of numerous case studies. The outcome is what you see here and while it’s probably as definitive as you’ll find, it’s a necessarily limited view of a rapidly moving new field. Also, in the end, what drives adoption best is whatever actually works for your social business project, and what works best for your project often isn’t what’s in the check lists, no matter how good. Social isn’t as predictable or as deterministic as we might like, and that’s the challenge. Of course, it’s also a large part of the opportunity to drive innovative new outcomes you could never otherwise achieve or imagine. So while your mileage may vary somewhat, the adoption strategies presented here can be a very useful jump start of your social business journey.


Covers specific strategies for adoption phases of both internal and external social business paradigms. This is the first part of what should be a valuable series.

For early adoption…


  • Establish a clear purpose
  • Identify and engage adoption champions
  • Help leadership set the tone
  • Communicate clear policies for usage (cans and cannots)
  • Test social UX usability with workers
  • Use a consumer-style marketing campaign
  • Strategic community management
  • Connect to business purposes
  • Proactively share the adoption process


  • Identify and engage influencers
  • Use content as a participation seed
  • Go to the audience, draw them in
  • Personal engagement from key business stakeholders
  • Reward the remarkable 1%
  • Proactive community management
  • Keep it simple
  • Be authentic, don’t overproduce
  • Employ the “Us First, World Second” strategy
  • Build trust and a culture of sharing

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