*GUEST POST* from April Krueger of April’s PR Wrap Sheet
Re-published on Aug 15, 2012 at 5:13 p.m. ET

In “Smart Business, Social Business,” Michael Brito explains how companies can become more successful by evolving into a social business. A social business is when a company alters its entire internal infrastructure to communicate effectively. Brito states that companies must first change the way they internally communicate before they externally communicate with consumers. According to Brito, transformation from a business into a social business is approached from the top down and must begin with the support of the CEO and its employees to implement change.

Brito discusses how companies can naturally evolve into a social business by changing the business model, the company culture, and the way it internally communicates. In addition, the company needs to establish governance models, training, employee activation, global and technology expansion, team dynamics, and a measurement philosophy. Some real world examples of companies that have successfully evolved into social businesses include EMC and Intel Corporation. These companies both tackled the social media component internally first. EMC created an organization from the beginning that encouraged collaboration amongst its employees and employed them to engage externally with customers. Intel was not a new start-up company but Intel altered their entire internal infrastructure to encourage its employees to integrate social behaviors as their company grew.

In the foreword of this book, “Smart Business, Social Business,” Engage Author, Brian Solis recommends that businesses should listen to their customers and identify characteristics of the customer’s needs. He explains that appreciation of their customers is essential if a company is to evolve into a social business. Solis states, “If businesses are truly to become social businesses, they must match the behavior of customers to effectively meet their needs and expectations instead of simply responding to them.” This is not surprising because Solis laid out the foundations of Brito’s central argument in the book Engage. Solis’s book focused on how important it is to connect with customers using social media tools. Brito expands on Solis’s work by laying out a blueprint by which companies can become socially connected from the inside out.

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April Krueger is currently a Master of Arts candidate at Johns Hopkins University majoring in Communications. She transplanted to DC from her native Los Angeles to seek out new opportunities after 11 years of working in the Major Motion Picture and Television Industry. She worked as a Costume Designer for MTV and as a Costumer on many films to include Pirates of the Caribbean, The Prestige and Catch Me If You Can. In this role, she learned how to create looks and project the images that sell stories, brands, and narratives to target audiences. Today, she’s working to ‘flip the script’ and pursue a career in the public relations field as a Social Media Consultant.

Is your business a ‘social’ business? How do you connect with your clients/customers through social media?

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