Cheryl Burgess IBM Social Business Mark Burgess
In yet another team-up with the fine folks at IBM (@IBMSocialBiz), Blue Focus Marketing (@BlueFocus) was asked to share our thoughts on the value of social business, how it affects social employee culture (@SocialEmployee), why 2014 is going to be the year of the social executive, and what brands can do to get their social efforts rolling today. We had a lot of fun producing this video with IBM’s amazing content team, and couldn’t be happier with the result. Check out the video below to see what we had to say, and continue reading below for a deeper exploration of these concepts.

The “Year of the Social Executive”

What is a social executive, and why is 2014 such a pivotal year for this new breed of leader? Social executives are not simply members of the C-Suite with Twitter profiles, although this is a common misconception. The truth is, most executives still aren’t very active online. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be champions of social business practices.

It’s time for executives to get off the fence and into the game. This is the year of the social executive because the social landscape in the C-Suite is expected to change dramatically within just a few short years. The executives who don’t get on board now risk falling behind the curve.

Bring your employees along with the “why”

We get it: social adoption takes time. But its starts with executives establishing and embodying your brand’s mission, vision, and values. Research suggests that executives who successfully communicate a strong vision of where their company is headed are met with overwhelming support. Unfortunately, only about one-third of executives actually put in the effort to get their visions across.

Establishing the “why” means going beyond a command-and-control model. Employees who understand the purpose of a task or objective are more likely to come up with innovative solutions because they understand that a specific target outcome is more important than a rote task. This is how companies like IBM continue to lead the industry in social business solutions: they know what they want, and they’re willing to try different things to get there.

Focus on opportunity

As we argue in our Amazon best-selling book The Social Employee, the idea of social media extends far beyond external communication tools like Twitter or LinkedIn. IBM’s enterprise Connections software, which has been adopted by countless Fortune 500 companies, has proven that social fuels internal collaboration in ways never before imagined. There is opportunity for social adoption that goes far beyond marketing efforts. Indeed, a brand cannot communicate externally unless it first learns to communicate internally.

The opportunity is yours for the taking. Ask us how you can start a social pilot program within your organization today.


Below are recent endorsements for The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, August 2013) by Tom Peters and David Aaker on their social networks, but if you want to see more of their endorsements click here.

Tom Peters CROP_W Favorite Biz Book Nov


Tom Peters (Twitter) attribution PPT

Tom Peters signature copy
In The Social Employee, we go behind the scenes with several leading brands—such as IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo—pulling the lid off the inspiring social business success stories that have propelled these companies into the 21st century. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.

See what others are saying about The Social Employee and order your copy today!


Please check out @SocialEmployee media buzz! Click Here

Join @SocialEmployee Google+

“Great brands have always started on the inside, but why are companies taking so long to leverage the great opportunities offered by internal social media? . . . The Social Employee lifts the lid on this potential and provides guidance for businesses everywhere.” JEZ FRAMPTON, Global Chairman and CEO, Interbrand


Amazon_agold-bookThe Social Employee offers an unparalleled behind-the-scenes look at the social business success stories of some of the biggest brand names in the business world, including IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.

The brands that leverage their employee base in order to engage customers and prospects through social media are the ones destined to win the marketing wars. This book not only details the astronomical rise of the social employee, but also outlines the innovative methods that leading companies have employed to foster cultures of enthusiastic and engaged workers.

FORMcGrawHill_RedEWORD by David C. Edelman, Global Co-Leader, Digital Marketing & Sales Practice, McKinsey & Company

AFTERWORD by Kevin Randall, Vice President of Brand Strategy & Research at
Movéo Integrated Branding, and a columnist for Fast Company and The Atlantic

Download ~> Free Chapter 3 – “Brands Under Pressure”



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