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20 Brainstorming Ideas For Creating A Social Business

Social media was all hype when I registered on Twitter in 2008 and Facebook was still just a platform for connecting friends and family. Now major brands are embracing it with a speed that makes the PC revolution in the 80’s look slow and ponderous.20 Brainstorming Ideas For Creating A Social Business

Social Media Command Center

To provide some context to the social business trend Dell recently opened a Social Media Command Center which follows Gatorade’s earlier launch of a very similar looking facility. Dell will be using the Radian6 as its platform to  power its data collection and  The center will track on average more than 22,000 daily topic posts related to Dell, as well as mentions of Dell on Twitter. The information can be sliced and diced based on topics and subjects of conversation, sentiment, share of voice, geography and trends.

For major brands this makes sense, with the noise that they generate online, the ability to listen, engage and then act upon the 22,000 plus conversations daily is vital.

Is It Necessary?

For other companies that level of  investment in becoming a social business is not justified but there a lot of ways you can start to make your business more social so that you can not only respond to your customers in real time but also leverage the power of the social web to promote your brands message and content.

So what are the major areas you need to look at to make your company a more social business?

20 Brainstorming Ideas To Create A Social Business

The Website

Brochureware sites are still in the majority with a lot of brands still having a static website that quite often provides nothing more than a boring catalog style site with a contact us form being the lonely interaction point with their customers. So here are some ideas  to push some boundaries and to start you thinking.

  • Highlight your people and let them be contacted via other channels such as company Twitter account and not just email. Promote their expertise via a link to their LinkedIn profile or even a link to their blog.
  • Put Retweet and Facebook share buttons everywhere there is great content in various media  formats that you want people to share with their friends and colleagues
  • Install a forum so your customers can start providing crowd sourced answers to problems that your technical people would normally have to answer
  • Add a YouTube channel (online video) that allows people to comment and like so that they share your multimedia assets
  • Add a Slideshare account that embeds company PowerPoint presentations in your website and allows other people to spread your brands expertise

More reading:

10 Key Strategies To Make Your Website an Online Marketing Machine

The Blog

Company blogs are often just a place to put an article once a week and allow comments. How can you make your blog more social?

  • Add social share buttons for Facebook and Twitter this is vital as blog posts are typically interesting and newsworthy and you need to remove and minimize any friction for sharing on the web.
  • Include a Tab or section that links to your YouTube Video Channel
  • Include buttons that allow people to follow your company on Twitter, Facebook and email
  • Add a Facebook social plugin

More reading:

How To Increase Your Blog Traffic With Just One Button

The Online Store

Online stores are a great place to integrate and optimize for social media as specials and great deals need to be made easy to share.

  • Your marketing email offering specials should provide email to a friend and a feature to share on Facebook and twitter
  • YouTube video reviews should be  available for your top products
  • Make it easy for people to follow your online store with Facebook and twitter buttons on multiple pages especially your homepage
  • Allow comments and reviews as part of your stores feature set customers want to read other people’s feedback

More reading:

How Zappos Plans To Use 50,000 Online Videos

The Social Media Channels

This is social media 101 but there are still many companies who are not participating on the top 4 social media channels or even have an initial presence. You are holding back the growth of your brand if this is overlooked. Here are the social media accounts you should start using today.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube

More reading:

Facebook hits 500 million Users: 5 Predictions For The Future

The Marketing

Start thinking about using traditional marketing less, especially where it is costly and increasingly ineffective and start utilizing the power of social media to market your brand.

  • Advertise on Facebook with banner ads that can tightly target your vertical markets demographically and geographically
  • Advertise on LinkedIn especially if you have a highly technical product used by professionals
  • Market test  Twitter for a sponsored tweet promotion

More Reading

How To Advertise On Facebook In Ten Minutes For Less Than $10 A Day

So how else can you weave the social into your business? Like to hear your thoughts.

Image by toettoet

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Making your business more social is more of a change in mentality than anything else.
    Traditionally, corporations have always been kind of secretive about their internal procedures, and the thoughts of encouraging discussion – not always positive – around what you do without a total control over it can be scary for business owners.
    I strongly believe that being transparent is an advantage and not something to be afraid of, so it’s good to go towards that direction.
    It’s never too late.

  • Thanks for the post, Jeff! Gabriele raises a good point – too many businesses are stuck in the old-school mindset that any information they have is their own competitive advantage and should be protected at all costs. In actuality, if you have that info, there’s a great chance your competition does too. So you can gain preference in a consumer’s eyes by being willing to share that info at no cost, thereby coming across as the expert next time said consumer wants to make a purchase.

    In addition to the 20 ideas above, where do you see the integration of location-based services i.e. foursquare, gowalla, yelp fitting in to your list for making a business social? Obviously, Facebook places and Yelp have an inherent advantage because the “check-in” is only one feature of their broad social network. But for a business like foursquare, where it’s all about the check-in and not so much about the network, do you see a place for integrating those services into a social business?

    • I think location based services will be a game that Facebook is poised to win with its 600 million users already in the database. Facebook places ability to aggregate special offers that are location specific will always draw users as most of the Facebook crowd “like” a brand so they can get news on specials. I am looking forward to watching the perfect storm of social media, mobile and online retail unfold!!

  • Hi, Jeff. You have a pretty comprehensive article here. It will not only be helpful to newbies, but even to old timers as well, who might be stuck in their ways. Making a business more social is very essential nowadays that people are also becoming more social. I was not that social before as well, but when I discovered the perks of knowing more people through blog commenting and through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, I jumped in. I might still be testing the waters with Facebook and LinkedIn and is even treading cautiously with Twitter, but I am proud to say that I am getting into the groove of becoming part of a blogging community. I have met and befriended great people (you are one of them) and learn so much everyday. So, thanks!

    – Wes –

  • Mark Bates

    Thanks Jeff. You refreshed my memory here so often the day to day tasks of running sites let’s you forget these important points. I have talked about and read about so much of this but you string it all together in an excellent format. I now read more of your posts than any other. Keep going.

  • I believe Youtube and Facebook are the effective social media channels as these websites are more interactive. If your content goes viral on any of these to platforms it gives you your product a huge boost.
    We saw the same thing which happened with Jennifer Aniston’s Smartwater video, which went viral and received millions of views in just matter of few hours.

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  • Very good blog site I’ll certainly be returning to look at it day-to-day later on

  • Good thing you discussed significant points for building social business. This clarifies every details they should know before doing it.

  • man oh man.. great info

  • That is all fine and dandy, however how you gather leads and build pipeline is what makes you a social business.  This outline just makes you social active. 

    • exposingindia

      this guy is using his website for his promotion, he charges for all the real stuff

  • I have certainly picked up something new from right here.Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday.

  • Proper content with marketing is the main key  to get the better result

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