One of the greatest challenges companies face in adjusting to the impact of social media, is knowing where to start? Many corporate leaders and employees have the right intentions, but it can be overwhelming when you consider how everything is affected from leadership styles, to organizational structure, to employee engagement, to customer service an marketplace. So I thought it might be useful to offer ten important questions that each company must address if they want to build a community of customers that use social media to help build your brand,
1. As a CEO, am I willing to relaunch my brand as the chief celebrant of its community rather than its celebrity?
2. As an executive, am I personally willing to take responsibility for the alignment between what a company says it stands for and how it practices its business?
3. As a corporate board, are we willing to invest the time to define who we are as a brand?
4. As a company, are we willing to demonstrate our commitment to our core values through social outreach?
5. As management and PR departments, are we willing to operate with transparency, authenticity and accountability, even when we make mistakes?
6. As a marketer, are we willing to lead with a listening ear rather than a loud voice?
7. As a service provider, are we willing to invest in long-term relationships as well as short-term sales?
8. As a product manufacturer, are we willing to hold our suppliers to the same standards of social responsibility as we hold ourselves?
9. As a brand, are we willing to play our role in the sustainable practice of capitalism that is good for business, consumers and the planet?
10. As stakeholders in our future, are management and employees willing to share responsibility for building a world we want?
When a company can honestly and comprehensively answer these ten questions, it is poised to benefit from the social business marketplace. I wrote We First to help CEOs, brands, employees and citizens to be better equipped to answer these questions in a way that is not just profitable for their bottom line and satisfying for their employees, but beneficial to the societies and planet on which we all depend.
What other questions would you add to the list? Which do you think is the most important question for a CEO to answer?