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Social Business Explained in shorthand.

To become a social business on or off line you need one crucial element, people taking action. Below is my explanation of what I believe to be the sequence of events.

My Social Business Equation

People (prospects, clients, employees) X intrinsic motivation = (advocates > evangelists) = Engaged Social Community > Social Business.

Below I will explain the formula, the elements and how they must work for it’s successful implementation.

People; People qualify is many ways, so for the purpose of the equation I have placed them into the following groups.

Prospects; are people that are looking for a product or service to fill a need. They will research the product/service on the net or by calling into your business to examine the product or better understand your organisation.

Customers; unlike the prospect these people are already aware of your company/organisation and in this case actually are buying your products or availing of your service.

Employees; working at all levels within your business/organisation and may even be contributing to your profits, these people will help with the day to day running of your business/organisation.

These three groups of people are interacting with your business/organisation and in the case of customers/employees even contributing to your turnover. So why can they not be regarded as part of your community?

These groups have to make a decision based on their interaction with your business/organisation to take action. This action will lead to discussion or debate about your business/organisation. Just liking you on Facebook does not qualify, as this has not added value, it would need to be a post/comment at least.

Intrinsic Motivation, taking action;

Why would these groups take action? What would spark the intrinsic motivation. One of the most telling findings about successful business online, is that the message has to be authentic and that the business/organisation communicates it’s values and principles, publicly for all to see.

Intrinsic means, “of ones self”. It’s the most most sustainable motivation of all. Reward based motivation wanes over time. Intrinsic is a much more powerful tool. It should be the goal of every business/organisation to harness the power of intrinsic motivation within their community, by adding value to the lives of the groups within their community. This will lead to advocates and evangelists developing within the community, which in-turn leads to the growth of the business/organisation.

Advocates; People in all of the above groups become members of your community when they start to engage and inform other people about your business/organisation. This engagement could be to inform their friends or family, they will also respond to questions about your product. The other upside is advocates also become repeat customers and spend well above the average, a  regular customer will. The link below from IBM quotes research on the average Advocate spend, it is 30% higher.


Evangelists; like the advocate, the evangelist likes your product/service and can not stop themselves talking about your business/organisation. The difference is that evangelists are seen within their own community as key “influencers”. So when they start to advocate for your product/service other people take notice and start to buy your product/service on their say so. This is called “peer to peer” marketing. The figures for “peer to peer” are startling, see link below.


Engaged Social Community; When you gather all these human elements together, the result is a powerful community of people promoting your business/organisation in an intrinsic way. This is as a direct result of the manner your business/organisation conducts itself online and in the market place. Your values and principles resonate with the people who form your community, they are willing to aline themselves with your product/service.

Social Business; The size of the business or community will not dictate success, the outputs have to inspire intrinsic motivation. The community taking action by participating leads to your business/organisation benefiting from major online marketing success. Do not take my word for this, just look at Ford, Coca-Cola, Burberry and see how they are currently benefiting from their Social Business Strategy Initiatives. There are more elements to be added such as quality content, but my opinion is that your have to intrinsically motivated community.