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by Josh Druck
on January 9, 2013

Mark Fidelman Talks Social Business

PeopleLinx held its first Social Business Round Table on December 13 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Center City Philadelphia. The event brought together business leaders representing more than 50 brands to share and discuss how companies are using social business, including panelists from Prudential, Firstrust

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Bank, Dechert LLP, FMC Corporation, Fox Rothschild LLP, Forbes and Philadelphia Magazine.

Mark Fidelman delivered the opening remarks. Mark is the author of SOCIALIZED!, a book that breaks down social strategy in today’s business market, and also writes a column called “Socialized and Mobilized” for Forbes. Mark wrote his book based on discussions with countless business leaders about their social strategies, including companies like IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce.com, JetBlue and Google. Speaking to an audience of executives in various functions, Mark painted a vivid picture of how social is changing the way we do business in all respects.

Mark first highlighted the huge opportunity for social business. He described IBM’s success in the social realm to exemplify the importance of adopting social business practices.

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As early as 1996, an internal IBM team known as WebAhead created an online corporate directory of the company’s three hundred thousand employees. Later on, IBM’s then vice president of social and web marketing launched BlueIQ, a program aimed at creating a community of employees to collaborate and share social initiatives. BlueIQ played a huge part in IBM’s culture shift, and ultimately in the company’s transition to a social business. As a result of the project, executives noticed increased collaboration between departments and faster production of content. This new and adaptive culture enabled the company to adjust quickly to industry changes and emerging technologies.

Confident that businesses will need to adopt social strategies within the next five years to remain competitive, Mark stressed that a company needs to recognize the value of its collective networks before they can be leveraged. He used the common challenge of successful content distribution to drive this notion home. Before social platforms, a company relied on media outlets alone to develop content and spread its message. Now, companies not only employ people to create content internally, but also partner with their employees and customers to distribute content through their individual social networks.

Though Mark discussed several social business trends over the course of his talk, he reiterated one idea throughout: a solid strategy is vital in employing social business methods successfully – seek professional guidance, build a strong team and take action.

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