A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive

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The Social Revolution's impact on the business world cannot be over-estimated. Like the meteor that likely precipitated the end of the dinosaurs, Social is the catalyst in an extinction event--and business as we know it has changed forever.

A World Gone Social offers an eye-opening look at fundamental and powerful changes the social collaboration era has set in motion:

● Customers now have the power--just watch what happens as more realize it!

● With increased transparency, ...

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A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive

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The Social Revolution's impact on the business world cannot be over-estimated. Like the meteor that likely precipitated the end of the dinosaurs, Social is the catalyst in an extinction event--and business as we know it has changed forever.

A World Gone Social offers an eye-opening look at fundamental and powerful changes the social collaboration era has set in motion:

● Customers now have the power--just watch what happens as more realize it!

● With increased transparency, businesses must be more ethical--no more pretending

● Command-and-control leadership is now so inefficient, it is a liability

● Nimble and small is the new competitive advantage--few corporations are capable of the agility required by evolving marketplaces

● Recruiting is now a two-way proposition, with job seekers able to peer behind the corporate curtain

● Relationship and community-building is how customers and brand ambassadors are won--and retained

● Engagement--with partners, employees, and customers--is not a luxury; it is a requirement.

Each chapter provides compelling stories and concrete examples of companies demonstrating enlightened business practices and doing Social right--and some that are not--and the lessons to be learned from their experiences. Finally, readers will discover how to objectively assess the fit ness of their own company's culture and social presence...so they may successfully transition from a 20th- to a 21st-century "social" organization.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Social media has changed the way the world operates, and companies need to modify just about every aspect of how they do business to remain efficient and profitable. Coine and Babbitt, self-described "successful veterans of the social revolution," offer an insightful and thorough exploration of how to implement these systemic changes. They delve into the new company/customer power dynamic, where customers hold many of the cards, and show how, thanks to social media, employees are also emerging as a new power group. The authors go on to provide examples of companies that use social media to their advantage, such as Southwest and Verizon, and those which have learned the hard way, such as United Airlines and Bank of America. Coine and Babbitt also describe the disruptive changes social media has spurred in employment recruiting, and predict that social media will permanently change how legacy enterprises act, lead, and operate. Of particular interest to executives will be the book's consideration what it means to be a social leader and what to do if you're just not a good social representative. In-depth discussions of teams, customer experience, and social media marketing round out this comprehensive examination. Illuminating and insightful, this book is essential reading for all levels of the corporate ladder. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

"Illuminating and insightful, this book is essential reading for all levels of the corporate ladder." --Publishers Weekly

"…must read for every leader and manager wanting to move past the trend and into the truth about social media’s purpose, influence, and outcomes." --Kate Nasser blog

"Babbitt and Coiné have written a book you MUST read if you don’t want to fall prey to Darwin’s survival of the fittest.” --Mills-Scofield.com

"This practical and engaging book is a must-read for all business owners and entrepreneurs….of interest to anyone who wants to know more about how social media is driving change…” -- Library Journal

"I recently read A World Gone Social...If there is anyone you should listen to when it comes to social media, it’s Ted [Coiné].” --Leading with Trust

“Authors Ted Coiné and Mark Babbitt have presented a present-day survival guide for social media.”--Staffing Success

"With unerring practicality, Coiné and Babbitt show why social media is neither fad nor trend but part of a transformational era driven by 'engagement.'"--Foreword Reviews

"Coiné and Babbitt offer an eye-opening look at fundamental and powerful changes the social collaboration era has set in motion...With compelling stories and dozens of concrete examples." --Healthcare News

"...the book offers plenty of intelligent, practical and pragmatic advice on how to become part of the social media-enabled revolution…A must read…” --IT Organization Circa 2017

"...gives you the tools and information you need to survive --and thrive--in a business climate in which customers hold all the cards." --HVACR Business

“This book is a goldmine for organizations who want to become champions of the Social Age."--BizCatalyst360

"...highly recommend A World Gone Social by Ted Coine and Mark Babbitt! It is a must-have resource to help you #ExerciseLeadership!” --Strengths Builders

"...offers warnings and best practices for navigating this dangerous terrain, with fascinating examples of companies that get it right, and terrifying examples of those that get it wrong." --Accounting Today

“…provides the tools you need to build a socially enabled team [and] must read tips that can benefit HR professionals, recruiter, small business owners and others who interview." --ZipRecruiter.com

“Anyone who has ever had a business—or anyone who sells—can certainly learn a great deal from what Ted has to say.” --PipelinerCRM

“Powerful message and when handled effectively can be a very strategic approach towards organizational success and increase profits.” --PM World Journal

[A World Gone Social] goes beyond most of the advice you’re reading now… to explain how all of them are changing the landscape of business.” --Accounting Today

“…must read for any social media professional. Written by Ted Coine and Mark Babbitt, two social media extraordinaire..." -- Dangerous Cupcakes

“…authors have deep roots in the social media community… [and] they are passionate about spreading the word.” -- Anna Jedrziewski, Retailing Insight

Insightly Best Small Business Books of 2014

“…recommended to those readers who cannot go an hour without checking their Twitter feeds, reading their e-mail, or communicating with their families, and also to those who can.” --Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814433263
  • Publisher: AMACOM Books
  • Publication date: 9/17/2014
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 363,554
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

TED COINÉ is a Forbes Top 10 Social Media Power Influencer and an Inc. Top 100 Leadership Expert. He is cofounder of Switch and Shift, a blog focused on leadership, culture, and change. MARK BABBITT is CEO and founder of YouTern, a social community for young careerists that Mashable calls a “Top 5 Online Community for Starting Your Career.”

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Read an Excerpt


The Industrial Age is dead.

Welcome to the Social Age.

Social media has proven to be an insurmountable market force, changing how we innovate, collaborate, serve our customers, hire and develop team members, motivate others toward a common mission, communicate with stakeholders, display our character, and demonstrate accountability. This isn’t change for the sake of change. Neither is this change to fine-tune the status quo, as we saw in the twentieth century with Six Sigma, Total Quality Management, and the Lean movement, which simply helped bureaucracies function at a more efficient, profitable level. This is real, systemic change.

Human change.

Which isn’t easy.

We two authors—ourselves successful veterans of the social revolution—will help you initiate that change. By discussing the next major era in business, A World Gone Social will enable you to adapt quickly, so you can thrive in the Social Age:

▶ We’ll help you, your company, and your industry get out in front of the social revolution.

▶ We’ll ensure you have the voice, influence, and power to lead engaged, innovative teams.

▶ We’ll help you learn from the successes and failures of the early adopters and companies that have already taken to social (some in a good way, and others that have made community-killing mistakes).

▶ We’ll discuss the power of OPEN, where ordinary people intersect to form extraordinary networks.

▶ We’ll introduce you to some of the fascinating change makers, innovators, and mistake makers in the vanguard of the Social Age.

▶ And, along the way, you’ll learn our secret to social: More social. Less media.

In Section I of A World Gone Social, we’ll talk about the surface changes currently under way—business issues that have caught much attention. We’ll discuss how some old-school leaders seem dimly aware of the new era upon us and so are left grasping in the dark, while others remain unconvinced of the power of social, so they fail to take action. We’ll also take on those who resist for another reason: the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” crowd, oblivious to the imminent change—and the turf protectors who perhaps have a vested personal interest in resisting social’s influence.

We’ll then delve deeper into those seismic changes that have already occurred in the Social Age: how the balance of power has shifted from message-controlling corporations to customers and employees who can now voice their opinions—both good and bad—through social. We’ll show how one customer, or employee, can disrupt operations and the focus of an entire corporation based on one seemingly simple decision. And we’ll discuss how those voices are amplified, and create real impact, through social.

Next, we’ll demonstrate how social has already disrupted critical aspects of every business: the very way we’ll build our teams moving forward, how we’ll engage with (rather than broadcast at) stakeholders, and how five-star, 100 percent transparent customer service will lead to a community of evangelists organically supporting your brand.

In Section II, we’ll take on the “death of large” and show how even the biggest enterprises need to get—or at least think and act—small to survive and that nimble, engaging, focused teams are how business will succeed in the Social Age. We'll ask if “flat” is the new black—a trend that, as social management takes root and grows exponentially, will become our “new” form of collaborative leadership (even though its roots are decades old). Finally, we’ll introduce OPEN (Ordinary People | Extraordinary Network) not just as a method of building lifelong personal relationships but as the foundation of organizational success and as a catalyst for entire business models. Along the way, we’ll introduce you to some people and companies that have already jumped into social, with varying degrees of success.

In Section III, we’ll turn to how you can lead your organization to success in a world gone social. You will discover how to objectively assess the fitness of your organization’s culture and social presence and how to improve every aspect that might be failing while leveraging what works well. We’ll discuss the best possible approach to building socially enabled teams, turning customers into ambassadors, and cultivating passionate advocates and champions for your brand. And, with a world-class collaborative team and customer-centric culture in place, we’ll dive into the dynamics at play in digital marketing—and how best to position your company in a world gone social.

In Section IV, we take a look at the future of social business and discuss how we might measure return on investment (ROI) on what is likely to remain more art than science. Finally, we’ll look at what might be next steps for social media in general and for you as a leader in our new, socially driven economy.

In fact, that’s our primary goal throughout this book: to enable you to lead your organization confidently and successfully through the Social Age.

We’re sure you’ll enjoy what you are about to read. After all, we have a passion for the subject that goes beyond social—to personal. As admirably as it served the first-world economy, we want the Industrial Age—and the autocratic leadership practices and soul-sucking working conditions that came with that era—to die. We want organizations to become more transparent, more accountable. We want teams to continuously innovate and collaborate, rather than be throttled by hundred-year-old “best practices.”

In a world gone social, we want business to become more human.

Let’s get started . . .

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Table of Contents


Foreword by Peter Aceto, CEO, Tangerine • xii

Introduction • xv


CHAPTER 1 | Welcome to the Social Age 1

CHAPTER 2 | The Customer Holds All the Cards 10

CHAPTER 3 | The Social Employee: Good, Bad, and Way Past Ugly 22

CHAPTER 4 | The Evolution of Social Recruiting 36

CHAPTER 5 | The Engagement Era 50

CHAPTER 6 | It Takes a Community 64


CHAPTER 7 | The Death of Large 78

CHAPTER 8 | Flat: The New Black? 91

CHAPTER 9 | The OPEN Challenge (Ordinary People, Extraordinary Network) 110


CHAPTER 10 | The Social Leader: A Blue Unicorn? 124

CHAPTER 11 | Building a World-Class Team for the Social Age 147

CHAPTER 12 | In the Social Age, Customer Experience Comes First 163

CHAPTER 13 | And Stop Calling Me “Social Media Marketing!” 181


CHAPTER 14 | Investing in Social: Is What You See Real? 202

CHAPTER 15 | The Future of Business in a World Gone Social 216

References • 227

Index • 233

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 8, 2014

    A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive by Mark

    A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive by Mark Babbitt and Ted Coine’ 
    Do you need a compelling reason to read a book? A catchy title piques my interest, the cover might be a magnet, but what really clinches it for me is a quick glance through the table of contents and a discerning scan of a few key chapters. I have yet to be tossed out of a bookstore for lingering too long with multiple books opened while I make a decision. A World Gone Social is one of those rare books that impressed me enough to purchase the eBook as well as the hardback copy. I could write in detail what I learned and what you will want to learn, but that means hours of my time and hours of your. That could satisfy one of the tenets of this book, ‘less media, more social’, but let me explain how this book impacted my understanding of what it means to go social. When you pick up your copy, you can see how it affects yours.
    Mark Babbitt and Ted Coine’ explore how the Social Age changes business on every level. To quote them, “One of the biggest challenges since the Industrial Age is not Social Media. It is transparency.” This book expertly describes the impact of ‘more social, less media’ to the point that readers understand how to transform old methods to new. Social is not campaigning to broadcast your message, but rather to engage: anticipate, listen, communicate in conversation. The key is aiming for OPEN collaboration as the norm, which can only be attained when both customers and employees are actively engaged. 
    Social Media is not one word. There is Social, then there is Media. 
    Customer Service is a leadership issue. In the Social Age, customer experience comes first. This goes far beyond the Industrial Age philosophy that ‘the customer is always right’. The authors talk about the framework for every organization which consists of three roles: making, selling, and serving. 
    Flat: The New Black grabbed my attention immediately. I have long been curious about the concept of the flat organization. There are authors and business consultants who understand it, work with them, and easily envision process without boundaries and structure without silos. The authors delve into the specifics of what it means to have a flat organization – no managers. Huh? I know. That’s what I said, and the authors recognize this will be a hurdle for traditional large organizations.   
    The OPEN Challenge: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Network – so this was my favorite part of the book, probably because I am ordinary. But I am also an information junkie and a chronic knowledge sharer. If I learn something new, I go in search of someone to teach it to. No surprise, then, that the pages where Ted and Mark defined the benefits of living and working in the Social Age were captivating. I’m paraphrasing here, but in essence they said: Every individual has expertise in some areas but is completely ordinary in others. Together we comprise an extraordinarily powerful network of knowledge, imagination, skills, and abilities to solve any challenge. Each of us can tap into that network to mitigate the chasm between the knowledge of what some know and what we do not. There is power in OPEN methodology and the authors describe how to tap into it, create it, develop it, and thrive in it. 

    Provided at no extra charge, is a Social Sanity Check. If you’re on social now – get it and use it. If social is on your wish list, get the book now – the Social Sanity Check will be there. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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