The meteoric rise of social media has had a profound impact on the way we run our personal and professional lives. We've reached a situation where the majority of customers and employees are social, but many businesses are not. This creates a clear obstacle to overcome and forces organisations to challenge their existing methods of communicating with prospects and customers. 

Some customers may still prefer traditional business communication channels like email and telephone, but there is a huge pressure on organisations to become truly 'social' businesses and to meet their customers digitally - where most of them are to be found. Failing to make this social transformation can result in customers feeling frustrated and isolated, leading to loss of brand loyalty and customer retention. 

As 75% of the digital buyer's journey (Forrester) is made online today, there is a huge risk of missing out on a large chunk of business if you're not already in on the act with a strong digital and social presence.

Being a social business doesn't only impact on your customers. We need to think of social as an all-encompassing structure which should involve the whole organisation from employees to customers and just as importantly, to your vendors and supply chain. Every department should be trained in social media (not just marketing and sales!) to further the company's strategy.

Engaged employees can become excellent brand advocates by sharing authentic company content via an Employee Advocacy Tool. This enables you to create true brand guardians within your business

The customer experience should drive everything we do in a social business, each and every customer touchpoint is a valuable opportunity to gather information and understand what makes our customers tick. Put simply, that's being social!

Lizz Kannenberg, Director of Content at Sprout Social has written a great blog discussing why social should be at the centre of every organisation.