Top Ten Questions Companies Must Answer To Succeed In Social Business

One of the greatest challenges companies face in adjusting to the impact of social media, is knowing where to start.


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 wroteWe 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?

Reprinted from

Simon Mainwaring is a branding consultant, advertising creative director, blogger, speaker, and author of We First: How Brands & Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World. A former Nike creative at Wieden & Kennedy and worldwide creative director for Motorola at Ogilvy, he now consults for brands and creative companies that are re-inventing their industries and enabling positive change. Follow him at or on Twitter @SimonMainwaring.

About the author

Simon Mainwaring is the founder of We First, the leading social branding firm that provides consulting and training to help companies use social media to build their brand reputation, profits and social impact. Simon is a member of the Sustainable Brands Advisory Board, the Advisory Board of the Center for Public Diplomacy at the USC Annenberg School, the Transformational Leadership Council and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London