Why the Best Marketers MUST Embrace Social

06/18/2015 04:44 pm ET | Updated Jun 18, 2016

From the simplest to understand perspective... the socially nimble company tasks its employees with "opening their listening ears," and tapping into community intelligence (both the company's and the employee's communities), then acting on what they've learned. This can put you in a much better position than your competitors in two ways: 1) Getting a well-focused product to market much faster, and 2) Earning a higher level of marketplace trust and identification with your brand.

Everybody knows that the faster you can innovate and get things moving, the better -- and every brand wants to build trust -- but identifying and listening to social advocates is still not considered a "best practice" in much of the corporate world, much less empowering employees to take advantage of opportunities outside the company's social community. Instead of looking at social advocacy from a "win-win" standpoint, brands would be much better served to adopt "learn-learn," as their social philosophy.

Every business function depends on the quality of the human relationships needed to perform that function. The more we practice using social to learn more about who makes up our communities and how we can serve them better (at every level), the more in-tune we'll be and the more harmony we can create both inside and outside our companies.

Want your brand to be more successful? Wrap social around every business practice. And while you're doing so, ditch the win-win mentality, which denotes an ending -- not a continuation. Embracing learn-learn increases the value of relationships for all parties.

Those who adapt to social engagement will drive more business and stay competitive--those who ignore it will not. #RonR