Approaches to Social Media

The Four C’s

Entrepreneur Niall Cook, author of the book ‘Enterprise 2.0‘, created this concept of ‘The Four C’s’ to distinguish between different social software styles that a business could have. The Four C’s allow a group to produce something that is a lot better than if is was created by just an individual.

The Four C’s are:

  1. Communication
  2. Collaboration
  3. Cooperation
  4. Connection

Communication platforms allow people to communicate with each other, through either just text or various kinds of media.

Collaboration focuses on the process of creating something. Collaborative software encourages people to work together,

Cooperation focuses on product, which is the main difference between collaboration and cooperation. Cooperative social software allows for interaction in informal structures.

Connection tools are all about connecting employees with both content and each other. Tools such as tagging, search, syndication and mash-ups all help to do this.


The Four C’s can be catergorised by formality and interaction, as seen in Niall Cook’s diagram below – collaboration and connection are formal, where as communication and cooperation are informal; and collaboration and cooperation are interactive, while connection and communication are not.


Cisco’s SOCIAL Approach

Cisco Systems, an American company that manufactures and sells networking equipment. Cisco is not only a worldwide leader in the production of this equipment, but also in knowledge on how to use different kinds of technology, including how to deal with social media for your business. For this, they created their S.O.C.I.A.L. approach – a guide on how employees should act when using social media.

Scalable – Train employees on how to use social media in a productive way

Open – Lead from the top

Consistent – To show commitment to social media, checking or posting often

Intuitive – Make the social media easy to connect to and navigate around

Active – Be present on social media by creating/sharing content to trigger other users

Limitless – Be flexible

This framework is centered around 5 pillars: Enablement, intelligence, engagement, measurement and advocacy.

Enablement is about the standards a business holds when it comes to the use of Social Media. This includes training employees, having policies or having a hiring process.

Intelligence means intelligent listening. Cisco has created a listening process to help with this. It is split into two steps – ABC’s and 123’s.

ABC – Classify conversation into categories – for example, support, criticism, idea

123 _ Rate conversations by priority – priority 1=urgent, priority 2=semi-urgent and priority 3=not urgent.

Engagement includes using the 5 W’s – who, what, when, where, why – to improve the quality of the conversations held online.

Measurement deals with different ‘metrics’ that are measured by the company to try to reach goals set – the metrics measured could be volume, reach, engagement, influence, share of voice or sentiment

The final pillar is advocacy  – social media helps the business to support and appreciate advocates of the company.



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