April 26, 2016

New Releases: The Social Business Imperative: Adapting Your Business Model to the Always-Connected Customer

By: Blyth Meier @ 9:00 AM – Filed under:


“When it comes to mapping the brave new terrain of social technologies, Clara is miles ahead of the curve. The Social Business Imperative serves up a detailed and flexible plan of attack that will prove invaluable to forward-thinkers everywhere.”
—Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Warby Parker

“A book worth reading, a voice worth listening to, from a leader of real consequence. A clarion call on the promise and potential of social channels to transform business.”
—Walter Robb, CEO, Whole Foods Market

“From professional sports to media, entertainment, and retail, no aspect of business or consumer life has gone untransformed by social business. Clara's book is a clear and compelling guide for navigating and succeeding in this new era.”
—Larry Baer, President & CEO, San Francisco Giants

“Advancements in technology coupled with changing consumer preferences have ushered in a new, always-on era of the consumer. From understanding the needs of millennials to powerful marketing and customer strategies that drive sustained growth, Social Business Imperative offers a comprehensive guide to implementing a social media platform and culture change to address the complex demands of today’s social, mobile, digital and in-charge customer.”
—Dave McKay, President & CEO, Royal Bank of Canada

Clara Shih has been named one of Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs,” Fast Company’s “Most Influential People in Technology,” and to “40 Under 40” lists by both Fortune and Advertising Age. She is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and also serves on Starbucks’ board of directors. In her day job as CEO of Hearsay Social (which she founded), she advises legacy companies, start-ups, venture capitalists and more on how to think about social and mobile technologies in this new age of customer expectations.

In the The Social Business Imperative: Adapting Your Business Model to the Always-Connected Customer, Shih argues that most companies are thinking about social media strategy in exactly the WRONG way. Hiring a social media team isn’t enough—today’s company leaders must personally grasp the tectonic changes arising from today’s social, always-connected customer, rebuilding entire business practices and business models as needed. With case studies spanning multiple industries, from Wells Fargo to Warby Parker, advice in the book includes:

  • How the last mile to the hearts, minds, and wallets of today's customer is increasingly social, mobile, and digital.
  • How to engage customers and influencers as well as mobilize internal brand ambassadors such as sales reps and customer service agents.
  • How social has given rise to the Internet of Everything and collaborative, on-demand economy.
  • How to understand and think about mobile messaging, payments, and commerce on WeChat, Facebook Messenger, and social 'buy' buttons.
  • The role of CEOs and boards of directors in leading Social Business transformation.
  • How millennial norms have pervaded the mainstream and what we should expect from Generation Z.

THE SOCIAL BUSINESS IMPERATIVE explores the seismic changes happening in how we buy, consume, and think about goods and services today—and what companies need to do to keep up. 



Clara Shih is a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur and bestselling author. She is founder and CEO of Hearsay Social, an enterprise software company whose predictive omnichannel marketing platform helps financial advisors engage clients across social, text message, email, and websites while complying with industry regulations. A pioneer in the tech industry, Clara developed Faceforce, the first social business application, in 2007 and subsequently authored the New York Times-featured bestseller, The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Market, Sell, and Innovate. Clara has been named one of Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs,” Fast Company’s “Most Influential People in Technology,” BusinessWeek’s “Top Young Entrepreneurs,” and both Fortune’s and Ad Age’s “40 Under 40.” She was also named a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum. Clara is a member of the Starbucks board of directors and previously served in a variety of technical, product, and marketing roles at Google, Microsoft, and She holds a B.S. and M.S. in computer science from Stanford, as well as an M.S. in Internet studies from Oxford, where she studied as a United States Marshall Scholar.


About Blyth Meier

Blyth Meier joined us to lead our marketing department in 2015 after doing that work for the Milwaukee Film Festival for the previous five years. While she made good use her filmmaking degree at that job, here she returns to her first love—books. As an undergraduate English major at the University of North Dakota, Blyth’s favorite time of year was the annual Writers Conference, which brought many of her soon-to-be favorite authors to the remote Northern Prairie: Peter Matthiessen, August Wilson, Toi Derricotte, Mark Doty, Natasha Trethewey, and Terry Tempest Williams. Blyth lives in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee, where she gardens, cooks, takes photographs, makes films, and participates in a yearly 24-hour bike race. At 800-CEO-READ, she runs our social media accounts, writes for In the Books, and is the keeper of all our marketing spreadsheets.