The Book of Best Practices in Employee Advocacy

The Most Powerful Brand on Earth: How to Transform Teams, Empower Employees, Integrate Partners and Mobilize Customers to Beat the Competition in Digital and Social Media

A sophisticated, in-depth, step-by-step guide to workforce enablement that is informed by authors’ personal experience within prominent organizations. You will learn how to:


  • Empower employees and partners to use social and digital media at scale
  • Understand the skills, business processes, governance, measurement, and infrastructure required
  • Build the business case and manage the journey
  • Examples from large and small brands


Brands that thrive and profit from employee and customer empowerment generate significantly greater awareness and revenues, while also decreasing costs of marketing, selling and customer service. However, employees must engage in public, real-time conversations. And most people are not professional communicators.

Enabling employees and partners in modern business requires new skills, business processes, governance, measurement, and infrastructure. In addition, leaders must learn new ways of managing risk, while helping employees build and manage external relationships in real-time. Nearly every industry is affected, and this book provides frameworks, guidelines and case studies for people to navigate the change for their organization.

What the Experts Are Saying About This Book

Social business is a complex undertaking that can overwhelm even the most seasoned executive. By focusing on people and processes, Chris and Susan get to the core of what social business is: people connecting with people in an organized way. 
SCOTT MONTY, Global Head of Social Media, Ford Motor Company

We are fortunate to be living through the most important communications revolution in human history. The ramifications of real-time communications—instantly connecting every human on earth with every other human on earth—are even more important than the invention of moveable type and the printing press more than 500 years ago. However, most organizations aren’t set up to communicate in the ways that buyers demand. In their book, Chris and Susan share how you can reach people with the valuable information people want to consume and are eager to share—and how that will brand your organization as one worthy of doing business with.
DAVID MEERMAN SCOTT, marketing strategist and bestselling author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR

While creating fans and advocates is the goal for many brands, you can’t get there without having engaged employees who understand the value of your fans and how to build relationships with your most passionate customers. The Most Powerful Brand on Earth shows you exactly how do to this. Susan and Chris give you the exact blueprint and steps necessary to create a more engaged and socially active employee base. This is critical for cultivating fans and advocates online, and this book shows you exactly how it’s done.
MACK COLLIER, author of Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans

Business has changed. And change is hard. This book helps you create an authentically social brand in the wake of huge shifts in business.
ANN HANDLEY, coauthor of Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business

Social business and enterprise social networks now play a key role in changing how we work, where we work, when we work, and even why we work. Chris and Susan’s book shows how these trends change the workforce and chronicles the impact to brands. This step-by-step guide tells you how to take your organization to the next level.
R. “RAY” WANG, Principal Analyst and CEO, Constellation Research, Inc.

Fundamental to moving from ‘doing social’ to ‘being social’ for a brand is recognizing that people are the channel. Susan and Chris clearly put their deep, real-world experience to work and articulate how to empower the people behind the brand—your employees and partners—on social media. This book covers the why, what, and how with clear examples and actionable next steps. Must read!
RAGY THOMAS, CEO of Sprinklr

I’m ready to vote this the most important marketing book in 10 years. It’s my new marketing bible.
VIDAR BREKKE, Founder and CEO of Meddle

The Most Powerful Brand offers communicators, marketers and executives a thoughtful and complete understanding of the implications for their companies when it comes to activating and enabling a social workforce.
Ethan McCarty, Director, Enterprise Social Strategy and Programs, IBM

Today’s true leaders are not just the ones who create the best products, but also the ones who breed new generations of leaders, unleash the power of their employees, and empower organic advocacy. In the social era, advocacy is where the influence is. Pick up this book and learn how to become the most powerful brand on earth.
Ekaterina Walter, co-founder and CMO of BRANDERATI, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of “Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook’s Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg”

Brand influence has reached a nexus of Darwinian change, and The Most Powerful Brand on Earth is the guide for the evolved to succeed and thrive as a new species in the global business ecosystem, thanks to Ms. Emerick and Mr. Boudreaux.
Rawn Shah, Author of Social Networking for Business; Blogger: “Connected Business” column

I’ve had the pleasure of working with both Susan and Chris for years, and have always considered them two of the real leaders in social media–read this book to find out why. Every company wants to unlock the formula of unleashing their employees and customers in social media on behalf of its brand. Unless you’ve figured it out yourself, you need this book.
Mike Moran, Author of Do It Wrong Quickly.

Social media are not just a collection of digital marketing tactics. They are the way a growing percentage of clients and prospects find the information they need to solve their business problems. Connecting your best experts to the clients and prospects with whom you want to develop a relationship is not optional. You either do it well or you get left behind by competitors that do it better than you. If you really want to learn how to do it well, read this book.
James Mathewson, Author of Audience, Relevance, and Search; Targeting Web Audiences with Relevant Content and the forthcoming Outside-In Marketing: Using Big Data to Drive Content Marketing



About The Authors

Chris Boudreaux

Chris Boudreaux

Chris Boudreaux helps brands transform their business operations for ROI through social media. In 2008, he created to help organizations get the most from their social media efforts, and his work has been featured by media including Forrester, Gartner, Harvard Business Review, Inc. magazine and Mashable.

In 2009, he created an online database of social media policies and regularly publishes analyses of the capabilities required for effective governance of social media.  Domains that he covers include: strategy and planning, policy and compliance, measurement and analytics, technical solution architecture and technology product development. His studies of social media have been referenced by corporations, governments, industry analysts and non-profits around the world.

Today, he leads digital marketing and CRM technology programs for clients at Ernst and Young.

In the past, Chris built the social business consulting practice globally at Accenture, and he built a social business consulting practice at the social media agency, Converseon, where he served clients including IBM, Ford and Walmart. In 2011, he co-authored The Social Media Management Handbook at Accenture, where he led business transformation programs at Fortune 500 clients including Boeing and Microsoft. In 2012, Chris was named by iMedia as one of 25 Leaders and Innovators in Digital Marketing.

He also led business development and marketing at two online start-ups, one of which was acquired by Glam Media.


Susan Emerick

Susan Emerick leads development and deployment of enterprise social and digital marketing strategy, standards and governance, education and training, analytics and measurement frameworks for IBM.

As an author, speaker and adjunct professor, Susan is passionate about advancing the marketing profession. Actively sharing her knowledge of utilizing social and digital media to build social influence to foster long-term, high value relationships with clients, prospects, partners, colleagues, and communities in support of brand marketing objectives.

An active member of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association Research and Measurement Council, Susan is dedicated to using her expertise to influence the standards and principles of word of mouth research and measurement.

In 2011, Susan was named to the elite iMedia Top 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators, an annual list of cutting-edge creatives, strategists, and technology innovators with big ideas, who get results and collaborate openly to push internet marketing forward.  View Susan’s iMedia profile


These fantastic business and technology professionals all contributed their time, experiences and expertise to help make The Most Powerful Brand on Earth a reality. We sincerely appreciate all that they did — and continue to do — for this project, which has truly been an amazing and thrilling team effort.
Thank you!


Sinan Aral
Constantin Basturea
Social Business Consultant
Neil Beam
Director, Client Relations
Liz Bullock
CEO, Co-Founder
Social Arts Science Institute
Christian Carlsson
Social Business Lead Consultant
Bill Chamberlin
Principal Foresight Analyst and Consultant
Tom Chernaik
Mack Collier
Social Media Strategist
Author of Think Like a Rock Star
Adam Edwards
Vice President, SEO
Reprise Media
Willie Favero
Data Warehousing on System z Swat Team
IBM Silicon Valley Lab

Greg Gerik
Social Business Architect for Global eTransformation
Ann Handley
Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs
Author of “Content Rules”
Chad Hermann
Communications Director
Kids Plus Pediatrics

Alex Laurs
Talent and Organization Consultant
James Mathewson
James Mathewson
Senior Digital Strategist: Search, Content Strategy and Editorial
Ethan McCarty
Director, Enterprise Social Programs
Robin McCarthy
Digital Performance Marketer
Scott Monty
Scott Monty
Global Digital Communications
Ford Motor Company
Mike Moran
Mike Moran
Digital Marketing Author, Professional Speaker, and Consultant
David Meerman Scott
David Meerman Scott
Marketing Strategist
Bestselling Author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR
Rawn Shah
Rawn Shah
Chief Strategy Officer
Gene Spafford
Professor and Executive Director
Purdue University
Sabrina Stoffregen
Sabrina Stoffregen
Director of Intel Ambassadors and Marketing Manager
Ragy Thomas
CEO of Sprinklr
Danna Vetter
Danna Vetter
VP, Consumer Strategy
Ekaterina Walter
Co-Founder and CMO of BRANDERATI
Author of “Think Like a Zuck”
Ray Wang
Principal Analyst, Founder & Chairman
Constellation Research, Inc.

In addition to the contributors listed above, please see the Acknowledgements from within the book, as follows:

To the IBM Management team, especially Maria Arbusto, David Bruce, David Chamak, Ben Edwards, Jon Iwata, and Ethan McCarty for their open leadership. To the IBM Social Insights Practice leaders, especially Bill Chamberlin and Amy Laine, who’ve led the enterprise to understand the value of social intelligence and analytics. Cheers to the “Dynamic Trio”! To the extended group of IBM colleagues who worked to advance our strategy through many years, especially Cleveland Bonner, Catherine Brohaugh, Colleen Burns, Laura Cappelletti, Christian Carlsson, Adam Christensen, Phil Corbett, Stacy Darling, David Davidian, Joyce Davis, Anna Dreyzin, Jennifer Dubow, George Faulkner, Willie Favero, Jeanette Fuccella, Randy Gelfand, Steve Gessner, Nigel Griffiths, Linda Grigoleit, Keith Kaplan, Katie Keating, Scott Laningham, Dawn May, Maurice Mongeon, Katherine Motzer, Jeanne Murray, Jennifer Okimoto, Pauline Ores, Younghee Overly, Martin Packer, Tony Pearson, Kasper Risbjerg, Joshua Scribner, Mark Schurtman, Rawn Shah, Elisabeth Stahl, Luis Suarez, Paul Turnbull, Delaney Turner, Jennifer Turner, Todd Watson, Steve Will, Tina Williams, Tiffany Winman, and Kevin Winterfield.
To our friends and colleagues who passionately and willingly shared their perspectives or influenced our work over the years, in alphabetical order: Sinan Aral, Constantin Basturea, Neil Beam, Will Botnick, Liz Bullock, Warren Butler, Tom Chernaik, Craig Daitch, Adam Edwards, Greg Gerik, Sam Fiorella, Paul Gillin, Paul Greenberg, Chad Hermann, Tom Hoglund, Bill Howell, Joe Hughes, Rob Key, Mark Kovscek, Alex Laurs, Lindsey Loughman, Robin McCarthy, Scott Monty, Mike Moran, Jeremiah Owyang, Bryan Pedersen, Ric Rushton, David Meerman Scott, Jasper Snyder, Gene Spafford, Philip Stauffer, Sabrina Stoffregen, Jeff Thibodeau, Jeffrey Treem, Ted Ulle, Danna Vetter, Ray Wang, Allen Webber, Dean Westervelt, and Steve Wick.

To our dedicated editorial and design team at Pearson who supported us in delivering a quality product especially Bernard Goodwin, Chris Zahn, John Fuller, Caroline Senay, Stephanie Geels, Ted Laux, Kelli Brooks, Michelle Housley, Chuti Prasertsith, Dan Powell, and Lisa Jacobson-Brown.


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