Cook’s 4 c’s and Cisco’s Approach

What come’s to your mind when you hear “The 4 c’s of social software”? I’m sure you instantly think about something being all technology related or social media. In fact, you’re right. It does has a lot to do with social media. The 4 c’s are actually known to most people as Cook’s 4 c’s Approach. This is basically a guide, model, or a framework which assists organizations in choosing the right social tools when they integrate social media into the enterprise. So what are those 4 c’s?

The 4 c’s are simply:


Communication: Communication platforms enable people to carry out conversations either in forms of text, image, voice, video, or a combination of these. Communication is also a crucial tool in a business because it transfers information from employee to employee, carrying out daily tasks at the most effective way possible. Recall back when we had to physically deliver information in the workplace. A simple message could take an amount of time to deliver from one end to the other. But today, with social media implementation, information delivery is instantaneous, which gives employees more time to do other tasks and the entire business becoming more productive.

Collaboration: Collaboration is the idea of efforts being coordinated among a group of people with a common goal. These days, countless softwares allow user collaboration and in terms of the advantage, businesses which implement these collaborative technologies benefit from it.  Examples of collaboration are wikis, community software developers, and much more. To have collaboration in terms of a workplace, it is obvious that this will boost the business performance.

Cooperation: Cooperation for some people, may be considered as “helping” in general. In this concept, employees contribute and assist each other in a specific task to reach an assigned goal. Sometimes these are done in forms of tasks being split into subtasks, allowing the main goal to be achieved faster but have less stress on the workers. Imagine this concept being put to use in the workplace. Of course, not all businesses are the same. For some, adding more people to a specific task will complicate the whole situation while on the other hand, adding more people means less working time.

Connection: As obvious as it is, connection provides interaction among two or more employees in different ways. Think about your Facebook. You connect to other people and there forms the interaction. In the workplace, social media has been proving to be an effective tool for a good business performance. It encourages open communication, ensures everyone has a voice and can be heard, and most important of all, gives a sense of trust and belonging among both the manager and the employees.

A good example of a company implementing all of this is CISCO. They have an approach in which they call “The S.O.C.I.A.L Approach”. In this approach:


means scalable, which relates to the need of crafting your social media posts to enable growth and constant supply of value. This involves daily updates and offers that retain audience engagement and also attract more.

O means open, which is the ability to demonstrate good leadership and lead from the top by encouraging participation in an open and transparent manner. Think of it as following a blog. The blogger shares knowledge to the followers in forms of posts while the followers follow the posts with hopes to learn something new.

C means consistent. This is the concept with the idea that the person posting the content is doing so in a quality, regular manner. This also relates to a blog. Followers wish to get what they expect. So if a blogger is supposed to blog weekly or the posts are not of quality, this may result in having lesser followers.  Consistency is the key.

means intuitive. Every business wants a good impression on its customers. When a business website can’t be found due to poor connectivity or navigation methods, it could lead to less public recognition. Businesses aim for the public to notice them so it is crucial to encourage social media through employees which in turn, will spread it to the public, giving the business a familiar and excellent customer impression.

A means active. Be active in creating and sharing information to initiate and retain conversations. This shows the business’s passion with their work.

L means limitless, which is to be flexible with social media and willing to make changes based on executives comfort and consideration to the target market. This is like using different social media platforms to ensure delivery of a diverse range of contents to audiences.

So is implementing social media into the workplace a good idea based on these concepts? I sure do think so. This will then place a challenge on the employees to deal with complex environmental changes and developments (also known as their personal knowledge management).


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