Different C’s to consider

The Four C’s


Cook’s version

Cook’s four C’s are related to workplace social software and how these classifications can help organisations select suitable software that will fit their organisational culture and needs. Here are the following classifications as provided by Cook himself;

  • Communication: Cook states that in regards to social software, the most prevalent type of communication software is informal but this may different from the existing communication structure of a business
  • Cooperation: This software type suits businesses that have an informal information  structure and every person has self-directed sharing . Hence, the software has only added value the more people use it but have no clear goal.
  • Collaboration: Collaboration is similar to cooperation, but there is a distinct purpose for the use of the software such as an underlying goal or ‘commitment’. Therefore, the software is more coordinated and less free-flowing
  • Connection:Connection tools are there to facilitate a ‘relationship’ between employees towards each other, the business and its ‘mission’ and even leadership

Which software is best?

There may be  overlap between the four categories but based on the two variables of interaction and organisation formality, some software categories are more suitable for the business than others.

Cook's Cs.png

Organisational culture is hugely relevant to this analysis as it’s about what suits the employees and the organisation itself to match what fits their environment or even attempt realignment of the norms and values of employees by adopting the desired software category.

Four social media strategy C’s

When a business or individual decides to implement a social media strategy that best suits their needs and the needs of their stakeholders, it is best to have a framework. Within the framework should be clear but open variables that help businesses narrow down what they wish to do to facilitate their social media direction.

I believe that  Four C’s provide a suitable framework for businesses to use at least as a starting point before they move into specific strategies related to their Social Media Marketing strategy (which also uses C’s).

The following information was provided by Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media

  • Cognise: Businesses need to analyse what the situation is like currently in the social media ‘landscape’ in general and also specifically in their industry in particular
  • Congruity: Once the business has established goals they wish to achieve, they should look into what different social media platforms offer and which suits the needs of the business best
  • Curate: This is more about setting boundaries about how often the business will interact with social media directly
  • Chase: Finally, this is about how intensive the businesses wishes to ‘follow conversations’ and other potential influences on the business in regards to social media


However, along with the Four C’s, the authors of the journal also suggested the use of ‘functional building blocks’ of social media. They are intended to be used as tools while creating a social media strategy. For instance, it was suggested that the ‘honeycomb’ platform, be used to help look at the social media landscape and to analyse the different social media platforms against the businesses needs.

Cisco’s SOCIAL Approach


Cisco Systems Inc is a global ‘IT leader’ so it’s only natural that social media is just an extension of their business operations. Cisco has a personalised approach to their social media strategy and has based it on their philosophy S.O.C.I.A.L. This philosophy is made up of the following values;

  • Scalable
  • Open
  • Consistent
  • Intuitive
  • Active
  • Limitless

However, I believe that it’s their framework they have used to reach their philosophy aims that are more applicable to people interested in integrating the philosophy.

Cisco’s Social Media Framework

  • Enablement: Cisco’s enable employees to engage in social media if they wish to. They have  inbuilt social media policies within their code of conduct also.
  • Intelligence: Actions Based Conversations (ABC’s) where they categorise and prioritise information for them
  • Engagement:  Conversation 5 W’s – Why (Objective), When (Frequency and Time), Who, When (Destination) and What (Content and Conversations).
  • Measurement: Cisco uses social metrics to measure their effectiveness as opposed to monetary values
  • Advocacy: They openly invite advocates who are loyal to their brand and will promote and defend it.

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