Everyone’s still talking about Social Media these days. Businesses are promoting their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts at every opportunity. The number of social media experts, consultants, gurus and ninjas still seems to be increasing daily. But how often do you hear people talking about Social Business?
A Google Trend Comparison of Social Media and Social Business illustrates that Social Business has not hit the mainstream. It may actually never become as popular as Social Media. Just because there isn’t any hype around it, doesn’t mean that it should be ignored.
Introducing the Social Business
While I struggled to find an official definition for Social Business, here is my definition of it. Let me know what you think.
A Social Business is an organization that communicates effectively both externally with customers as well as internally across departments. The organization engages with customers to understand their needs and uses these insights to improve their business processes to ultimately offer their customers a better experience.
The Social Business is sincere and human. It listens to you and me. It cares about what we have to say and the frustrations we have with its products and services. It learns from these interactions and genuinely wants to help us.
Social Business is a Natural Progression of Social Media
Over the years, Social Media has become associated with Marketing, PR and Corporate Communications. Typically, these are the first departments to embrace Social Media. Social Media Marketing has actually emerged as another hype term.
Although Social Media may begin in the Marketing department, it quickly attracts conversations that are not necessarily related to Marketing. The Social Consumer is not shy and is not ashamed to complain about service quality (Customer Service), or to ask for product details (Technical Support) or to apply for a job (HR/Recruitment).
These departments historically operated within silos. What started as a simple marketing initiative has quickly grown into something much larger and complex than many of us expected. Social Media has become a catalyst for organizational change.
Social Business is a new type of Business Model that is emerging. It requires a holistic view of an organization. A significant amount of internal change management is required to reach this state.
Social Business is a journey, not a destination. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. This is not something that should come across as a major surprise. Customer behavior has changed, so businesses must also change. The future of business is the Social Business.
Blog Posts that inspired me:
- Social business requires a holistic point of view
- The Difference Between Social Media vs. Social Business
- The Great Social Media vs. Social Business Debate