I don’t like to argue definitions. It’s a waste of time, especially when you only have 140 characters to make a point. So if it’s social business, social enterprise, social organization, social this or that, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is what comes out of a business when organizations (employees at all levels) begin to change they way the communicate, lead, behave and work.
When I think about various projects that I have worked on both on the agency side, as well as when I worked for the enterprise, I realize that social business enables better business practices.
Social Business Enables Employee Advocacy
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, “employees of a company”, “subject matter experts” and “people like themselves” are considered highly credible when the public is seeking out product or company related information. Social business not only trusts and empowers employees, but also enables and trains them to be better communicators using internal and external social tools.
Social Business Enables More Meaningful Customer Relationships
Social CRM or what I call strategic community management enables those on the front lines (community managers, social support and yes marketers) to provide more meaningful experiences based on data, governance and process -- which can only come to full fruition to social business practices.
Social Business Enables Employee Innovation
If you are a customer of Amazon Prime, you should know it was a result of an employee suggestion based on an employee engagement initiative. Traditional employee engagement is still important today, but it's better when you add social tools that will allow them to collaborate, share, and innovate.
Social Business Enables Better Marketing
Real time monitoring, real time engagement and real time customer support (often times referred to as a Command Center or Online Listening Center) is a natural result of social business in action. Consider all the players needed to make something like this happen; marketing, PR, support, IT, product teams and possibly a legal team. Now imagine trying to schedule a meeting with everyone involved, then leave the meeting with actionable next steps. It’s not easy and requires internal teams to communicate and work together towards a common goal.
Social Business Enables Better Measurement:
I am not a math guy. I failed algebra in college. Although, a true, collaborative social business will ensure that (a) there IS a social media measurement framework and more importantly (b) everyone in the entire organization is measuring social media consistently. This is not easy to do.
Lastly and most importantly, social business truly enables a better workplace environment. When teams, employees, managers, and even partners work in an environment where they are trusted, empowered, enabled and allowed to take part in critical decision making, nothing but good things happen. There is product innovation, process improvement, and lastly happy, more efficient and productive employees causing this type of behavior to spread across the organization.
Editor's Note: To read more by Michael Brito, check out The Social Business Change Agent.