What is a Social Business?

What is a social business?For anyone still thinking that social isn’t for business—think again!  The world is in the midst of the greatest shift in communication of all time and to be successful companies must transform into social businesses.

What exactly is a social business?
Chief Social Media Evangelist for IBM, Sandy Carter, has written a book titled, “Get Bold: Using Social Media to Create a New Type of Social Business,” in which she  defines a social business as one that uses social tools and techniques to become more engaging,  transparent, and nimble.  She translates “engaging” as two-way conversation; “transparent” as comfortable with all information being shared at the same time with everyone; and “nimble” as the ability to be flexible and react quickly to change.

What is the best way to get started?
Unfortunately, becoming a social business requires more than just creating a Facebook page and Twitter account. There must be a philosophical change in the way a business operates. It starts by infusing social across all business processes such as IT, marketing , sales, operations, human resources and product development. Becoming a social business will not happen overnight and requires a long-term, strategic approach to the overall business culture, leadership and organization.

What are the benefits of being a social business?
Once a business encompasses social throughout its entire organization, it can then realize the significant benefits of its efforts. A few of the biggest benefits include deeper customer relationships and insights, highly optimized work forces, smarter sales, increased product innovation and overall profits.

While there are still plenty of business owners and executives who have yet to drink the social Kool-Aid, it is undeniable that social has completely changed the way we conduct our personal relationships and the way we do business.  The businesses who will be successful in the future are the ones who take social off the side shelf and bring it to the table so that it can be integrated into all normal business processes. The social revolution isn’t coming, it’s here and the sooner your business embraces it, the sooner you will gain the competitive edge.

To learn more about what it means to be a social business, I recommend listening to the SocialMediaToday.com podcast, “Boldly Social: A Conversation with Sandy Carter.”


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