Social media and social technologies are now an integral component of how companies do business. It has become completely intertwined and integrated in our marketing efforts. Digital marketers can’t talk about content, SEO, website optimization, PR. Customers, whether they realize it or not, now have a completely new role to play within the corporate setting. They play a fundamentally different role in many of the tactics marketers once protected behind a wall of silence.
We as marketers can’t afford to think of “being social” as something separate from our other activities.
This social reality is now moving into another phase. Organizations are now focusing their efforts on how they can improve internally, taking advantage of the benefits of this new dynamic of social collaboration.
Like the advances made in ERP, CRM, marketing automation, and other areas, social business is another quiet revolution, taking place slowly at times, quickly at others.
The debate about what social business means, and what value “it” provides, if any, rages on in some circles. But in my opinion, it represents another quiet revolution. We didn’t wake up one day and find IBM, SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, and others, instantly built, ready for deployment. Just ask these enterprise players, and they will tell very compelling stories as to why social is the next big thing. They are embracing social collaboration as something worthwhile. My hope is that we all can use this opportunity to not only deliver additional enterprise value, but also to provide a new landscape where the nuances of complex human interactions can be celebrated. Yes, I believe in the power of geeks.
Those businesses that will benefit first from these efforts can in large part thank those who have properly integrated social activities in their customer service and support, marketing, and other functional areas. They include those that have made significant investments in building socially adept community forums, service and support teams, robust knowledge management platforms, and those that have taken the notion of social CRM, and actually built upon it. Is social business just a rehash of these efforts? I think the answer is no, but much of what has been learned, and much of what enterprise social collaboration will look like will be indebted to such efforts.
So, what about your business? Are you fully realizing the benefits of an integrated marketing strategy that includes intelligent social components? What are your thoughts on what it means to be a social business?