Social business or social crm

This post is by Joey Strawn from Social CRM Insider.

There’s an old example many of my teachers used growing up to display a number of different points.

My teacher would show a jar on a table surrounded by a plethora of different-sized rocks. The task is to get all of the rocks into the one jar. No matter how you try, the only way that works is to put all the big rocks in first, then the medium-sized rocks, then fill the rest of the space with the pebbles.

The point of the exercise is to show the importance of priorities and how to organize your life.

Priorities are key to school, life and, of course, business. We’re going to talk about a major rock today that you need to have an understanding of if you’re going to be bringing in a Social CRM to your company or brand: Social Business.

We’re putting our normal curriculum aside today to address the issue of Social Business which, as you’ll find out, I feel is a larger goal than purely Social CRM.

Building a Business That’s Social

In her book Get Bold, Sandy Carter defines a “Social Business” as the following:

At its core, a Social Business is a company that is engaged, transparent, and nimble. A Social Business is one that understands how to embrace social technology, use it, get value from it, and manage the risk around it. A Social Business embeds social tools in all its processes, and for both employees and clients–the entire ecosystem. A leadership company explores the social techniques that really matter to its business with a sympathetic approach, by creating a bold, unique Social Business agenda.

That’s one of the best definitions I’ve ever read and I highly suggest Sandy’s book to anyone who cares about creating a business that works with its customers. I’m not going to fill more in with what she said, but I am going to give you a couple seconds to read it again and take it all in……..

……..good.

Social Business is important and it’s vital to your brand surviving the next 15-20 years intact. I’m not going to dispute the fact that everyone needs to be paying attention to this phenomenon, but does Social Business makes Social CRM obsolete?

Social CRM vs Social Business?

A few weeks back, Michael Brito had a wonderful post focusing on this very question. Does the importance and eventual necessity of Social Business negate the need for a focus on Social CRM, or should it all be wrapped up into the same idea and eventually just be called “business as usual?”

Honestly, I agree with Michael’s post in almost every way, even though it seems at first glace we would be in disagreement.

While I may not totally agree completely on every single semantic, I think we will get to a point where Social CRM in the larger context of a Social Business is not only necessary, but expected. If you aren’t starting now with your plans, you will be left behind and a Social CRM is part of that emerging business.

Where Michael and I differ is that I believe it’s not as important to shift focus away from the components that make up a Social Business, with Social CRM being a part of that. Just as 50-60 years ago marketing was a new idea, 60 years before that the telephone was a new idea – but both are now “standard operating procedure” in successful companies.

We will always have to understands the components of what we do for the good of our brands and users, while at the same time understanding the larger pictures that encompass all those little things.

Social CRM may be a little component at this point and in the future be a natural aspect of all companies, but we’ll still be supplying top-notch Social CRM advice, innovations, trends, topics and strategies to help your businesses understand it now and in the future.

What do you think? Is there still a place to discuss smaller components of Social Business? Do you agree with Michael that Social Business will eventually be just “business”? Where does Social CRM fit in?

Thoughts?

  • This post originally appeared on Social CRM Insider, part of the Jugnoo family of apps and publications to help people and businesses make the social web simple, accessible and monetizable. Joey Strawn is the Blogger in Residence at Social CRM Insider. You can read more posts here, and make sure to subscribe for the latest updates from Joey.
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