Posts tagged social business

Social Business or Humanizing Your Business Through Social?

Along with the term Big Data, “Social Business” has become one of the terms du jour when it comes to how organizations work.

Several agencies and organizations have come up with their definitions of what a social business is.

As we begin to be able to measure the degree to which employees collaborate in helpful ways through social technology, we will be able to build improved reward mechanisms to drive the desired behaviours and break down long-standing cultural barriers. Nigel Fenwick, VP and Principal Analyst, Forrester.

An organization must promote a business culture of transparency and trust from senior leadership to those working in the field. It must work to encourage a culture of sharing as well, employees need to feel comfortable sharing their sentiment and collaborating across teams and departments. Sandy Carter, VP, IBM.

Stop focusing on the technology and move into how people work… [in] their day-to-day tasks. Luis Suarez, Social Computing Evangelist, IBM.

A social business is something altogether different as it embraces introspection and extrospection to reevaluate internal and external processes, systems, and opportunities to transform into a living, breathing entity that adapts to market conditions and opportunities. Brian Solis, Principal, Altimeter Group.

As you can see, there are several takes on what defines a social business, yet they all have a common theme – the people behind the business.

It’s these people that both agencies and organizations alike are recognizing the need to empower with decisions and deeper interactions within the business, and to be able to do the work they’re best at and be provided with the tools – more often than not, social tools – to help them do just that.

Make that happen, and you have a far better culture, internally and externally. Achieve that culture, achieve more success.

Except, that’s not really what a social business is all about – instead, that’s more about humanizing your business through social collaboration. And there’s a difference.

A True Social Business

Perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising that so many seem willing to jump onto the social business definition as the one highlighted by the above examples. After all, social media has been a constant when it comes to definitions outside original scopes:

    • Return on anything (Relationship, Influence, Connection, Empathy, etc.) except what matters to the bottom line – Investment;

 

  • Explosion in marketing terms (Content, Influence, Social, Social Media, Empathy, Relationship, etc.). Even though they all have a singular goal – results through marketing.

These are just two areas where social has – forced or otherwise – changed the language while not really changing the methodology or meaning behind the new terms. Social business is a little different, though.

A true social business isn’t about using collaboration, social tools and technology to improve the culture of an organization. Instead, a true social business can be defined as such:

[A business] created and designed to address a social problem (with social being societal).

[A business that is] a non-loss, non-dividend company (either financially self-sustainable, or profits are reinvested in the business, or used to start another one, with the aim of increasing social impact).

The above descriptions of what a social business looks like come from Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Professor Muhammed Yunus.

Muhammed Yunus

Given that the actual term “social business” was defined perfectly in his books Creating a World Without Poverty – Social Business and the Future of Capitalism (PublicAffairs, 2009) and Building Social Business – The New Kind of Capitalism That Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs (PublicAffairs, 2011), I think it’s fair to say these definitions are the ones that truly identify what a social business is, and does.

Adding to this perception of social business are respected business professionals across various sectors.

That’s how I define it – not the social media one. Doing social good while making a profit. It’s why I love Beloved Beadwork in South Africa; they are a true social business and I love their energy and drive to make the world a better place. Anne Marie van den Hurk, Principal, Mind the Gap PR.

Unfortunately, web marketers got hold of the term and confused the meaning. Jon Aston, Consultant and Social Change Agent.

So if the definition of social business is that of a business looking to make a social impact, and better the world around them, where does that leave today’s term and its buzz?

Humanizing Your Business to Be More Social

Perhaps agencies and organizations need to look just a little more closely at their definition of a social business. By doing so, they’ll realize that what they’re actually referring to is two separate yet complementary terms – humanizing and socializing.

In their excellent book Humanize – How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World (Que, 2011), authors Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter share their years of combined experience in changing organizational culture to be more about its people.

In detailed analysis, Grant and Notter highlight why organizations struggle in today’s socially-savvy world, and where they need to improve. From the book:

We like being human. We like having the capacity to publish our own thoughts and to create things and share them with the people in our communities who actually matter to us. One of the reasons social media has grown so fast is that it taps into what we, as humans, naturally love and need and want to do – create, share, connect, relate.

Our organizations, however, are not as enthusiastic. We see the potential that social media has for our organizations, because of the energy and attention social media attracts, but we are having a hard time trying to fit these new practices into our existing systems. The challenge is to make our organizations more human.

Grant and Notter go on to break down what this challenge looks like, and how to overcome it.

By diving into all facets of the organization – Human Resources, management, hierarchy, silos, behavioural management, and decentralizing closed cultures for open ones – Humanize becomes the essential roadmap to change culture through collaboration and social tools. Sound familiar?

Yep, it’s exactly what today’s “social business” definition looks like. The closest organizational comparison to the social business meaning as defined by Yunus is “social enterprise”.

[A term used to describe] commercial activity by socially-minded organizations. – Wikipedia.

For example, a social enterprise may run employment schemes and opportunities to help those that would normally come up against barriers to that work. Additionally, by supporting the local community or sponsoring aid programs either at home or abroad, organizations can write off certain income and reinvest.

Having said that, even a true social enterprise goes beyond these two examples.

[A social enterprise] applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being, rather than maximizing profits for external shareholders. Social enterprises can be structured as a for-profit or non-profit, and may take the form of a co-operative, mutual organization, a disregarded entity, a social business, or a charity organization. – Wikipedia.

Which closes the loop and circles back to Muhammed Yunus’s definition of a social business.

The Future of Business is Social. Or Humanizing. Or Both

That’s not to say that businesses need to reconsider calling what they do today “social business”. After all, they may have a philanthropic involvement with either the local community or a need further afield.

Perhaps they allow employees time off for community projects, or they allocate their Christmas Party money to the local food bank. At its heart, these are the actions of a true social business.

But let’s not confuse how organizations are creating culture changes (humanizing their business) with real societal impact (social business) by and for business owners, employees and stakeholders.

The world of social media consultants and agencies already have enough adoptions of differing terminologies – it’d be nice to keep one that really matters true to itself.

image: James Dellow

Today’s Marketer and the Changing Face of Purchase Decisions

social business

As digital and mobile channels continue to pervade ever deeper into today’s business landscape, the challenges facing organizations and their key personnel grows with it.

Whereas before, we could create a message and hammer it home to our audiences until it was accepted, now there are multiple channels, factors, disruptors and more that make marketing your brand much more scientific than before.

Think of all the facets of marketing today:

  • Social media marketing
  • Mobile marketing
  • Influence marketing
  • Digital marketing
  • Search engine marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Pay Per Click marketing
  • Banner display marketing
  • Digital signage marketing
  • Traditional marketing

And on and on and on. Still marketing, but now truly multi-faceted.

Now, into that mix, introduce demographics, locale, purchase history, brand loyalty, financial, emotional and situational factors, and creating a successful marketing template becomes much more strategic than ever before.

Which is why a new guide from Worldcom Public Relations Group is a timely release. The world’s leading partnership of global public relations brands, Worldcom provides analysis and understanding of the various cultural nuances in different marketplaces.

Their Global & Local Marketing Guide for CMOs highlights the growing shifts and trends in these different markets, and offers insights from 40 Worldcom partners across more than 15 countries.

These insights help CMOs understand the marketing and PR landscape when it comes to multicultural audiences, locales and industries, and is geared to help organizations and marketing consultants/agencies be more effective in these areas.

Below are some of the key takeaways from the report.

Today’s Marketer Needs to Understand Local as Well as Global

Savvy marketers have always known that true success comes from understanding your customer and meeting their needs and demands.

From type of message to channel of promotion, and language of the message, if you don’t meet your customer on their terms – or at least be fluid enough to adapt to their known terms – then you’re already on shaky ground when it comes to getting your brand message out there.

For example, in Argentina, South America:

…60% of opinions about a product are shared in face-to-face conversations, and people are more eager to exchange opinions with friends (45.5%), family (20%) and colleagues (30%). 92% of the comments within these conversations tend to be positive over negative.

In Arizona, United States:

Small businesses are a major contributor to Arizona’s economy, representing 97% of businesses in the state. 78% of Arizona companies rely on word-of-mouth when purchasing a new product or service.

In Hong Kong, China:

Hong Kong is seeing a growing market for group purchases. In January 2012, Groupon had 360,000 fans of their Facebook page, 10% of the total amount of Facebook accounts in China. [Note: I’ve never been sold on fans in relation to business metrics, but the percentages and use of Groupon was interesting – Danny.]

These are just three snippets that highlight very different cultural takes on how we do business today. The report itself delves into many more countries and offers some fascinating insights into why the future of marketing is local, and then beyond.

Interestingly, many of the findings tie perfectly into the research and methodologies that make up Influence Marketing, and how dyadic (groups of two) relationships drive influence marketing success when it comes to the customer solution.

If marketers can change their mindsets on placing the customer first and then meeting track back from there to meet the customer’s needs, their goals will be more manageable and measurable.

Channels and Content Are Key

For ArCompany, the best marketing and PR is when you’re not even aware you’re being marketed to. The nature of the promotion, the conversations around it, the minute details that are researched before a campaign’s implementation – all are geared towards making marketing as non-invasive as possible.

Research

Sure, the in-your-face way works, especially in certain industries. But more often than not, the campaigns that resonate the most are the ones that see your customers continue to talk long after the initial ad hits your stream.

To this end, the channels your business uses for its campaigns, along with the content and how it’s shared, plays a significant part in an increasingly connected consumer-led marketplace.

For businesses, 88% prefer email as the lead communication channel.

For consumers, 34% prefer social media, although email is a close second with 27%.

76% say that social media [influencer] outreach is a top priority for clients.

85% cite LinkedIn as their preferred channel.

49% claim social posts are too promotional.

46% said the communication was too frequent.

In addition to these numbers, the breakdown between B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) content and strategies offers a clear difference in strategy and approach.

B2C content should be educational; stimulating; entertaining; non-commercial; objective; focused on engagement and two-way communication.

B2B content should present ROI in a clear, understandable and measurable manner; be solution-driven; have an integrated media approach; include infographics, videos and social media content alongside traditional media.

While the lines between consumer and business marketing are beginning to blur more, as corporations adopt more social media and influencer campaign models traditionally associated with consumer campaigns, the differences are still large enough to warrant specific strategies and tactics for each.

The Landscape is Shifting

It’s not just social media that’s leading the charge in the way we do business – mobile is dramatically shifting not only the way we consume media, but also the way we shop and make purchase decisions.

More traditional verticals like Financial Services, as well as more forward-thinking ones like Retail, are seeing seismic shifts in how customers of these industries use mobile phones to gather information and quantify their decisions.

In the Financial Services sector in the U.S., mobile banking is the #1 activity bank customers expect to be able to carry out with their chosen bank.

In the Retail sector, mobile shopping will represent 62% of digital consumers by the end of 2013.

In addition to these numbers, the Hungarian Advertising Association showed mobile marketing grow 12% in 2012, accounting for just under 20% of the complete advertising budget for the European country. This trend is visible elsewhere, as the full report shows.

Where Does This Leave You?

As the examples here and in the full report show, today’s CMO needs to be multi-talented.

As well as being responsible for product development, market research, sales management and advertising, they need to be up-to-date on the trends that matter for their customers as well as their business and stakeholders.

As a CMO in today’s marketplace, you need to:

Know who you’re speaking to, and understand their habits and behaviours of your key customers.

Know what, how and when to share your message.

Understand measurement and where you’re succeeding, where you’re struggling, where you need to pivot and where you need to acquiesce.

Plan for sustainability, move away from the campaign mindset and be strategic in building long-term loyalty and advocacy through delivering on your promise and continuing the after-service long after the sale.

The simple fact of the matter is, mobile and digital marketing is only going to become ever more pervasive, and require more hats to be worn across the board. The marketing hat starts with the CMO – make sure you’re wearing it well. Need help? Let’s talk.

The full Global & Local Marketing Guide for CMOs 2013 can be downloaded here. This post originally appeared on the ArCompany corporate blog.

Empathy is a Social Currency

Empathy in the organization

In their excellent book Humanize, authors Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter share their insights into why a truly successful business needs to take the reasons social media has enjoyed exponential growth as a business imprint, and implement it across the organization.

It takes more than simply activating staff on social media and being more “approachable” as a business on the social web – it’s a complete mindset and culture change, for which many organizations today are still not ready for.

It’s probably one of the best business books on this topic today, and is highly recommended.

But as well as offering a roadmap into why organizations need to adapt the social mindset to succeed in today’s business landscape, Humanize – and the underlying concepts within it – raises another, much more important factor: that of empathy as a social currency.

There’s More to Being Human Than Simply Being a People Business

Leading website Ragan.com, a destination for communications and PR professionals globally, published an article detailing the case of a waitress that worked at pub restaurant chain Hooters.

In the article, Sandra Lupo shares how she had to undergo surgery to remove a brain tumour. As a result of the surgery, she was left bald and sporting a scar from where the surgery left its mark.

Upon returning to Hooters, she was advised by her boss – via the Regional Manager for that particular locale – that she would have to wear a wig to hide her baldness.

Lupo couldn’t afford to pay for the wig; the manager of the restaurant wouldn’t cover the cost.  Lupo wore a borrowed one which caused scalp irritation so she stopped wearing it, her hours were cut as a result, and because of this chain of events Lupo quit.

She’s now suing the restaurant from a disability angle, which the restaurant is contesting.

Lupo’s case, and the article at Ragan.com, raises a key point that many organizations are failing to address today, when looking to turn their business into not only a social business, but one where the culture throughout is pervasive with the right mindset to begin with, from the top down.

We’ve spoken with, and helped, several organizations that have implemented cultural shifts. Shifts that:

  • Have enabled employees to become social ambassadors;
  • Have identified weak processes and pivoted where needed;
  • Have empowered people of all levels to help drive decisions because they’re the most suitable to do so, even if – by rank and seniority at the organization – they’re more junior.

And while this shift is important and offers validation of where we believe business needs to be moving, there are still many organizations that employ this approach and yet forget the core tenet of being human, or a social business, or a people-led organization.

And that tenet is empathy.

Empathy is a Social Currency

The greatest customer service assistant – whether in a retail environment or on the other end of a phone line in a call centre environment – knows that when a customer complains, it’s almost universally never directed at them in person.

Rather, it’s the brand that’s coming under fire.  With that knowledge, the CSA can adopt two approaches:

  • Tow the company line no matter what claims the customer may have that could be counter to the organization’s edict;
  • Apply empathy to the situation, placing themselves in the customer’s shoes, and working together to resolve the matter with no need for an escalation process to be invoked.

The former option may be the company’s preferred method, when working to the letter of the law, but it’s the latter that will leave a far more satisfactory outcome and potentially set that customer on the path to becoming a true brand advocate.

This approach has been taken with the more successful companies on social media; accepting that there will always be instances where a message was lost, a promotion was poorly timed, or a response took longer than normal.

Trackur-Talking-About-You

As social media opens up multiple channels for the connected consumer to air grievances on, so the need grows for organizations to move away from just being a people business when it comes to customers, and adopt to being a provider in the empathy business as well.

But this should absolutely not be restricted to the customer on an external basis only – it should also be extended to the internal customer as well.

The Culture of Empathy for the Internal Customer

Smart organizations know that employees are also customers. They may not always buy the company product – that purchase still needs to earned by delivering on the sales promise – but they do help shape the purchase decisions of their family, friends and social connections.

Even away from the immediate connections, your employees – and their passion for the organization – are core to how your bottom line is affected.

When potential customers contact a business with regards a product, they don’t care about the sales team now. They’ve already researched the product online and through trusted peers, with 71% of consumers making a purchase based on social media referrals and 74% of consumers preferring social network peer connections to influence the decision-making process.

With the traditional sales team now being bypassed for their recommendations, customers are looking to talk directly with employees immediately attached to the product or service the inquiry is about.

According to Inc., if that employee isn’t up to speed with the product and the company’s support, future plans, comparisons to competitor products, hands-on support and more, that customer becomes a lost opportunity and will move on to your competitor.

As every organizational development trainer knows, the valued employee not only stays with the organization longer; they want to be an embedded part of the organization across multiple areas, and not just where their current position may limit them to.

And the way to value the employee? Empathy.

In the case of Sandra Lupo and Hooters, it could be argued that Hooters did nothing wrong legally. If part of the Hooters “experience” is the physical make-up of the waitresses, then Hooters could have a case that Lupo’s appearance didn’t match the company prerequisite, no matter how questionable we may feel that stance is (if, indeed, that is the company stance when defending the suit).

But the company line isn’t always the best one; nor does it have to be strictly adhered to.

The greatest leaders know that the ability to divert from a course of action, or a path that’s always been trod, is the biggest differentiator between a good company and a great one.

In the case of Hooters, the cost of providing a custom wig for a waitress would allow them to maintain the outward requirements of front-facing waitresses, while understanding and alleviating the pain of someone whose appearance is temporarily “different” through hugely unfortunate circumstances.

Instead of facing a legal case, they have shown belief and support for the people behind their company’s success – the very cultural approach that turns a people business into a human organization.

The Path to Empathy Starts Here

One of the biggest mistakes organizations make is in thinking the only requirement to be successful on social media – or business, in general – is to be human. That is, be your customer’s friend and speak to them as one.

Yet, as Humanize shows, and as many brands have found out, “being human” is not the same as humanizing your organization. Nor is it something your customers truly want.

In a report commissioned by the Corporate Executive Board, one of the key highlights that the report identified is consumers prefer simplicity in the decision-making process, leading to an 86% chance of interest turning into a purchase. Perhaps even more tellingly, only 23% actually cared about a brand relationship (or friendship), which counters the posit you need to be friends with your customers.

CEB report

Instead, the most successful organizations were the ones that were empathetic, in the word’s truest sense:

…the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; – Merriam Webster dictionary.

By understanding what it means to empathize, an organization can implement the culture needed to serve both internal and external customers to drive increased loyalty, engagement, advocacy and collaboration through involvement across the board.

Understanding the Mindset of Employees and Customers

Tracking software with advanced text analytics algorithms are beginning to identify true nuances of conversations between people. Nouns, verbs and adjectives can be layered upon the bigger conversation, and detect mood swings, emotional states, hidden messages and more.

Externally, being aware of these states of mind can help organizations prepare a message for individual customers (based on group personas as well as individual ones) that help show empathy to a current situation, and how your brand can help.

Internally, with tools like Yammer being widespread across many organizations, organizations can identify an employee who feels unappreciated or who has a great idea that isn’t being promoted. This clearly needs treading carefully with regards privacy and the employer/employee relationship, but is worth the effort to agree on with all parties.

Experiencing the Feelings of Another

There’s a reasonably popular television show called Undercover Boss, that explores what happens when the CEO of an organization is heavily disguised and placed into the workforce for a week, to see how well the company is run and identify the great people doing great things.

While not every organization’s CEO needs to do the same, remembering what it was that made your company such a great place to work in the first place is something that should be revisited often.

Adopt an open office policy where every employee’s views can be heard without bias or fear of recourse; spend a day on the job of various department workers; visit the facilities provided, like cafeteria and the quality of services provided to employees while in your care. Be an employee again to experience where your organization needs to make changes.

From a customer point of view, follow their footsteps at every touch-point of their connection to your organization. How does customer service handle their call; what does tech support look like; how are your resellers treating them; how are your complaints heard online when voiced? Be the customer again and resolve the issues before your competitors do.

Being a people organization is one thing; being an organization where people are human and empathize with the flaws as well as the strengths of other humans connected to the organization, both internally as well as externally, is where the true people part comes into play.

The challenge is yours to accept.

A version of this post originally appeared on the ArCompany blog.

Special Announcement – Introducing ArCompany

A social business is one that becomes engaged, transparent and nimble. – John Mell, IBM

So it’s been a bit of a milestone week. First, I celebrated 1,000 posts here, and my daughter Salem turns one year old today so about to shoot off and get the party ready!

And, since these things always seem to happen in three, yesterday saw the official launch of ArCompany, the new business I’m part of dedicated to helping organizations and Enterprise operationalize social through business intelligence.

From the introductory blog post:

In the past, the value between a company and its customers was based on transaction history. A true value has emerged that includes customer relationships and behaviours outside of the organization and provides him/her with a stronger voice that the company must heed.

However, companies, for the most, part are not ready [to operate in this manner]. They don’t have the ability nor forethought to recognize the value of the data.

Companies are not ready to shape their processes and structure around this information to properly receive, manage and analyze and action on it (in the appropriate timeframes)–all in an effort to mitigate reputational impacts, to capitalize on potential revenue streams, and to reduce customer churn.

This is where ArCompany enters the equation.

We Are Not Just an Agency

It’s clear organizations needs strong education and guidance/governance when it comes to the business landscape we find ourselves moving in today.

In the past customers may have had the benefit of being listened to if the service team deemed them worthy. Today, however, businesses are increasingly finding themselves having their hand forced into listening, due to the myriad of options the connected customer has to air grievances.

Additionally, employees are true brand ambassadors for a business whether they have officially signed up to be one or not. Every action taken by an employee online reflects on the brand, and often the most innocuous statement leads to a crisis of reputation and perception.

These murky waters are making it increasingly difficult for businesses to just run the day-to-day operations, never mind the extra resources and expertise needed to oversee other core factors like the ones mentioned above, and more.

This is why ArCompany is not just an agency. We’re not just a marketing house. We’re not just a digital services team.

Instead, as befits the way the company name is pronounced, we are the driver of your business when it comes to accountability for the customer at all levels, internally and externally, from employee to consumer to stakeholder.

Understanding the Connected Customer

Through three key areas, we will help organizations be the drivers of change, bridge gaps by elevating the relationship between customer and brand, and allow businesses to focus their resources in driving the other parts of their business to meet market needs and expectations.

These three key areas are:

  • Comprehensive Data Analysis – ArCompany filters through the noise of the social web allowing you to have meaningful conversations with your customers and stakeholders;
  • Strategies That Drive Business Return – We help evolve companies to the changing communication landscape and build programs to set up organizations for success;
  • Customer Experience Solutions – Helping your business understand and evolve with your customer’s expectations and increase loyalty and advocacy.

The team at ArCompany has an average of 18 years experience each in helping businesses transform the way they do business to meet ever-changing marketplace demands.

ArCompany team

It feels like this company has been a long time in the making. Organizations are ready to make the jump into being a true social business – they just need the right guidance across all parts of the business to make this jump and implode the silos that currently exist.

ArCompany will be that company.

Our partnership with you will be a true collaborative effort to move you to the next level, through education, technology partnerships and implementing business objective initiatives. The word “arc” shows steady momentum and progression. Taken together with “company” it sounds like “Our Company”. The next generation of business will have accountability to the customer– at all levels of the organization.

We look forward to getting started.

You can get more information on ArCompany on our website, as well as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter (minor tweaks are still being made to the social profiles).

Let’s Talk About Social Business

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.