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Social Business Explained: The Big Picture

As a community manager, it’s important you maintain a big picture of how social business will help your company succeed. It’s more than social media. It’s up to you to create the big opportunities for the organization and help to facilitate its success.

Becoming at social business -among many things- means to utilize external data in business decisions. It means to be agile and improve internal collaboration. It means that you can improve your execution by tapping into the collective minds and background of employees. The big picture is social business becomes the way business is done. It doesn’t get lobbed off as a “fancy” way of getting work done. It becomes the standard for business as usual at your company.

This post is a part of my Social Business Explained blog series for social media professionals and community managers so they can create sustainable social businesses.

Boiling down social business into practical terms, it means:

  • Driving business decisions from external and internal social data
  • Collaboration over competition
  • Communication over silence
  • Data over opinions
  • Agility over chaos
  • Cross-functional collaboration over silos

I see social business becoming a competitive edge that companies have over their competition. Those that are able to act quickly, regardless of size, win. Those that are less insular in their collaboration succeed because they become even more connected to those who offer value. Specifically, these organizations will hire the right staff quicker, respond thoughtfully and will have strong R&D cycles because of how employees can all contribute to R&D.

I also see a time when social media marketing is no longer isolated to marketing. Why? Marketing will always have a vested interest to engage externally. Marketing departments are like the Kevlar vest for the organization. It’s the first (and often only) layer that people see. Any criticisms or fresh ideas become absorbed upon impact. The vest will come off and said companies will be successful because they are vulnerable. This perceived vulnerability is almost always fiction, exaggerated and rarely based on facts.

We’re entering changing times. Economies are shifting to become more distributed. Consumers’ attitudes and expectations from companies are evolving. Open and real communication is no longer just a PR blurb. It’s a requirement of tomorrow’s employees. New ideas will need looking out and in. As your company introduces new technologies, how will people adapt? The company’s investors will soon expect that those organizations are seriously adopting social practices, real-time engagement and community collaboration.

The big picture here is that social business will no longer be found “in a perfect world.” It will be felt and seen across every employee, every department and present in every strategic plan.

As a leader in social media, you’re able to champion these ideals as the way to do business, but only if you know them to be true.