Share on LinkedIn0Share on Facebook0Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on Twitter

Does Social Business really Matter?

by

No one disputes the business uses of social media, social networking and social software. But is social media and social networking transforming business like it has done with society and communities? As more and more business adopt social networking, the word social enterprise began to take form, with companies like IBM spearheading social business and its adoption. So what is a social business? . . .

No one disputes the business uses of social media, social networking and social software. But is social media and social networking transforming business like it has done with society and communities? As more and more business adopt social networking, the word social enterprise began to take form, with companies like IBM spearheading social business and its adoption. So what is a social business?

According to IBM“a social business isn’t just a company that has a Facebook page and a Twitter handle. A social business is one that embraces and cultivates a spirit of collaboration and community throughout its organization—both internally and externally”.

A recent survey conducted by MIT-Sloan, on the social business, revealed that 52% of businesses believe that social business important in some shape or form, with 86% of managers believing that the importance of social business will increase in the next three years.

When questioned on the importance of social software, an astounding 63% indicated the need for it within the in next three years. The figure below indicates the importance of social business software in the next three years.

Source: – Sloan Social Business Research Report, http://sloanreview.mit.edu/feature/social-business-value/

However, the challenge for social business implementation seems to lie in its failure rate. Gartner (the research and advisory firm) revealed an estimated 70% failure rate for social business projects.  But,companies like IBM, identify themselves as social businesses because they have broken the communication gap both internally and externally.  So why does social business matter?

The answer to this question lies not in Facebook, Twitter or social media platforms, but more in deep rooted human psychological needs to be social and to connect. Before we ask ourselves the question of the importance of social business, we need to ask ourselves why social media is such a success.  We humans have from the dawn of time had a need to communicate among themselves and the ecosystem around them.  This is evidenced in the primitive pictorial drawings in caves, the pigeon posts, scrolls, the statues and the clay tablets of the olden days.

Human beings like to tell our stories and connect with others, and exhibit an intrinsic need to be social and belong to a community and greater society. This is clearly identified in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, where we seek a sense of belonging after our basic needs have been fulfilled.

Source: – http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/04/26/designing-for-a-hierarchy-of-needs/

Our implicit need to connect and communicated with a community and society as a whole is further evident in our continued efforts to improve the speed and accuracy of human communication and social media existed long before the internet, Facebook or Twitter. Through our many ages (stone, bronze, iron) and our many revolutions (political, industrial, technological) communications has remained a constant – be it using stone carvings or at the town square, communication has always been a core need of human behaviour.

Source: http://www.crexendoseo.com/blog/post/2728568

As shown in the timeline above, social media and communications in the modern day was born long before today’s social networks. So let’s ask ourselves again why social businesses matter? The survey by MIT-Sloan revealed some surprising results as to why people participate in social media.

Fig 1: Why people participate in Social Media, MIT-Sloan Social Business Research Report,http://sloanreview.mit.edu/feature/social-business-value/

All these factors put together clearly identify the need and the importance of social business. Being social is in our very nature, and we naturally gravitate towards those we have common interests with. This is why peer recommendation and referral marketing has become such a powerful lead generation channel.  Social businesses matter because it helps us connect, engage, share and communicate with others outside of the company and also with those inside of the company and that really is the very fabric of our society from the beginning of time.

Sources: –

  1. Social Business: What Are Companies Really Doing? http://sloanreview.mit.edu/feature/social-business-value/
  2. Forbes Article – More Than Facebook: The Time Is Right For Social Business,http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2011/10/31/more-than-facebook-the-time-is-right-for-social-business/
  3. A whole new world… of social media!http://community.mis.temple.edu/sakrotzer/2011/04/14/a-whole-new-world-of-social-media/

About Logan Nathan

Social Media Business Consultant | Internet (Web) Marketing Strategist Speaker | Trainer

Based in Sydney, Australia, Logan has been an avid & passionate social media user since the advent of Facebook.  As the Social Media Business Consultant with over 30 years experience in the travel and hospitality industry, Logan is focused on guiding organisations through the four stages of social media for business – Education, Strategy, Implementation and On-going Management. If your business needs expert assistance on creating a custom Social Media and Search Engine Optimisation Strategy, contact us via logan@logannathan.com

Logan is also an expert on LinkedIn and is running a series of workshops over the next few months. To Register: – http://www.ictsocialbusiness.com.au/social_media_education/social-media-training-workshop/Getting-leads-from-LinkedIn