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Jan. 28, 2013

3: Defining Social Business

3: Defining Social Business

Social Business: A New Definition. Let me explain my perspective on the evolution from social media as an independent form of media to how it might impact your business, and thus what social business means to your company.

 

Transcript

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take, take, take, take enjoyment. Welcome to social business Unplugged Helping you understand in plain English how to best leverage social media for your business. And now here's the founder of Windmill Networking Meal shaper. Greetings, everybody. This is Neil Schaefer and welcome to our third addition of this social business. Unplug podcast. And as I promised you in my first podcast, I want to now tackle this definition of social business that you have probably been hearing a lot Mawr in the world of social media. The name of this podcast obviously uses that term, and you'll see throughout social media a lot of talk about this term. Some call it B s because every social media consultant seems to be confident. Self social business consultants. On the other hand, there are others who have provided definitions but to define social business. I want to offer two different perspectives here. One is sort of the official line, really. The official definition of social business was defined by Nobel Peace Prize laureate professor Mohammed Yunus. He's written books about it. This was several years ago, his definition of a social business, which is the traditional definition, and I'm quoting from Wikipedia. Sorry, it was just the most convenient thing to do. A social business is a non loss, non dividend company designed to address a social objective within the highly regulated market place of today. Obviously, if you're interested in reading more about this, there's plenty of resource is out there on the Internet. I'm just trying to give you a very, very simple overview here. Interesting thing is that in Wikipedia there is another variant on the social business model, which is a term replied to businesses that have adopted social networking tools and practices for internal and external functions across their organizations. My definition is gonna be close to that variant, but is going to be a little bit different. And it's based on what I have seen evolve in social media, just based on my own social media consultant experience, and to give you the second point, which is my own personal perspective based on my history doing social media consulting. Let me begin with how I began and anybody who knows me personally knows that I never planned to monetize my social media knowledge and experience. It just happened organically. In January of 2010 where, over the course of two weeks, four different local companies reached out to me for help in social media. Can we hire you on a consulting basis? And I thought, really hard as to what should my role be in working with these companies? Did I want to do social media on their behalf? No. Did I want to help them navigate in, utilize social media in what I believe would be the right way in terms of best practices and in helping achieve their objectives? Absolutely yes. What was needed in order to help them do that? And this is where I sort of created my own business model. In essence, I realized that companies needed to be consulted and I needed to divide them. The following two things Number one strategy. You could do a lot with social media. What exactly do you want to achieve? How can we map what is possible in social media with your corporate objectives and number two is education and education really starts at the top with the executive team and working our way down, I needed to make sure that my clients were up to speed as quickly as possible. as to what was possible in social media, What were the best practices? In other words, how could I best replicate my knowledge and really give them a customized brain dump for their own situation? To be honest with you, it was more of a management consulting job than a social media marketing gig. I say that because my professional experience is in B to B sales, business, development and marketing, where I launch sales organizations from scratch in Asia for a few different organizations. And I'll tell you anyone who has been like a country manager like I waas, I was a regional VP of Asia Pacific. You were a lot of hats. Yes, you have a profit and loss statement the end of the day. What are the sales? What's the profit? But in addition to sales, you got into the marketing. You gotta hire people, customer service, legal issues, administrative issues. It all falls on your responsibility, and that is the experience that if you really want to be a social business consultant, that's the experience you need. And the reason is, as social media permeates industry, it also permeates corporate discipline. One of my first clients wanted to use social media for customer service. This is back in the day, not something yesterday or the day before. But you know, cos very early on we're trying to think of how they can utilize it throughout the organization. Social recruiting, social media for legal department's How do you deal with regulated industries and disclosure compliance, but also this issue of social media policies and how to protect, in essence, the company. In worst case in areas that we've already seen happening. What about, you know, social media for product development? Getting product feedback? My ah ha moment. Waas. When I was doing one social media strategy consulting project, I told my client for the first meeting to kick the soft. We need to have every internal stakeholder doing anything related to social media. We need to have them come to our first meeting and get their input and try to make this is mutually collaborative oven effort. It's possible there were like 15 people who came to that first meeting basically represented every major department within the organization. That is how far social media has evolved. So when we talk about that social business variant that's defined in Wikipedia of using networking tools for external and internal functions. Yes, but what most people don't see and what I would add to the definition is, Social Media Began, is really an outbound focus, either by marketing and or public relations, to engage with others. But it was primarily a one way broadcast, and we all know that social media is to a communication well, what's happened over time, obviously, through complaints that people make in social media through questions that they ask brands comments they make, we now know that obviously, the more engagement that brands and businesses do with social media users, the more feedback they get. And now I would say my definition of social business would be It's not just the outbound, and it's not just receiving the feedback, but it's actually the input of that feedback into everything your business does now. I would say very, very few businesses are there, but its companies that are starting to make business decisions based on what feedback they've received in social media. I'm gonna elaborate on this definition. When I write my block post, look for it on women that were conducting the next week or two, but I hope that gives you some food for thought the next week, where in your organization, you can utilize social media, think outside of the box. Bring everybody in to your social media strategy, and I think your company will be the better. For Thanks for listening. Thanks for subscribing. Make it a great week. Bye bye. You've been listening to social business. Unplug with meal shaper, social media author, consultant, speaker and university professor. If you'd like any specific topics covered on future episodes, or if you'd like to be interviewed for this podcast, please connect with meal by email meal at windmill networking dot com on Lincoln at Lincoln dot com slash in slash meal Schaefer and on Twitter at Neil Shaper, please also visit windmill networking dot com for daily social media for business updates. Thanks for listening and make it a great day.