What is Social Business? There are many definitions and there will be many more to come as the social space evolves. It is certainly not a new business concept but it is still very new to most companies. And in the absence of a definite guide to social business, many continue to struggle to understand it. And some definitions are just a bit airy fairy and open to too many interpretations.
Banksy, THE street artist from the UK, however has put it in words like no other. In his rant about advertising, he actually talks about the fundamental rules for social business. If you like, social business is the exact opposite of advertising. Some call it therefore also Unvertising:
I have read this blurb many times and think Banksy hits the nail on the head with this article. So I’ve taken some key statements, reversed them and formed 5 fundamental rules of Social Business.
Rule #1: Banksy writes that advertising people “butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear”. Reverse this approach and voilà you know what social business is about: never butt in, engage by adding value, develop long term relationships.
Rule #2: Advertising, as Banksy puts it “bullies and laughs at you”. That is a big NO NO in social business. Social Business empowers its community and creates compelling content for the community to share. The community is respected and valued. Have a laugh together and bring some magic into a boring day.
Rule #3: Advertisers hide behind “trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law” and prevent the community from speaking up. Social Business does not live according to the rule of Fight Club “You do not talk about Fight Club”. Social business wants the community to take content, share it, talk about it and even improve it. Social business thrives on the community feedback and creativity to come up with a better and stronger brand.
Rule #4: Advertisers “re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you”. Social business is not about that. Instead, social business fits into the community’s life without being disruptive or unsettling. It is a subtle, quiet but powerful approach that lets the community chose when and how to interact with your brand.
Rule #5: Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken (also from Fight Club). Social business does not pretend to be something it isn’t. Advertising on the other hand is pretence and makes “flippant comments […] that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else.”
There are of course other aspects of Social Business but I think Banksy did a fine job outlining the fundamentals in his rant about advertising. What do you think about Social Business? Do you have any definitions that are different to our understanding? And can you guess what movie I watched recently? (Hint: look for clues in purple font)