Social Media evolving into Social Business

social media evolution

One day we’ll look back at being a Social Business Agency in 2012 and realise that we were laying the early ground work for helping our clients become social businesses.

A great article by David Armano hit a nerve for me in that he too has formed the view that there is a degree of exhaustion/lethargy around the word “social.”

As with many we saw the change coming and have been carrying the social-torch for several years. In the early days (2008!) the focus was on education, process and inspiration. Skip forward 4 years and now we have a number of great brands inquisitively knocking on our door to better understand how to begin the process of becoming a social business.

In the interim many many brands have embarked on a DIY social media play by jumping onto a tool or two and now 12-18 months later are wondering why not enough people are engaging with them and commensurately are struggling with ROI.

The chart above highlights a number of step-changes spanning the last 25 years or so. It’s the last two stages that interest us.

As Mr A says:

 We no longer log in at our desks from 9-5 but are part of a digital and human power grid. For many organizations, local Facebook pages show high levels of activity vs. global corporate Websites and organizations find their employees asking why internal tools can’t be social and mobile. Networks now drive much of the Web’s traffic as billions of people share links and opinions about the world around them. As a result of all of this activity—huge amounts of data or “social data” is currently flooding the current global  digital ecosystem. This sets the stage for an era that’s already begun, but is still in it’s infancy (social business).

A Social Business Strategy in our view is focussed on the strategy/need behind the tools, rather than the tools themselves. Social media thus becomes the foundation for social business.

Here are 5 reasons that brands are not further advanced.

  • The most senior people ‘don’t know what they don’t know.’
  • Middle management are scared as social thinking begins to erode their precious silo
  • Very few know how to begin the process of getting it right
  •  Traditional company cultures/structures are a natural barrier to social implementation
  •  The fear of losing control (you’ve already lost it!)

 

Does this strike a chord with any marketers out there?

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