“Social Business” is about more than marketing messages

Two words popped up in formal presentations and casual conversations throughout BlogWorld New Media Expo earlier this month: Social business.  It is the “buzz term” of the moment in the social media world, but, unlike some of other sillier social media jargon out there (“Tweeps,” anyone?  Or this kind of stuff), this term actually means something.

Though the exact definition is still being debated, the general idea, as BlogWorld presenter Dave Fleet put it, is that social marketing/branding is about external audiences and is really only “half the puzzle.”  Social business, on the other hand, is internal – company business processes, training, collaborative work, organizational models, policies and guidelines, and company culture – and is the driver that supports all of the ongoing branding activity.  In order for a business or brand to truly succeed in social media (and marketing in general), then social concepts, technology, and ideals need to be woven throughout the business or brand’s culture and, as in social media, openness, sharing, and collaboration must be encouraged.

In other words, business leaders should ask themselves: If we aren’t succeeding at engaging with and igniting passion in our own employees, can we really expect to succeed at engaging with and igniting passion in our target audiences via social media?

As we discussed in an earlier post, the focus of many BlogWorld & New Media Expo presentations was on bringing more of a business focus to social media.  Several others, meanwhile, discussed specific aspects of the “social business” concept.  For instance, a presentation by Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant, authors of the new book,  “Humanize: How People-centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World”addressed the importance of changing the internal culture of companies in order to better engage, connect, and encourage employees and “humanize” brands from the inside out.  To support their points, they cited some interesting data from recent research:

  • 30% of employees are actively disengaged
  • 24% of team members say they don’t see their managers enough
  • 46% of new hires leave their jobs within the first year
  • 41% of millennials say social media is important to them in the workplace
  • Employees with the most extensive digital networks are 7% more productive than their colleagues (MIT)
  • 39% of 18-to-24-year-olds would consider leaving (a job) if they were not allowed to access applications like Facebook and YouTube

Check out more of these interesting research findings here. To check out our previous BlogWorld posts, go here.