What do we really mean by social business?

Social business is logical extension of social technology, which includes concepts of sharing, reviewing, feedback, rating and collaboration. Social business also involves all facets of your business functions including operation, customer relation, HR and needless to say marketing. Businesses which are doing business through social approach are increasingly transforming their customer service, product design research and smoothing their business processes at large. Companies who utilizes social media and do social business the right way are not only doing the right marketing but changing collective organization culture as well and they are well on track of change management.

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Social media marketing seeks to engage customers who are present in different online social media platforms where they spend time, whereas, social business in contrast works out on what your customers are talking about and what are their interest. Based on the interest and online trend at large the social business helps you create relevant experience and new conversions”.

Its very important for your business to understand the role of your customer and how it has transformed in the era of web 2.0. We’re not referring here to any specific type of business here, it may include online business, a not for profit donor agency, retail business or even a voter. What’s common in across all of them? I would say the access to the wealth of information, opinions and different perspectives given the global online landscape.

“As people take control over their data while spreading their Web presence, they are not looking for privacy, but for recognition as individuals. This will eventually change the whole world of advertising.” Esther Dyson, 2008

Not only your customer have wealth of information but if you look upon the conversations on blogs,forums and offline channels they also have important suggestion upon which you can improve and innovate. The most important thing to keep in mind here is not only those suggestions are important for marketing team but more important for product development, engineering, ops and customer relationship team as well.

Consider some of the following responses a customer could form after buying your product/service;

  • Suggestion for product/service improvement
  • Customer services suggestion and tips for improvements
  • Technical feedback of your product
  • Suggestion on turnover of some customers
  • New demand generation in new as well as current market,which could help supply chain and ops department.
Social business also places your customers as innovator. Your innovations would only be perceived successful if you do the research right and address the pain points in a unique way.

Social business is a much bigger and advanced phenomenon to be handled alone by the marketing department. It involves strict vigilance and combined effort of multidisciplinary management team to create experience that truly represent a company, its values and innovation.

In the next part of this article we are going to discuss the tools and techniques that can help engage participation on social web. We will also discuss social technologies and processes of engagement for people doing social business.

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