Social Business: Why You Should Care

Social businesses are shifting from an inside-out point of view to having an outside-in perspective

In the past most organizations had clear-cut boundaries and roles were well-defined. While they had to be responsive to customers, major decisions were left to management and communications with employees and customers were typically one-way. With the emergence of social media and non-traditional ecosystems, interactions tend to be two-way and change can be driven by any number of stakeholders, including employees, partners and suppliers. Social business is the latest step in the evolution of business that began with the advent of the Internet and electronic communications.

In order to thrive in this environment businesses are deploying and using new social tools and taking advantage of emerging business opportunities. Organizations are evolving to be social businesses. This is defined as those having the strategies and technologies that allow all parts of their ecosystems to be engaged, create value, form relationships and make decisions. In these organizations work is accomplished differently, and products and services are created and purchased in new ways. Since social businesses can adapt to their environments, they are well suited to meet the changing needs of their internal and external constituencies.

IBM has identified three distinct characteristics of a social business:

Engaged – deeply connecting people, including customers, employees and partners, to be involved in productive, efficient ways.

Transparent – removing boundaries to information, experts and assets, helping people align every action to drive business results.

Nimble – speeding up business with information and insight to anticipate and address evolving opportunities.

Andrea Goldberg
Andrea Goldberg, PhD, is president and founder of Digital Culture Consulting, LLC and an expert in market intelligence, social media and change leadership. She provides organizations with a holistic perspective on how to best to use insights and collaboration to improve employee engagement, customer satisfaction and business results.

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