A social business is a non-loss, non-dividend company designed to address a social objective. The profits are used to expand the company’s reach and improve the product/service. This model has grown from the work of Muhammad Yunus and others.hmm, not what I expected to find. In fact, based on everything I have been reading recently in twitter and on blogs, it is completely different than what I would have expected. As I read the many blog posts and tweets, the references to social business are typically associated with Social CRM, or SCRM, Social Media, and Enterprise 2.0. In contrast Luis Suarez does a nice job of summarizing his view of what Social business mean in his recent blog post Enterprise 2.0 vs. Social Business – The Final 2.0 Transformation. Social business is about ...
... not placing a specific focus on either technology, or processes, nor people, but, instead, we keep thriving to strike that balance between (social) tools, (social) business processes AND people.Susan Scrupski, leader of the 2.0 Adoption council, provides more insight in one of her recent blog posts:
I caution all our members (2.0 Adoption members) to keep their eye on the bigger picture. The Council is expanding to embrace all facets of social business. Going forward, it will not be possible to separate where social media initiatives begin and e20 ends. And, every customer will tell you they rarely use any jargon when they’re presenting business cases to their executives. The language they use is rooted in the benefits of social collaboration, not the features. This is typically different for every company too, and becoming more and more strategic.I agree with both of these statement and in fact for a long time been done my job as an E2.0 enabler. In addition to me following these ideals, I coach and teach my team that it is not about the technology, it is about the people that are using the technology, it is about how they do their job and how the technology can improve both of those (the people and the process). In my mind, E2.0 is about improving efficiencies and was never about the technology.
So with that said, a recent tweet by by Greg Lowe caught my eye. In short (can't find the original tweet) the tweet said "socbiz = E2.0 + SCRM + ...". This got me thinking about what he was trying to get across. Since I do not see E2.0 as a technology implementation, this definition made more sense to me. Why? Well, what I see is that Social Business is really about bringing all of the various types of social ideas, Social CRM, Enterprise 2.0, social media, social media marketing, social supply chain, social analytics together. Social Business is the idea that the business can be more efficient, be more collaborative, improve communications, and find that expert, while enabling the businesses to be more connected, internally/externally, person to person / business to business, etc.
My take on Social Business is that Social Business is bigger than any definition I have seen so far. It includes everyone's definition I have read and combines them all together. But to be really doing Social Business, you need to be doing at least 2 of the parts (doing them well) and integrating the ideals of those ideas together. For example, if you do not integrate your E2.0 and social CRM together (in an appropriate way), then you are not doing social business. You have not met the ideals of what social business is really all about.
And that is my 2 cents on what Social Business is really all about and where Social Business needs to get to in the future if it is not already there.