Social business has its roots in the ever increasing number of converged technologies and devices that are readily available to today’s Digital Life consumer. Their widespread adoption of these has spawned exciting new possibilities for businesses willing to engage with their customers, partners, and other stakeholders.
By implementing a social business strategy, a business can provide easy access to company resources for eager and accepting consumers and customers in ways that many incumbents do not, and often cannot. Social businesses treat staff not only as valued members of their own company, but as recognized and valued members of society at large.
Many businesses are experimenting with social media forums, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn in order to increase sales by reaching their customers using channels that are familiar to them. However, use of social media is merely the tip of the social business iceberg of opportunities.
Social businesses capitalize on the emerging opportunities that reach deep into the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, suppliers, and partners by focusing on 3 core elements of social interaction:
1. Building of trust and lasting relationships
2. Listening and learning from employees, customers, consumers, partners and suppliers alike
3. Collaborating to provide innovative and timely products and services that resonate with the needs and wants of all constituents and stakeholders
Some of the key business opportunities presented through social business include:
• New and greater insights into market trends
• Deeper brand loyalty and customer stickiness
• Timely innovative products and services that are geared to meeting emerging needs of today and tomorrow
• Increased market share and business growth
• Better business performance and sustainability
Social businesses learn that the more they successfully engage (interact, listen, learn, and co-create) with Digital Life communities, the more their insights into the needs and wants of their customers are enhanced. They are much quicker to market in providing innovative goods and services that meet changing needs and wants. They find that their growth in sales rapidly turns to record profitability and soon realize that their brand has strengthened significantly due to the viral spread of reactions amongst their customers, potential customers, partners and other stakeholders.
When analyzing the opportunities and threats afforded by social business, your business cannot use traditional tools and methodologies. Instead, a holistic, integrated, and interconnected view of Digital Life must be at the root of your business development and strategy, culminating in new business and economic models that are founded in thinking differently about the world.