January 7, 2011

Your Business Goes Social

Where perception meets reality.

The social web can be an insulated world full of seemingly sound theories. However the chatter can overwhelm you. The naysayers of spaces such as FourSquare, Twitter or the much debated newbie Quora often say it’s a big waste of time. And it can be.

Many claim bots and abandoned profiles proves it's all smoke and mirrors. While others can show documented evidence that the sustained activity has positively affected their business and bottom line. I am of the second group but that's up to you to decide.

But what are social media?

I can soundly defend that it is whenever two human beings are connected. That may be through email, phone, in person, on a website, in a discussion group, attending a conference, sharing a workshop, commenting on blogs, listening to podcasts, contributing to wikis, sharing a cup of coffee, the list goes on.

It is all media and all social and Facebook is along for the ride.

Going social.

There was an interesting discussion on Quora yesterday about when to take your business social and I had to remember that my reality may not be their perception. My stance is that your business needs to be social now - not some day.

In my recent discussions with larger organizations where it is much more difficult to navigate procedures, never mind become more social, it is clear that not every business on earth is holding hands and grasping the social web for all that it can be.

Many who are trying and still unsure where to go with it. That's okay, us too. But I think the ultimate reason why some companies give it lip service but aren't sure where to go next is because we are still taking a departmental approach.

That’s not my job.

To most organizations, social is a department, a role, a part of a larger role which drives that portion of the organization that is responsible for all that human stuff. Not everyone wants to share and collaborate. The majority do not want to be transparent and available.

Some companies continue to think it is profitable to keep headset laden employees tied to a cubicle for eight hours. Many would argue that industries such as law enforcement, factory work, garbage collection or politics cannot be collaborative social environments.

I disagree. What’s your take?

knealemann | email

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