In the pursuit of clarity, I thought I'd use a simple metaphor: a pickup truck. What does a pickup truck have to do with social business? Glad you asked.
A pickup truck can be fantastic just like it is. Just like a car, you can show it off to your friends, it can get you from point A to point B. It's great.
Social media is great, too. You can use it to show off your company to your customers, you can engage with them and connect them from point A to point B. It serves a perfectly useful function right off the showroom floor. If that's all you want to use it for, that's fine.
However, some people don't view pickup trucks in the same way they do cars. Some people view them as a platform upon which they can build a world of opportunity. It's not a truck to these people, it's a mobile business platform. Perhaps they want to start a lawn business; perhaps they are farmers, perhaps they have large boats they need to tow. These people with vision take the foundational traits of a pickup truck and leverage them to create something more meaningful and with far more impact.
That's the relationship between social media and social business. Social media is a great tool, but it has far greater implications and opportunities for business than what you see on the surface. It requires a bit of vision to shift past simply thinking about Facebook or Twitter and instead see how the larger societal impact affects your organization and the true opportunities it presents.
Once that vision is in place, you will immediately begin to see how you can leverage the collaborative aspects within your own organization's walls to create better products, to launch faster, to use and retain knowledge more effectively and to attract and hire the best people. You'll also see that a large cultural shift is taking place and it needs a guide to help it move in the direction most beneficial to your business.
Once you see the indisputable statistics of how a social business approach helps companies outperform their competitors and become more profitable, the landscape begins to change. What once was just another vehicle called social media now looks like a foundation for change -- a pickup truck, if you will, called social business.
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