Social Media and Social Business: Distant cousins

Social Media and Social Business: Distant cousins

Over the past few months I have been very lucky to meet some key thought leaders in digital marketing and chat with them over pizza about latest happenings in the world of Social Media and Social Business. There is certainly some astounding stuff happening at the bleeding edge of innovation, but for one reason or another, I haven't written about it up to now. Hopefully this will go some way to putting that right before I stop being invited for that inspirational banter. Or pizza. Which wouldn't be very social at all.

The first question I guess is What is social media? 

We need a starting point, so let's begin with a loose definition of what social media communication looks like for most people, although this is changing faster than I can type.

Many colleagues and friends I talk to are very confused with all the brands they hear about. 'There is so much Facebook this and Twitter that', they tell me as they shrug their shoulders and in the end they give up before they've even tried to understand. 'Tis better not to engage, than to look foolish, seems to be the logic.

To be fair, I can't blame them, so perhaps this image might help to illustrate the various channels that most people are communicating through currently. And apologies for the uncouth spelling. Ugh. No really, 'ugh' is missing from every doughnut...


Now that's not an exhaustive list. My daughter for example, uses Snapchat and Kik as her social networks of choice. (No, I don't either.) Nor does it include Blogger, Wordpress or Tumblr (recently bought for $1.1B by Yahoo) which are kinda like personalised websites people like me use to write blogs (derived from the word 'weblogs'). This post you are reading is hosted on the Google-owned blogging platform Blogger.

What then, do we mean by Social Business?

This is a little more difficult to explain, but essentially it is similar to what a person would do in the above scenarios, but in the context of a business or brand talking to it's customers, stakeholders (think suppliers or employees for example) and each other. 

Please remember this is not a full answer to the question posed, just a starting point to get the conversation moving. First however, let's take a look at another graphic that I picked up from Sarah Duncan's blog promoting her fab little consultancy called Sleeping Lion. (Lions. I know, right?) It certainly correlates nicely with the previous image and helps to give some direction on how you might use social media in your business. 

I'm sure the Swindon factoid is tongue in cheek, but you get the idea...


In the next few posts I am going to try and explain more fully what I mean by 'Social Business', why this is such a perplexing challenge and most importantly, why this is so crucial to your business today.