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As a social entrepreneur in the BeNeLux my focus lies on a holistic approach for helping companies mature their social media exploits, externally and/or internally. Rogier is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 44 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Not all businesses are created social

03.08.2013
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It takes a lot for a business to become a social business. Obviously, having a Facebook page or a Twitter account is only a very small beginning and hardly mentionable (in this day and age).
Even when a business has every aspect of the interaction with it’s clients covered through social media.., it still can’t be called a social business.

Silos

Image by Anthony Farrigo

External & Internal

Basically there are 2 aspects of social.., the way we communicate with our clients (externally) and the way we communicate with our employees (internally).
External and internal, both are critically important.

No More Email

Some colleges do not give out email addresses any more.
Some companies do not give out email addresses any more.

Say what?

This means, for one thing, that at some point, some kid will apply for some job at some company and will ask which platform they use for internal communication.., and when the answer is ‘Outlook’.., that kid will choose the competition.

But, I hear you think, our company does interact with clients through social, we even have a customer care Twitter account.., we are social.
Well, like I stated before, it takes a bit more than that, but externally you are on the right track, it’s a beginning. There are still a few steps to take to become a social business.

So, let’s assume you do everything to engage fully with your clients (be that B2C or B2B), you have a solid crisis plan, a clear social media policy and a good response time from your webcare team.

Social Business

Becoming a social business means turning your focus inward, and this will help you to stand out the coming decade, or as some say, the coming 5 years.

The traditional command and control structure where departments and individuals (and thus knowledge) are neatly sorted in silos will not be able to adapt fast enough.
For now this is not a problem.., but wait a couple of years and everybody who doesn’t play ball will suffer the consequences.

Yes, the internal structure, the company’s philosophy, the way we behave, communicate and share information internally will have to change.
In fact, I believe this is even more important than making sure all your i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed with external social media, customer care and marketing.

The only way for a company to be able to keep up with the interstellar speed with which the Internet (and thus society) changes is to have an organisation that can change (adapt) at the drop of a hat.
This means having a (solid) social foundation.

Just imagine the speed at which we’ve adopted social media and how profoundly this has changed the way we communicate.

I know, it sounds a bit dramatic.., but just think about it.

No, I’m serious. Stop reading and think about it for a while.

And let me know your what your take is on social business.

Republished with permission

Published at DZone with permission of Rogier Noort, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)