The biggest change in business in the last 25 years is the colliding of “social” and “business”
These have always been distinctly separate, mutually exclusive galaxies. Your personal and professional lives were separate parts of the timeline. Business 8 to 5 and personal 5 to 7 the next day.
Since the internet changed the world in the 1990s which gave birth to social platforms in the early part of the 2000s we have seen the collision in progress. When two galaxies collide you would expect this to be violent, explosive and destructive. However quite remarkably these blend with each other and over a period of time become one big galaxy. It is estimated that our Milky Way Galaxy will experience such a merging with the Andromeda Galaxy in about 5 billion years. If this little planet is still around then it is quite probable we won’t even notice the merging.
This merging of social and business pretty much began with the arrival of the mobile phone in the 1980s. The moment you had a mobile phone you could be contact whenever needed. 5pm was not necessarily the end of your working day. Today we are doing business in the evenings, on Sunday mornings as well as during “normal” working hours. The office worker hates this. The entrepreneur loves it.
As we have become accustomed to interacting with social and mobile technologies so the pressure for these to be integrated into business increases.
2013 will be the year that the collision of these galaxies will pass the tipping point.
So what is social business and why should any business bother? Becoming a social business is the process of identifying & removing the friction that exists between you and your customer. How do you make it possible for your customer to simply fall into your processes and services? Social business is integrating social technologies into a the business environment to stream line processes, allow for innovation, collaboration, sharing and, most importantly, growth.
There is no denying that we live in a social world. Social media is far beyond the novelty and giggle stage. Social is how we live our lives, how we research, how we buy, how we experience. Business has failed to keep social media out of the work place and it is increasingly difficult to employees to do their jobs without interacting with your customers where they are – on social media.
Social media efforts in most businesses today are stuck in the marketing department and this is where it should remain for taking your brand to the world. To become social in a business thought means that Human Resources will need to equally own social media and integrate it throughout your business. Human Resources in the social age is becoming Human Relationships, the fostering and nurturing of these relationships internally.
2013 is the year of social business and what a year it will be!