Social Business Is Dead . . .

But don’t order up a casket quite yet.

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Social Business

Social business research and more recent thought leadership explore the challenges and opportunities presented by social media.
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The King is dead … Long live the King!

Signifying an immediate transition of power, this phrase is used to commemorate the passing of power from one royal leader to his (or her!) successor.

We are at a transition point with respect to social business. The old regime is passing away and transitioning to something new. I’m not predicting a demise of any of the major social business players, but the rules of the game are changing — and social business professionals should be aware of these changes.

The first sign that something important was changing in social business came during my interview with Blake Chandlee of Facebook. He intentionally referred to Facebook as a digital company, not a social one. When the 600-pound gorilla of the social media world begins to think of itself as something more than just a social business, something important is going on.

Data Analytics

Another important signal came from the results of our 2014 social business report. While this report showed that businesses were beginning to derive value from social business initiatives, this value was directly tied to the company’s social business maturity. The single biggest driver of social business maturity, however, was whether and how the company used and analyzed data from their social business initiatives.

In other words, the key to social business success was not necessarily something related to social business directly but involved how companies used data and analytics to understand social business. This connection between social business and analytics is further underscored by Twitter’s recently announced partnership with IBM to deliver better business intelligence from social data. Key social business companies recognize they also need to excel at analytics.

Mobile and Wearable Technologies

In another important sign, Taco Bell recently shut down its popular Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts (temporarily) to announce its new mobile app. The move is symbolic of companies looking beyond a simple social media presence to find more direct ways of connecting with customers.


Social Business

Social business research and more recent thought leadership explore the challenges and opportunities presented by social media.
More in this series

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Comments (2)
Gratus Devanesan
I think this article uses Social Business interchangeably with a Social Media Business. The way I understand it, similar to the comment above, Social Business is businesses engaging in social activities - businesses whose profit model hinges on people/community successes - profit by preserving the ecosystem as opposed to exploiting it. 

The idea of a successful social media company was always just a bump in the digital media wave. Social just two way nodes with the web as a platform to connect two people, as opposed to just throw content and people. In that it is correct that Facebook is a digital company, and companies such as MeetUp are even blurring the digital line as they create digital opportunities for physical connections. They are companies that build digital platform that enable social interactions - to call them social businesses would be incorrect as they are not specifically tied to the overall well-being of their consumers.
Philip Sheldrake
I'm not sure this article can make as much sense as it might without defining what you think / thought social business is / was. For example, I like to define social business with a question:

Do you help all the individuals associated with your organization (employees, customers, partners, suppliers, shareholders, etc.) build worthwhile relationships with each other and others, coalescing by need and desire, knowledge and capability and shared values, to create shared value?

I don't believe you're suggesting such a provocation is passé. Moreover, while we're considering the sociotechnical, it appears perhaps odd to celebrate the technical / digital ahead of the social / human when for many years now we've been attempting to reframe social business in terms of the human rather than the technology, to close the gap. I appreciate it's some time since Andrew McAffe asserted "it's not not about the technology", but I wonder if it's not the human facets of business that now need to catch up with the technological.

A quick test. Compare the human and technical architecture of business now with twenty years ago. The tech is hardly recognizable, whereas the human is all too familiar; unchanged and unfit for the 21st Century.