What exactly is Social Business?  How would a PR agency, a marketing firm, a social media community manager, a sales vp, a customer, a vendor or an employee define social business?  And, how is it different from terms like “Social Sales, Social Selling or Sales 2.0″? Is Social Business the new, hip and cool way to define what most perceive to be nothing more than social media, social media marketing or some sort of social networking?

Here’s what I think Social Business is not:

  • Selling
  • Marketing
  • A campaign
  • Instantaneous
  • Technology
  • Complex
  • Exclusively online

You could say that Social Business is:

  • Mobile
  • Engaging
  • Access
  • Conversation
  • Connections
  • Applies to employees and customers alike

and those are SOME the characteristics of social business. . .

The secret sauce of  Social Business is the culture of a company or organization.

When you walk up to the counter at Chick-fil-A and they greet you by saying “how may we serve you today”, that to me, is social business. It’s listening to your audience, providing them something of value, delivering an experience they won’t forget and sharing that experience via story.

Social Media is just one platform that enables your customers, employees, vendors or CXOs to tell their story about a product, a company, a service or an experience that provided something of value or made an positive impact on their day, in their life, etc. Connecting with your audience, through the power of story, gets them to act. Good story is great business. (See Disney, Apple, Southwest Airlines, Zappos, etc.) Disney’s “social business” model has been in place for decades, long before social media came along. It reflects the culture of an organization, that has a compelling story to tell, delivers an exceptional experience for the customer and reflects intentional leadership from those at the top.

At it’s core, it must have a well defined vision.  A  legacy

Social Business Vision

Define your mission. What do you want to be known for?

Social Mission

What’s “The Why“?    Why you do what you do.  People buy the why not the what.

The Value offered ~ the story told ~ the experience  delivered ~ and the ability to communicate why you do what you do  reflects the culture of an organization and that culture is Social Business.  

It’s not a strategy, it’s not a tactic, it’s not a goal or objective.  It is however intentional influence.  It’s the DNA of any good leader or organization and it permeates through the walls of any company because it’s authentic and it’s  simple. People buy simple and simplicity is the secret to any great sauce.