Social Business: It Takes a Village
Six years ago, it was hard to grasp how 350,000 people in a company were using social media around the world. But I had heard so much from members of the Social Media Collective and leading bloggers about IBM’s innovative use of social media that I was determined to learn more about the company’s role in fostering social business. I even did a case study and opened it up for discussion on Social Media Today as a wiki.
Here we are in 2014, seeing what IBM was advocating eight years ago (which, much like dog years, is practically a lifetime in social media). Before most companies had even heard of social media, IBM senior management, under the brilliant leadership of Jon Iwata, were encouraging online discussion forums, “employee advocacy” through blogging, and internal collaboration using tools like podcasts.
Social Media Today hosted its first annual Social Shake-Up last September to bring together the best thinkers in social media to start conversations about new ways to connect with people—customers, employees, managers, and leaders—while keeping it human in the digital age. As one of the representatives on the advisory panel, and with a number of their execs on other panels, IBM saw how we’d grown up in social business, and how we shared parallel social business notions. We were thrilled when IBM’s Social B usiness unit, led by Maria Winans, indicated that they would like to be involved with the announcement of our second conference at SXSW 2014 in Austin. We saw immediately that our agile but tiny band, with their backing, could really help to focus the explosion of content that is SXSW on the realities of social business.
As a company, we’ve remained fascinated with how big enterprises are adapting to social. This isn’t simply because we see the need to be a source for great content on this subject. It’s also because we believe that the changes being wrought by social are not simply inevitable, but also have the power to take global companies to new standards of accountability and transparency. That’s why, with Oracle’s sponsorship, we undertook with Leader Networks a massive study to help companies understand where they were in the transition to becoming a socially enabled enterprise. We explored these survey results in an exclusive whitepaper, The Socially Enabled Enterprise. In this infographic, we highlight the key findings.
To help you weed through all the clutter around social at SXSW, Social Media Today and IBM are bringing together some of the world’s best social practitioners to explore the opportunities and challenges global organizations are facing in the transition to becoming social businesses. We also have partnered with Mass Relevance to provide a dynamite platform for your mobile and desktop experience of SXSW, whether you are located on Congress Street or High Street. Check out the platform here. By tapping into #SocBizShakeUp on Twitter, Instagram or however else, you’ll be able to follow the best conversations and influencers on social business at the conference. We’ll also be hand-crafting the good stuff so that you’ll be able to ignore the noise.
The social business points we’ll touch on are the main themes of social business: data, organization, collaboration, technologies, and customer-centricity. You’ll be able to follow “thought bubbles” and will act as our media team, reporting back to us on the platform when you hear these themes mentioned. And as the Social Business Shake-Up proceeds, and everyone networks and interacts, you’ll be able to see which social business themes, or thought bubbles, are getting the most traction. Of course, engaging and sharing your social business experience with the group has its rewards, like two tickets to The Social Shake-Up 2014 in the fall. After all, it takes a village—or in this case, collaboration, to take our businesses to the next level.