For some time now I’ve been suggesting that social media as we’ve come to address it over the last few years doesn’t really matter anymore because it just is. We’ve given up on seeing it as some separate practice and accepted that it’s simply a function of marketing that must be integrated.
Lately I’ve begun to wonder if social behavior, not social media, is actually much more than we’ve made of it.
We’ve bolted certain socially enabled practices on to our businesses to provide greater reach, customer service and the pretense of connection, but I wonder if we’ve stopped dreadfully short of the true potential of social.
Even those that preach social strategy are generally talking about finding ways to use social tactics to support existing business strategies and models.
My belief is that the real opportunity is to build a fully social business model, one that addresses the total picture of social behavior. One that moves beyond social tactics to a place where social is the business, is a part of every consideration.
First off let me suggest that we’ve always had social behavior, in some cases we’ve had it in our businesses. People have always been attracted to people and causes they believed in and connected with. We’ve always joined forces and collaborated in ways to effect change and grow. We’ve always belonged to communities that supported and nurtured our basic needs and our needs to be social animals.
The significant evolution over the last decade is that technology has allowed us to behave in this manner without the constraint of geography. We are now free to find, join and coalesce around shared ideas no matter where we are. That dynamic has impacted the world of business in ways that I don’t know that we’ve all come to fully appreciate.
Connection is now possible with anyone. Collaboration is now possible everywhere. Community is now possible with everyone. The true social business model involves anyone, everyone, everywhere.
So, if we were to fully embrace this idea we would begin to think of social as something far beyond marketing. Were we to treat this idea as a business model, then we would have to apply core social tenets to every element of the business.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012