What is the difference between social media and social business? How can companies drive loyal, productive, and engaged fans? How are social business and public relations similar?
On an episode of Jay Baer
’s Social Pros Podcast
, Sandy Carter
, manager of ecosystem development and social business at IBM, shared four key lessons that every PR professional must learn.
What is a social business?
Carter said a social business is a company that is transparent, open, and honest. It’s nimble, functioning in an agile way when developing strategies and adapting to new methods or ideas.
A social business engages its clients and employees. For a social business, employee engagement is equally as important as customer engagement.
To succeed as a social business, organizations must engage their employees and encourage them to advocate for the brand. Technology and social tools are one method for encouraging advocacy throughout your business processes.
What’s the difference between social media and social business?
Social media is about injecting customer feedback into the traditional public relations or marketing process. Carter explained that a social business goes beyond just adding that input into its marketing and communications. It adds customer voices into recruiting, sales, service, training, and nearly all other business functions.
A truly social business has embedded social tools and customer feedback into its traditional business processes, enabling it to produce significantly increased business value and create a competitive advantage.
How are social business and public relations similar?
At its core, the goal of a social business very closely resembles the purpose of public relations.
“Social is about a relationship, forming relationships with lots of different people,” Carter said. “Not necessarily for selling, but to add value to them, to teach them something and answer questions to form that relationship of trust so that when they need something, they can come back to you as that key influencer that they can come to because now they trust you based on that work.”
Can social business foster employee collaboration?
Social businesses encourage employees to be collaborative. A social approach to business and public relations enables employees to tap into one another’s expertise, to share that expertise with clients and customers, and to provide value in the marketplace.
In addition to customer engagement, social tools are a powerful driver of employee engagement. In the podcast, Carter explained that companies who engage employees with social programs tend to retain employees longer because those employees feel they have a voice and a role to play in the company’s strategy overall.
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You can learn more tips and strategies from leading social media professionals in Jay Baer’s latest ebook, "Social Pros All-Stars
Amy Bishop works in digital PR and marketing for DigitalRelevance. She is also a national board member for PRSA’s New Professionals Interest Section. Read her insights on customer experience and social business on the Marketing Strategy blog or on Twitter @AmyL_Bishop.