Social organization does not mean social media

social organizationIf someone were to ask you if your business is a social organization, what would you say? Good question, right? Many companies are stating to understand that it’s important to “go social,” however, it’s not always clear what constitutes a social organization. One thing that organizations need to understand is that simply using social media does not make them a social organization.

So, what exactly is a social organization?

According to a SocialBusinessToday entitled Is Social Business the Same as Social Media?, a social organization can be broken down into the following five components. We thought we would help you understand them by explaining them in our own terms.

Internal social media In other words, real-time collaboration and communication. Social organizations understand that the use of social media should start internally. This can simply be done by encouraging employees to share files, status updates, collaborate on internal wikis and blogs, and by allowing an employees to be connected from wherever they are, at anytime.

The customer ecosystem
People tend to trust their peers more than they trust information they read on the web. The customer ecosystem is one companies generate buzz around their brands by instigating conversation around them. In the customer ecosystem, organizations engage with customers in real-time, in their own environment.

Listening, customer service, social selling
In other words, tuning in to the social web and identifying customer opportunities, sales leads, customer likes and dislikes, and competitor trends.

Brand articulation
To quote SocialBusinessToday, “A social business needs its employees empowered and willing to talk good about the company, engage with clients and understand their responsibilities and limits.”

Employee transformation
Social organizations do their best to send their employees out on the web to represent the company. The example that SocialBusiness today uses illustrates this well: IBM has a comprehensive education program on social that includes providing web-use guidelines to help employees understand the limits of their authority and which help promote the use of social tools. Every employee’s social performance is tested once a year.

We want to know: How do you make your business as a social organization?

Related blog posts:
Social Business Trends for 2013
Social businesses: Connecting the dots
Social Media in Business
The social web a key driver of product innovation
Social Customer Service/Community Management

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