Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Social Business, or social media from the inside out as well as outside in

I was delighted to be invited to be a panelist for the Business Marketing Association Southern California Chapter's discussion coming up May 14, "Internalizing and Launching your social media initiatives".  As part of my preparations, I've been catching up on some reading both within IBM on our own initiatives, but also how other B2B companies in particular have been doing lately on the social business front.

I found this post on the Forbes Blog, "Demolishing the Social Hype", that does a very good job of distillating why social business as an organizational transformation play is so much more than just using public social media in marketing efforts. Money quote:

To become an empowered social business is to inject the advantages of social media directly into the heart of your corporate DNA. That means recognizing it’s not only about having a fantastic Facebook page or a high profile Twitter account (though that might be part of the plan!). It’s about implementing the benefits social technology offers through the fabric of your business- not just the consumer facing ones. 

It jives very well with IBM's own definition of what it means to be a social business. You can see partly how IBM in particular is transforming itself socially, in this IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: The Future of Social Business, with Ethan McCarty, Director of IBM Enterprise Social Strategy. One particular example is the IBM Voices initiative:

IBM Voices is a visual example of the convergence of IBM’s brand and culture. It is a real-time data service that showcases live social feeds of IBMers who are experts in big data, mobile enterprise, social business, cloud computing, cognitive computing and much more. Voices then marries the individuals’ thoughts with IBM’s company feeds (@IBM, @SmarterPlanet, @IBMResearch) etc.), as well as a word cloud that shows visitors what’s trending via data visualization technology originating from IBM Research.
Voices instantiates IBM’s values-led culture and massive social media footprint.

This is in addition to the already-extensive use of social technologies inside of IBM, which has grown multi-fold since early adopters created the first IBM Social Computing Guidelines from the ground up in 2005:
...more than 400,000 IBMers use IBM social technologies [internally], including IBM Connections, our industry leading social business platform. As a result, more than 130,000 communities have been developed, 842,000 files shared globally have generated more than 22.1 million downloads. Every day, IBM generates 50 million instant message chats.
Lots of great material for the May 14 SoCalBMA Panel Discussion!



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