Over the last 4 years in my role of product marketing for our social media and collaboration offerings we have used several terms to talk about social media such as; Web 2.0, Web 3.0, Social Media, Enterprise 2.0 and the Social Enterprise. The most recent term that has evolved is Social Business and, in my mind, this term resonates very well with the enterprise audience. Social business is about the shift in the way we do business and the changes in the business model itself. It's about tearing down the walls and the operational silos, it’s about connecting users, partners and customers through purposeful conversation and collaboration and most importantly, it’s about integrating or weaving social media into our existing business functions to help build a more collaborative infrastructure.
We seem to slowly be moving past the roadblocks and the misconceptions that have existed previously with the term, Social Media - many believed (and many still do) that social media in the enterprise resulted in time wasting and increased risk. Social Media made sense when we talked about it in the context of marketing, but when it came to applying social media within our day to day work stream it seemed harder to grasp where the value add would come from.
Over time, we are seeing many great use cases of value add when we apply the use of social features in the context of a existing business process; such as the on-boarding of new employees by offering them more transparency to the companies goals; empowering sales teams with collaborative team spaces to better learn from each other; fueling conversations with customers for improved marketing effectiveness, and many others.
My advice is start small, think about an area of your business that could benefit from increased levels of engagement. "Situating social media in high intensity areas of worker engagement and putting it in the flow of work is much more likely to result in substantial return on investment than large, horizontal deployments." wrote ZDNet's Dion Hinchcliffe.