THE BLOG
07/17/2011 06:34 pm ET Updated Sep 16, 2011

Social Media Is Morphing Into Social Business

These days, if you're doing business, you've got to go social. As 'social media' morphs into 'social business,' the conversation is broadening within the enterprise. In addition to Marketing and Communications, we're now seeing Legal, HR, Customer Services, Sales, and other departments adopt social technologies both internally and externally. The adoption curve is maturing.

The world's leading companies are realizing that a solid grasp of social technologies and social platforms, along with the concepts of authenticity, transparency, and trust will become critical to building global brands, transforming product development, enabling real-time customer service, and fostering social collaboration with customers and key stakeholders.

From the beginning, way back in 2007, the term 'social media' rubbed some the wrong way. Just what is social media, anyway? Doesn't it mean Facebook, blogs, Twitter? Or is it more about the new communication platforms? Or about real-time? Or maybe it's just another term for 'digital media'?

When I was developing the curriculum for the Social Media Marketing class I teach with Karl Kasca for the UCLA Extension, we grappled with this as well. Back in 2007, we spent a lot of time in the first session defining 'social media,' and quite a lively discussion ensued. And today the market is still defining it.

One thing is certain. The 'shareability' factor and the 'like'/'follow'/'friend' factor has been a key ingredient. Fast forward to July 2011 and traditional management consulting companies like McKinsey and IBM Services are side-by-side social consulting companies (including Gravity Summit) to guide companies through 'Social' as a Business Process Re-Engineering change project.

If you're in top management, don't wait. Work with a solid strategic consulting team who can help you develop a road map of entry points to foster social business, both internally and externally. The opportunity to deepen relationships with clients and partners by removing communication barriers is truly transformational.

My advice is fail fast, fail forward, but do something. The rewards are waiting for those who blaze the trail.

Join Beverly and her team as top brands and rising companies discuss social business transformation at Gravity Summit FutureM Boston, to be held at the Harvard Faculty Club on September 12, 2011.

Beverly Macy is the CEO of Gravity Summit LLC, and the Co-Author of The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing. Email her at beverlymacy@gmail.com