Social Business – moving from likes to leadership

Over the next few weeks, we will be hearing from many social media pundits on “the top 10 predictions for social media in 2014”.

One prediction I am hoping we will see is how social media will graduate to become social business in 2014.

If you would like to hear my definition of social business vs social media, you can listen to a podcast below I recorded with Neville Hobson from FIR recently.

Looking at what is in store for social business in 2014 is I think a much more interesting question, as I believe that social business is where the real innovation and opportunities for significant transformation will occur,

So how will we see social business transform enterprises in 2014? Read on and I welcome your comments below, or tweet me @AndrewGrill.

1.Social Business: Not Just About Collaboration
Social is no longer just about collaboration; it’s about unlocking the engines of collective knowledge, differentiated expertise and rapid learning across the whole organisation. Social enables businesses to break down organizational and hierarchical silos and barriers. It provides employees an opportunity to share knowledge and locate expertise. In 2014, we’ll see social transform into an organization’s enablement and learning platform.

2. Social Business’ New Role
Social’s new role will be helping to build a smarter enterprise. For example, doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital are already moving in this direction with social; physicians across the globe are sharing peer-reviewed training videos and on-demand curricula to demonstrate the latest life-saving techniques in child care, building an ecosystem of well-trained health care professionals.

3. Tapping Behavioral Data to Drive Decision Making
In the past, business has relied on instrumented data—machine-generated data—to help drive decision making. With the emergence of social and all the activity taking place over social networks, both internal and external, we now have access to behavioral data that is allowing organizations to analyze sentiment, and listen and learn from customer experiences and behaviors.

4. The Rise of the Individual and “Marketing as a Service” – moving social beyond the marketing department
For most organizations, social networking has been a marketing machine, providing the ability to build armies of advocates for your brand. As we enter into the next phase of social, it will be less about how many “likes” you can get and more focused on the quality of those likes and who is doing the liking. Looking at customers as individuals instead of segments, marketers will now be able to deliver personalized experiences customized to individual or community needs.

5. Social Takes on Talent Management
Similar to how marketers will personalize consumers’ experiences, human resource departments will also begin to capitalize on the power of social by integrating it into their human capital management systems in order to deepen loyalty and engagement with employees. In 2014, we’ll begin to see organizations tapping social and behavioral data to better understand what is important to employees, what motivates them, why they stay with an organization and much more.

6. Customer-Activated Social Enterprise to Drive Innovation
For the past several years, social has been laser-focused on internal collaboration or pushing out messages to clients and partners. In 2014, enterprises of all types will open up to customer influence, pioneering social and digital innovation and building engaging customer experiences. We’ll see workplaces and marketplaces fusing together like never before; enterprises will be thinking and acting differently in the context of social.

7. True Convergence
This coming year will bring the true convergence of social business, big data, the mobile workforce and cloud computing as “business as usual.” An organization’s social business platform will become the universal foundation for how the enterprise works and engages in the marketplace. The platform should enable self-service, have process integrity and be accessible any time, any place. As organizations consider which platforms to build their social businesses upon, they will want a platform that is based on SMAC—social, mobile, analytics and cloud.

2014 will be the year of Social Business – I’m staking my career on it!

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About 

Based in London, Andrew is an internationally renowned thought leader in the field of social business and social media networks. Andrew is Global Managing Partner, Social Consulting at IBM.