Anyone can say they USE social media. Open a Twitter account with your business name or slap up a Facebook page (usually created incorrectly as a personal profile) and suddenly you can put the icons on your business cards or website, and climb on that social media bandwagon!
These things do NOT make a SOCIAL BUSINESS.
A social business is… well…it's SOCIAL! It's not about just having a Facebook page, it's what happens on AND off that Facebook page. It's about talking to customers about the experiences they have with you and encouraging them to share those with their friends (Ben and Jerry's Vermont). It's involving them in the business (including new products, charity partners and drink recipes) and allowing them to get to know you (All The Above Clothing). It's about reminding a customer who buys a cupcake from your truck (The Denver CupCake Truck) to watch for their mystery flavors and locations posted daily on their Facebook page and to help them spread the LOVE.
Social business is every person in every area of your business realizing the story of your business is now being told on social sites everywhere, by everyone they come in contact with (usually posted along with a photo of said employees without their knowing!).
Don't snap your suspenders with pride because your hotel is running a special to give away ball game tickets to the guest who checks in on Foursquare and then not ensure every staff member understands what that means. When that guest is greeted with the “I have no idea what you're talking about” look, you'll get a Facebook shout out all right, just not the one you were hoping for.
Don't get frustrated when your marketing intern isn't doubling your sales revenue, when he is the only one talking “social” in the building. Rethink your business strategy and start communicating these concepts in every meeting, to every person who represents your brand. It's so much more than a tweet that is auto-posted or a Facebook post telling of a sale you have coming up.
Who are some of the Social Businesses you have seen and who has missed the boat, in your opinion?
Who is Gina Schreck?
Aside from the one who rants the most here at SocialKNX, I am the Chief Hooligan. We help companies connect with their communities (on and offline) as we craft the stories and encourage the discussions. We orchestrate the brilliance for your brand! Okay so it's not rocket-surgery, but our team is AWESOME at it! Contact me anytime to rant or to ask me a question on Twitter @GinaSchreck or old fashioned email (Do people still do that?) Gina (at) SocialKNX.com