Question: What is your understanding of the term "Social Business?"

1) A company fully integrating "social" internally and externally.
2) A company (for profit) designed to address a social objective.
3) Or both? Or?

I like to use the term "social business" predominantly with definition #1 per what IBM is doing - see more on this below.

However, "social business" was first defined by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Prof. +Muhammad Yunus to mean #2. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_business

[Update: and see also http://www.socialbusiness.org/]

To me, a social business is a company that is fully integrating social networking and relationship building both internally and externally. It's a company that GETS what it means to be social and is not afraid to embrace open communication among employees, management, vendors and customers. Social businesses are more successful at external social media marketing because of their internal cohesiveness and connections between all employees.

More and more, we're hearing about "social media" evolving into "social business". It's not a standalone component of marketing. Companies like +IBM are leading the way with their training, initiatives and this explanatory section on their website: http://ibm.com/socialbusiness. I like IBM's definition of social business - excerpted from their site:

A social business isn't just a company that has a Facebook page and a Twitter handle. A social business is one that embraces and cultivates a spirit of collaboration and community throughout its organization—both internally and externally.
IBM has identified three distinct characteristics of a social business:
Engaged —deeply connecting people, including customers, employees, and partners, to be involved in productive, efficient ways.
Transparent —removing boundaries to information, experts and assets, helping people align every action to drive business results.
Nimble —speeding up business with information and insight to anticipate and address evolving opportunities.

Your thoughts?

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