Should we be on Twitter?
How do we engage our Facebook communities?
We need better adoption of our internal social network.
And we always have to back up the conversation, often many (many) steps.
As a matter of practice, we (the industry as a whole) have started far too many discussions about the potential for social media and social business completely backwards.
We’ve started with the tools, the platforms, the technologies, the media. We’ve talked about what to produce, not why to produce it. We’ve talked about what to build and how to deploy it instead of whether we need it in the first place.
But look at this description of social business (which is the one we created and work from):
A social business is an organization that has adapted its culture, operations, and business model to accommodate the business implications of the social web: speed, open communication, collaboration, connectivity and transparency.
Nary a Twitter or a Vine or a Sharepoint or a Facebook mention in sight.
When we talk to companies about why the concept of social business is valid and important, we discuss the destination first, not the ships that will carry us there. In fact, they rarely ever enter the conversation at all until the last stages of implementation.
First of all, the tools will always change. If you think Facebook will be the external social network of choice for all time, or that our existing collaboration technologies will be forever entrenched, I’ve got a bridge or two to sell you, too.
Second, they put the focus in the wrong place. How shouldn’t come first, it should come last. First, always, should come the question of why. Why is this shift happening at all? Why does it matter to us, to our customers, to our employees, to our future? Are there consequences and repercussions if we do nothing, and why do we care about those?
Evolve your discussion about your social strategies, your social business plans, the roadmaps you’re building to create your company’s future.
If “social business” is to give way to something bigger, more important and completely embedded in the framework of our organizations, we’ve got to correct our backwards approach to the discussion as a whole.
We need to be talking about what all of this compels us to do, change, realize, adopt, destroy, enable. What we’re missing. What’s possible. Where we can go from here, knowing that how we get there will evolve with us.
Stop selling the ships. Start selling the destinations.
It’s the way social business becomes less hype, and more reality.