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by Paul Gunn
February 14th 2013 by Paul Gunn

Not another BLOOMin’ social business round-up: Feb 7-Feb 14

Welcome to this weeks social business news round-up! I read a very interesting article this week by Alistair Rennie, General Manager, Social Business at IBM: ‘What’s the difference between social media and social business?’. In this post he talks about how business use of social media has transformed over time from simply trying to get likes on the company Facebook page to developing strategies around social presence.  He continues by defining social business: one that integrates social technologies with business processes to improve employee productivity.

Another interesting blog post is ‘Using social business to manage by walking around’ by Adi Gaskell. The article discusses how ‘Management by walking around’ (or MBWA) has evolved with the advent of social media. First popularised  in 1982, MBWA involves someone from management walking around the workplace to get a feel of what their staff were doing.  Since the introduction of social technologies, managers can now do the same thing but without leaving their seat.

Twitter’s top re-tweeted #socbiz article

The most re-tweeted social business article was written by Geoff De Weaver and is appropriately titled ‘Kickstart your social business’. In the article he discusses how important it is to embrace new technologies and how the need to engage with customers is central to a social business.

The main points in the article are:

  • Social business recognises that brands aren’t about messages any more; they’re about engaging conversations that build loyalty and trust
  • Building a social business is no longer an option; it is critical in today’s complex, ‘always on’, cross-media connected business environment
  • Social media tools and platforms can help you conduct your business more efficiently and effectively
  • It includes what social business means in his eyes
  • Companies that outperform their peers are 30 per cent more likely to identify openness – often characterised by a greater use of social media – as a key influence on their organisation.
  • Social business is about futureproofing your organisation.

BLOOM’S pick of the week

The article chosen to be BLOOM’s pick of the week is an infographic which discusses how to transform your business into a social business but with a twist of using a sports metaphor . The post titled ‘How Do You Transform Your Business To A Social Business (Using A Sports Metaphor)? #infographic’ was written by DR4WARD.

The infographic shows a number of recommended strategies which businesses could use to socialise their business but with a sports twist. My personal favourite strategy compares old and new ‘plays.’  This shows how businesses have adapted to accommodate social practices.

Companies doing it right

Bookbyte and book bites

An interesting little example of not so much necessarily “doing social business correctly”, but jumping on a social business opportunity.

When Chris Fallon of Bookbyte noticed a fellow Reddit user had found a slightly different method with which to ship books back to a used book retailer, he deduced that it must be the very reseller at which he worked (albeit with a little bit of sleuthing). On realising this, he put measures in place to confirm his theory and reward the avid original poster with a 20% discount. The subsequent post on the same social network resulted in more awareness than the original post, and an almost 200% increase on comment engagement.

Obviously this is an extreme (though interesting) example of a social business idea, and not one that would perhaps world universally, but nevertheless it’s an example of how a small gesture gained rewards greater than the sum of its parts.

Would the opportunity have been spotted if the original poster hadn’t gained enough awareness on the site to become a user worth influencing to develop advocacy? Would the same approach have been taken if the target audience for the site’s service didn’t have significant overlap with the target audience of the social network in question? Who knows. But the situation as it was meant that both of these situations were the case, and so for a tiny monetary discount and a small bit of social attention and engagement, the brand gained significant exposure and affinity from their target audience and a prominent social network audience.