New online community about business social media adoption

(Update: Social Business One seems to have folded. The web site is vacant.)

Being invited recently to participate on the Founders’ Council of the new online community, Social Business One, was definitely an honour: accepting the invitation was a no-brainer.

It was not just that I was delighted to be invited to join such a dynamic group of social media practitioners, but that the new community was being formed around a conversation which I believe needs to be built and expanded, the conversation about social media from a “whole of business” or “whole of enterprise” perspective. It’s worth noting that there is a related conversation to be had, or in some cases already underway, about social media from a “whole of government” viewpoint: related, but different.

The new community is the brainchild of Social Media Academy founder and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Axel Schultze and has been brought into play as an active online community through the support of CustomerThink founder Bob Thompson, with Social Business One being set up as a community on the CustomerThink platform.

It is a timely development, in that it provides a means of, so to speak, stepping back from preoccupation with some more specific uses of social media and looking at the broader scene.

So we will be talking about “social business” in terms of how businesses are adopting social computing to engage with customers, improve employee productivity and create a competitive advantage. Some of the major topics to be covered include social media marketing, social Customer Relationship Management (Social CRM) and Enterprise 2.0.

As I understand it, part of the momentum for establishing this community is that the social media conversation has to some degree been driven, even dominated by marketing, with sometimes intense involvement form the PR sector, and the perception is that the conversation is thereby unduly limited and constrained.

Let me say immediately that I have absolutely no problem with the marketing profession conversing, writing, debating, sometimes pontificating about social media. I just want to see the conversation become wider and more diversified. For example, why should someone whose focus is supply chain management be interested in conversing about social media in the enterprise? What about the human resources people? Production staff? Fleet management? And so on.

In fact, I’m wondering if there is any aspect of business and business processes where social media has no role. Or am I drawing too long a bow?

Comments? Suggestions?

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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).