My kids love the Christmas song … Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Per Carols.org, this song actually started as a poem, and was created by an Advertising executive (Robert May). He actually wrote the poem so it could be given away by Santa at all the retail stores!
Social is like this evolution! Social started out as Social Media, primarily driven by marketing and advertising. Given the power they found in this alternative channel, today we see companies applying social techniques to other business processes as well. A Social Business is one who embeds social in all their processes, connecting people to people, people to information, and data to insight. It is different than Social Media, in that Social Media primarily addresses or focuses on marketing and public relations. That’s where the media comes from.
Inside each of us is a desire to be social and in return feel connected to other people. With the Internet came the ability to connect computers to computers and computers to networks. Email came along and replaced the need to send around office memos. Instant messaging then emerged with a faster and precious way to communicate in near real-time, further reducing the office memo and in some fashion, reducing email. Neither of these technologies provided that social desire that people seek (albeit instant messaging emoticons did help).
With the 21st century upon us, where everyone is so dispersed from their family, friends, suppliers, partners, and influencers, the Internet has reconnected us satisfying that social desire. Social media is now connecting people with people and people with information. New collaboration technologies focused on simplicity and ease of use have led to a platform to share more than just words, but frame those words around your persona alongside videos, photos, your interests, and what’s on your mind. My persona is not that of just an IBM Vice President, but also as a mother and wife. In some cases, this new wave of disruptive technology replaced the “real world” connectedness with a virtual one.
This connectedness reemphasizes that people are at the heart and soul of every business and relationship — just like Rudoph desired this closeness, Social also helps us play and work with others!