The Difference between Social Business and Social Media

by Emily Constantini

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Lately I’ve noticed that the terms “social business” and “social media” are often confused — or at least we haven’t come to a firm agreement as an industry what the key differences and similarities are between the two. While this can be frustrating for someone like me who has been immersed in social business for the past several years, I can see how these terms may be confused. They both involve computers, social and networking, so they must be the same, right?

Working in social business comes with many opportunities to indoctrinate colleagues and friends with how this is going to fundamentally change the way we work. But even as more and more companies adopt social business technology, I can tell that many folks still equate anything “social” and online with Facebook and Twitter — consumer-oriented social networking sites we all know and love. While these sites play a role in social business, they aren’t the whole story.

Social networking, at this point, has been mostly a consumer activity — people using online tools to connect with others around all sorts of topics and interests. Businesses have jumped onto these platforms to market and advertise because this is where their customers are gathering. Marketing and advertising go where the people are, and over the last 100 or so years, these dollars have moved from print, to radio, to TV, to email and now to online social networking sites.

So, how is social business different than your company having a Twitter and Facebook account? Social networking, as described above, is a part of social business. But social business is not just about networking with your customers. It is about how we work together using online tools that are very much like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ but are designed to meet the special needs of businesses.

The online tools for social business need to be specialized for the enterprise. That is where software companies like Jive and Salesforce.com’s Chatter have made huge contributions. They provide secure social networking environments where employees connect, collaborate and create, whether they are in the same office or thousands of miles apart. And social business tools are unique in the way that they meet special business-related requirements like security, collaboration and document management.

There is a lot more to be written about social business. We are at the beginning of this movement. We are just starting to create best practices on implementing these tools in organizations and adapting business processes to best utilize them. At the same time, the software is continuing to advance and adapt to better meet the unique needs of businesses.

Remember the days when we called having an online store and email “eBusiness?” Now, it is business as usual. And someday soon, social business will be business as usual. Once I can get everyone to understand what it is…


emilyconstantiniEmily Constantini brings more than 13 years experience in sales, territory management, large account management and business development to the JCS Consulting team as vice president of sales, Western region. Prior to joining JCS, Emily served as a regional director for Vistage International, an exclusive membership organization focused on helping senior business executives become better leaders, solve their business problems, and achieve better results. Her role was to select C-suite individuals to participate in local private advisory boards. Previously, Emily worked in the financial services industry, focused on business development in both financial systems and financial products distribution. She has consulted with small, medium and large financial institutions on wealth management platform installations. Connect with Emily on LinkedIn.

Gamification: Thinking Beyond Badges to Drive Long-Term Success

by Emily Constantini

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Gamification has recently become a popular topic within enterprise collaboration platforms — so much so that I think my spell check now accepts the word as valid. As with many other social technologies, gamification first gained adoption in the consumer world with apps like Foursquare, so it isn’t a novel concept. But applying it in a business setting is still fairly new to most people. The key difference is that there’s more to gamification in a business setting than badges and points — it can actually be used to solve critical business problems, such as employee engagement.

As Rajat Paharia points out in his new book “Loyalty 3.0,” 70 percent of people who go to work every day aren’t engaged in their jobs, which costs the U.S. economy up to $350 billion per year in lost productivity. Done right, gamification offers a unique and effective way to mitigate this problem by giving employees a way to gain recognition for their contributions as they work.
Recognition is the root of gamification. People want to be recognized for their contributions; in fact, they feel they deserve to be recognized. As an informal poll, I asked some of my friends, all under age 40, what would make them happier about their workplace. Although “more money” was the response that would make them happier personally, “more recognition” was the response that made them happier at work.

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How One Brand Uses Corporate Culture To Maximize Productivity

by Steve Olenski

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“Culture is infectious — it’s viral, and it’s central to accelerating your business. When you have a unified team that is rushing towards a common goal, you will create rocket ship trajectory. Every industry leader needs unbounded exponential growth to succeed in today’s world.”

The above is a quote from a gentleman named Wehuns Tan who happens to be the CEO of Wishabi — a Canadian technology company that could be the poster child for illustrating the importance of corporate culture in maximizing productivity in the workplace. Founded in 2007 by four ex-Microsoft engineers, including the aforementioned Tan, the company is a leading retail technology firm that has reinvented the digital circular experience through its dynamic circular platform.

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Leading Change and Disrupting Industries in the Process

by Neil Gaydon

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I was brought into SMART Technologies more than 18 months ago to provide a new direction to a company loved throughout the world of education. I had a global platform to work with as SMART is the largest supplier of interactive displays to educators. We invented the SMART Board 20 years ago, first brought technology en masse to the front of a classroom and changed the world of education with our software and SMART Boards.

However, high penetration rates and budgets being redirected into personal devices and infrastructure meant SMART’s world was changing. Understanding the significant headwinds we were experiencing highlighted the need to diversify into new industries. While this meant significant restructuring, the methodology was simple: Create two independent business units to handle very different industries and customers, establish a customer-centric culture and come up with new product ideas that could disrupt markets that had become tired.

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The Cyber Talent Gap: Evolution of the C-Suite to Address Cyber Security Threats

by David Boehmer

Photo by Yuri Samoilov

Photo by Yuri Samoilov

For boards of directors and leaders across organizations, cyber security is no longer an IT issue but an urgent matter of risk management. The list of risks is long and continues to get longer: theft of intellectual property, breaches of customer information, denial of service, malicious code, viruses, disclosures of information by disgruntled employees and more.

Yet, for all the sound and fury, many boards and senior management have a hard time fully understanding what needs to be done. Cyber security is a technically complex subject; the IT structure is largely opaque to many. But this global issue goes far beyond IT — cyber security impacts every action a firm takes. Even the term itself can be confusing — information security, cyber security, information risk management, physical security — all these previously distinct fields are merging together quickly.

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How Digital Signage & Gamification Win at Work

by Ben Johnston

via Getty Images

I’ve been reading a bit lately about gamification and thinking about its implications for our Supply Chain, Contact Center and Digital Signage customers. For anyone not familiar with the term, a definition is useful. Gamification guru Yu-kai Chou provides an elegant, no “B.S.” definition of gamification on his blog:
Gamification is the craft of deriving all the fun and addicting elements found in games and applying them to real-world or productive activities.
This is what I call “Human-Focused Design” as opposed to the “Function-Focused Design.” It’s a design process that optimizes for the human in the system, as opposed to pure efficiency of the system.

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How to Sell a Creative Idea

by Sally Hogshead

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We’ve all had that cringe-worthy boardroom feeling. Your heart is pounding. Your palms are clammy. Your mouth is dry. It’s time to pitch your big idea, and you need the rest of the team (or at even higher stakes, a client) to get on board. In a stagnant or competitive environment, innovative ideas are the best path to growth. Yet, because these new paths are unfamiliar and untraditional, they can be perceived as being too “risky.”

To combat the inevitable haters and naysayers, I’ve listed a couple of go-to strategies to help your biggest, baddest ideas succeed.

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The Digital Odyssey | How Homer, 8-Tracks and Led Zeppelin Took Me Home

by Jim McNamara8track

For the past six months I’ve been reading my classic books to my son. Two nights ago we started “The Odyssey.” Like that wild 10-year adventure, life in the C-Suite — especially for marketers — is full of adventure, story twists and danger. At some point you sort of have to wonder, shouldn’t doing what we are supposed to be doing — marketing, selling and running our business — be simpler?

In 1993, while living in Kansas, I embarked upon a business Odyssey of my own, a yellow-brick-road adventure to find “the next big thing.” I discovered the Web. I don’t claim I actually started the Information Superhighway (Al Gore did that somewhere, I believe, in the smoky hills of Tennessee). But reading in the back pages of a small business newspaper I had that EUREKA! moment, and like Saul on the road to Damascus, my worldview was instantly changed. This thing will change the world, I thought.

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SoLoMo: Taking Personalization to the Next Level

by Salil Godika

photo by Tim Bishop for Weber Shandwick Worldwide

Walking by a store, you get alerts on your handheld about a new range of products that have come in. Enter the store, use your handheld to scan a QR code and share it with your trusted social circle to get feedback, make an informed decision and walk out with your choice. In case the desired model is not available, access the online store instantly and place the order. What was a vision a few years back is now a reality.

Research indicates that providing a personalized experience can result in even greater sales and brand loyalty. This is where SoLoMo takes center stage for retailers. SoLoMo is the convergence of technologies — social, location and mobile — enabling customers to have a richer omni-channel experience, thereby converting them to strong brand advocates.
Today, you have consumers who swear by the information available from their trusted social circle, search engines that churn out customized location specific results and smartphone applications that enable integration of location information faster than ever before. A combination of all these factors has become a powerful driving force in influencing purchasing decisions. Retailers have to be cognizant of this technology convergence which offers them an opportunity to micro target customers.

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Habits That Kill Innovation

by Rik Walters

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Innovation is a key growth driver in today’s business environment, yet building innovation organizational skills has become an issue for the enterprise. Even the best intentions go awry when improper habits are in place behind good ideas. The very habits that can enable your organization to prosper can also be the characteristics that stifle the introduction of new and innovative ideas. This applies directly to businesses that still insist on control, predictability and continuity over innovation and creativity.

In today’s marketplace, innovation that is small-scale (changing cost-structures, logistics or customer service) won’t result in scalable growthThe only way to unleash creativity within your organization is to develop an innovation environment through habits that create, not kill, innovation.

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