Social business grows up

LinkedIn Influencer Clare Shih expects social business to grow up next year.

In her Big Idea 2014 post, she sees three waves of social media adoption in businesses.

The first wave in the mid-2000s was employee collaboration: Yammer, Jive, etc.  This part of social business is now well-established, with organizations building social capabilities into everything from training and knowledge sharing to remote employee engagement.

The second wave was all about using social media externally. Twitter is the poster child of this movement to create interactive connections for customer service, marketing and communications.

The upcoming third wave is about making social business personal: getting individuals instead of brands to do the talking.

For both internal and external social business initiatives, the content that is shared is too often spam in social clothing.

That may be too harsh; executives are often authentic in their CEO company-wide video webcasts or social posts.  But the reality is that true peer-to-peer social interaction for businesses is an ongoing challenge. Internally, social portal adoption across the organization often lags expectations. And external use of Twitter and other networks is often more the brand speaking than an individual.

Video enables the third wave

How do we get to Shih’s third wave?  Social enablement tools are key, such as the newest generation of social video platforms.  Unlike video portals from the past that were primarily focused on top-down video sharing of corporate content, these new tools allow any employee to create and share personal video content with very little effort.

Employees are people too, and people everywhere are using video in their personal lives to communicate more personally.  Consumer apps like Vine and Skype are becoming mainstream communication tools.  Similar tools at work are familiar and easily adopted.

And video addresses the issue of authenticity – both internally and externally.  It’s hard to be insincere (or perceived as such) when your face is on the screen.

Take social business personally in 2014 by empowering your employees with video.