Tags: York | social | media | networking

Forbes: Social Media Business Is on its Way

Wednesday, 07 Nov 2012 07:48 AM

By Peter Moses

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For businesses, being active on Facebook and Twitter won’t make them successful unless the product is good, according to Joel York, an Internet software executive and blogger.

Companies must remember that social networking is a tool and not the only way for people and companies to interact.

“Social business is coming,” he writes in Forbes. “The social-networking technologies that have helped us connect more effectively in our personal lives offer equal opportunity to connect in our business and consumer lives.”

Editor's Note: Economist Warns: 50% Unemployment, 100% Inflation Possible

Social business fosters new ways to build relationships with vendors, customers, investors and other businesses, York says.

But social networking is really about people, not technology.

“Information technology is a great enabler, but it is always only that, an enabler,” he explains.

“It automates and accelerates actions that require information, but it can never eliminate the inherently human elements of those actions. For example, a customer relationship management system might make your sales team more efficient, but it can’t eliminate the salesperson’s role in managing personal relationships with your customers.

“Technology is a tool, a tool that we can choose to use wisely or poorly. So when you are laying out your social-business plan, focus on the purpose of the people first and the technology last.”

A social business network is supposed to reflect real-world relationships, but “like any system, social business networks are subject to the age old problem of garbage in, garbage out.”

“Social business networks are not broadcast communication channels. They are sharing communication channels. When we put too much emphasis on social media, social business stops being social,” York says.

A recent McKinsey Global Institute survey reveals that 72 percent of the executives at 4,200 companies globally who were interviewed said they use social technology and 90 percent said they see some benefit from using it.

Editor's Note: Economist Warns: 50% Unemployment, 100% Inflation Possible

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