Social business question

For some time now, companies have been wrestling with the strategic issue of how to use their Web sites in positioning themselves in the marketplace – whether to use their Web site just to disseminate product information, or whether to operate an e-store to sell direct to online shoppers (Thompson, Ch. 6).  And nowadays one finds all sorts of “in the moment,” mobile-commerce applications utilizing smartphones (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry) and social networking services (Facebook, Twitter) that can integrate m-commerce capability with the firm’s internal IT and marketing systems.  Welcome to social business.

Social business concerns monitoring, responding, amplifying and leading consumer behavior in support of corporate brands and products.  It is fundamentally about building communities, fostering new ways of collaborating, and guiding these efforts to achieve a purpose.  (Social business: why you can’t afford to ignore it, IBM Forward View, 2011.)  Apple, Google and Whole Foods Market create gravitational buzz that attracts customers to their respective brands through finding shared purposes, creating meaningful engagement platforms and encouraging collaborative partnerships.  Whole Foods Market for example works toward healthy living through better food and nutrition utilizing its educational platform and collaborative supply chain relationships.  

Comment on a personal experience in e-commerce—were social business principles exhibited?  How might the experience have been improved?

Would you agree, managers need to “up their game” with social media?  Explain.


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