In the not-too-distant future, building a social business will be key to growth and success. In a 2012 study, the McKinsey Global Institute found that social business could create as much as $1.3 trillion in potential value in just the consumer packaged goods, consumer financial services, professional services, and advanced manufacturing sectors alone. Building a social business for your clients can create a wealth of value for them and for your business, too.
But what is a social business? It is a business structured to enable rapid information sharing and collaboration between individuals. A social business is also capable of gathering and rapidly analyzing external social content, such as that shared on social media channels, in order to extract actionable insights—in other words, a Big Data master. And a social business is also typically capable of extracting insights from internal content in order to identify and connect employees in a way that maximizes their knowledge and potential.
What benefits can building a social business practice offer your customers? Let's examine three key benefits.
1. A social business is more responsive to internal issues.
Let's say an internal issue surfaces at your customer's organization. Perhaps they've encountered a problem that the assigned team isn't sure how to solve. It happens everywhere. A social business can accelerate the problem-solving process by rapidly identifying who is best qualified to solve the problem and connecting them with the people and resources they'll need.
2. A social business is more responsive to external issues.
Now let's say your customer's target audience has a problem with the organization. Perhaps one of its teams or lines of business has been a little lacking of late, or perhaps some of its products or services are turning out to be less than stellar. A social business is equipped with the tools to determine what people are saying, when they're saying it, so that the business can address problems immediately and regain any reputation that's in danger of being lost.
3. A social business is a knowledgeable business.
With the right Big Data team and implementation, a social business can maximize the value of all of its resources: human, data, and social. It becomes an efficient organism that can transfer knowledge and resources freely to wherever they're needed most, making it more agile, more responsive, more resilient, and, ultimately, better positioned to grow, innovate, and succeed.
It's been said many times before that knowledge is power. As a VAR and business owner, you know that to be true: ultimately, the success or failure of your business depends on the knowledge that your business's people possess and their ability to use it. The same goes for your customers, and building a social business practice gives you another opportunity to offer them real value and build lasting relationships. Are your customers making the most of their people and their knowledge? If not, then it's time to consider consciously building a social business to help them get there. And if you're not sure that your Big Data or infrastructure expertise is up to snuff, Ingram Micro's specialists are here to fill the gaps in your own knowledge.
What are your thoughts on building a social business practice as part of your long-term strategy? Let us know in the comments.