Stop what you're doing and check out this thread (on Google Plus of all places) started by Francine Hardaway. She started it off with a simple question.

"Who are the best experts in social business?"

What followed was a robust discussion on what social business is, isn't and who's driving the agenda forward in the space both in thought and action. If you're interested in the emerging definition of social business (aka the convergence of enterprise 2.0 and social media) I highly recommend you taking a look. Some of my favorite thoughts:

"the thread that social business is not the same as social media, or social media marketing. Social business is about BEING social, inside and outside the organization. Social media is about DOING communication differently. The former is holistic (ideally). The latter is decidedly less so, but that doesn't make it unimportant."

Jay Baer

"I think we're getting a little cute with the wording or definitions; I think that most of the people who've earned respect in this business have long been advocating that the smartest application of social platforms is to integrate them across the organization, including employees and the entire supplier and partner chain. I agree with everything in the definitions of "social business," I just don't think it's that big of a departure from what serious social practitioners have been up to for a while."

Christopher Barger

"The value that social interactions bring here are on several separate levels. In the most basic form it adds value by capturing all that unstructured knowledge that we still try to manage (classical knowledge management); then comes value from inter-collaboration and relationship networks; then comes value by applying analytics to those collaborations and knowledge capture; and finally the transformation and dynamic/flexibility to managing what used to be very fixed processes"

Rawn Shah

"I think to do social media right, you have to know customer service, human behavior, trends, business (finance, forecasting, marketing, high level strategy, departments, inter-department working, crm) and then you need to understand how people use and receive social channels tools. You have to be able to sit on top of a perch and then connect it all to the rest of a company. Not a lot of people do this."

Alex Beauchamp

As for me, I do see some distinction between social media and social business. Social media is communications focused. Social business is communications, r&d, legal, sales, customer support, operations, collaboration etc. All at enterprise scale. Internal and external. It's applying a social layer across an organization. Who are the experts here? That's not the real question. The real question is who is ready and willing to do the hard work over the next ten years. That's about how long I think it will take most large organizations to fully integrate "social" even if, by then we are calling it a different name.

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