Enterprise Social Networking vs Social Business

social enterprise networkEarlier I posted an article about the definition of social business and how I believe it is far more about breaking down silos within an organisation than just about having a social presence. After a while I thought that maybe the term “social business” itself is something which needs work in order to ensure that it attracts the right connotations.

So if you happen to do a Google search for the term “social business” you find a few pages that speak to the (wrong) definition of the term. The rest of the articles speak to a different concept entirely. The rest of the articles refer to a business that is active in the social community. In other words a business who serves the greater good of the community  –  a cause driven business. Think charity’s; not for profits and the like.

This in itself could be the root cause for a lot of the confusion. Would a term such as “Enterprise Social Networks” manage to lift the stigma and confusion around our previously coined “social business”? The short answer is, maybe… However, when you begin to unpack the concept in the sense that we mean it; An Enterprise Social Network is merely one puzzle piece that needs to be in place.

For true social business to exist internally (I’m omitting externally for now); there need to be at least 2 Enterprise Networks in place:

  1. Enterprise Social Networks
  2. Enterprise Collaboration Networks

These networks form the base of social collaboration and conversation that can begin to break down the silo’s of information within your business.

The enterprise social network creates crowds of like minded individuals who congregate around an ideal. Similar to how groups work within LinkedIn. This is a great starting point for understanding how like-minded collaboration and group thinking can make light work of problems and add tremendous value within your organisation.


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