The True Value of Social Media

Social Media is not marketing.

Thinking that it is all about marketing is very short sighted. It’s sexy to think about social media as marketing because of the vast opportunities it opens (plus all those stories you hear) for your business.

So what is the true value of social media?

First let’s exchange the word media for technologies. Social technologies are collaborative solutions inside an enterprise. Much like people collaborate on Twitter in real-time, imagine a combination of Twitter and Facebook inside an organization. These tools already exist.

The key is implementing them insider organizations, not as a marketing tactic, but as a capability.

Kaiser Permanente is an interesting case study in building a social business capability by using social to improve customer service, internal collaboration and market research:

Social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook have helped Kaiser Permanente — the nation’s largest nonprofit health care provider — grow its positive media mentions close to 500% in the last five years.

The article is well worth your time.