Social Business Has Killed The Question Of Social Media ROI January 12, 2012 by Brett Prince The majority of us would love to have some sort of training to enhance our social skills in daily life, whether at home or in the workplace. Maybe it’s the other way around; we wish other people would receive that kind of training. Are we now at a point where online socialization is something that requires training for proper use? This idea may have seemed ridiculous a couple of years ago, but social technology is now playing an important role within workplace activity and productivity. IBM has the belief that business socialization is an opportunity to train people how to do it well. This week the company announced a massive new services initiative in social business. The gravity of this news is a perfect example that social technology engagement has potential for a meaningful ROI. There’s no point in ignoring it anymore. There’s a trend and term that’s been buzzing around for awhile now, it’s called “social business.” Over two years ago Esteban Kolsky, an enterprise analyst, wrote that society (Generation Y citizens) is demanding that businesses become more social. Social media has evolved so much over the last few years that in 2012 things are at a point where it makes sense for a massive tech service company to jump directly into the market. The practical involvement of social media and business has been doubted in the past because of the Return on Investment. IBM is undoubtedly resolving this with the launch of their new campaign. IBM is aiming to offer services that will help customers in skill development and technical support for social networking. From a business perspective, there’s clearly a heavy emphasis on services here. IBM will be offering live support, the opportunity to meet with social business specialists, and online courses. IBM will focus on the following social enterprise items: Consulting services to create and execute both internal and external processes, projecting the best approach to make a business social media powered. Mentor programs and education for their business partners. Technical certifications that will develop skills need to assess resources. Workshops to help a company evolve into a social business. Some workshops offers will be led in partnership by The Dachis Group, a boutique agency specializing in social business. Questions have been asked about the measurability of social media marketing as a whole. The socialization of business continues to merge with traditional marketing and advertising media, developing sufficient sophistication where it is now a powerful competitive opportunity. From the strategic and cost end, this can all be measured and improved. IBM has said that people globally are spending over 110 billion minutes on blogs and social networks each month. When people are being social in the workplace, failing to measure and optimize the activity would be a massive lost opportunity, one that could even end of being a competitive mistake. IBM’s initiative page also reports that 9 out of 10 businesses that are using Web 2.0 technology are seeing measureable business benefits from doing so. Social business is the gateway into beautiful worlds of collaboration, increased efficiency, productivity and innovation. It’s time to get down to business, together, connected.