The social business ecosystem

By Nadine Arendse
Johannesburg, 25 Jul 2012

Social media marketing involves using the content companies already have to engage with customers and potential customers on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

ITWeb Social Media Summit 2012

ITWeb's Social Media Summit 2012 takes place from 14 to 15 August, with a workshop on 16 August that will focus on how to develop and implement a social media policy. For more information and to reserve your seat, click here.

According to Suzanne Little, head of social media at Quirk, social media marketing forms part of a social business ecosystem that she has developed. The Social Eco-System is a pyramid comprising social media marketing, social CRM and social business. Social media marketing makes up the top tier of the pyramid, and is something brands are already doing, Little explains.

However, the value of social media marketing is not seen over the long term, as many brands often do not pay attention to the foundations on which it should be built. Little says brand awareness, reach and potential conversion to the organisation's brand should be the key objectives of this stage.

The next layer of the Social Eco-System is social CRM, which involves building and sustaining the relationship between the brand and the community that follows it on its various social media platforms, Little explains.

She says this is an ongoing process, with its goal being to build trust and brand loyalty within the community.

“The social business is the foundation on which both social CRM and social marketing should sit by attracting the business' targeted audience, allowing the brand to listen and engage with participants on various social media platforms, while analysing interactions from these mediums to optimise the business internal processes and drive innovation, in turn making it an authentic business.

“A social business is one that understands its ecosystem, leveraging its community as its marketing platform through earned 'word of mouth', but most importantly, it gives as much as it receives,“ Little says.

Little is a speaker at the ITWeb Social Media Summit, which takes place from 14 to 16 August, and features a host of industry experts who will address issues ranging from how to draft a social media policy to how to build sustainable relationships with customers using social media. For more information, click here.