As the world becomes more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent and the population continues to embrace social computing, today's enterprises face the dawn of a new era -- the era of the Social Business.
Organizations that successfully transform into a Social Business can potentially reap great benefits -- such as the ability to deepen customer relationships, drive operational efficiencies and optimize the workforce. Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) unique position in this new trend will certainly change the fortunes of Facebook investors.
Instrumentation, in the form of smartphones, has put unprecedented power literally in people's hands, anywhere they go. The meteoric rise of social networking, which now accounts for 22 percent of people's time spent online, has connected nearly every individual on earth. Analytically derived customer insights that leverage customer information from across internal and external data sources (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) feed marketing programs which, in turn, deliver the ultimate engaging customer experience.
There are three key business value opportunities arising from the Social Business transformation. Becoming a Social Business can help an organization:
1) Deepen customer relationships
2) Drive operational efficiencies
3) Optimize the workforce
What does it mean to be a Social Business?
- Engaged - A Social Business connects people to expertise. It enables individuals -- whether customers, partners or employees -- to form networks to generate new sources of innovation, foster creativity, and establish greater reach and exposure to new business opportunities.
- Transparent - A Social business strives to remove unnecessary boundaries between experts inside the company and experts in the marketplace. It embraces the tools and leadership models that support capturing knowledge and insight from many sources, allowing it to quickly sense changes in customer mood, employee sentiment or process efficiencies. It utilizes analytics and social connections inside and outside the company to solve business problems and capture new business opportunities.
- Nimble - A Social Business leverages these social networks to speed up business, gaining real-time insight to make quicker and better decisions. It gets information to customers and partners in new ways. Supported by ubiquitous access on mobile devices and new ways of connecting and working together in the Cloud and on open platforms, a Social Business turns time and location from constraints into advantages.
Social Business is a People-Centric Approach: Facebook Leads
A Social Business shifts the focus from documents, project plans and other temporary artifacts to the source of the energy, creativity and decision making that moves the business forward. It's a people-centric approach that relies on globally integrated networks of employees, partners and customers. Rich online profiles of trusted experts enable collaboration and agility and allow for exploration of expertise, publications and networks of colleagues to quickly initiate action or fulfill a business need.
Facebook is the largest social networking company in the world. To put this in perspective, more than 750 million photos were uploaded to Facebook on New Year's Eve alone. The social media site is the world's largest platform for exchanging data, you may call Facebook the world's largest "Data Exchange." Tens of thousands of companies analyze the data posted on Facebook everyday by users. Essentially, users being the potential customers and end users of their products and services, Facebook has no alternative to them.
Companies on Board for Facebook's Big Mobile Push
Some of the biggest brands advertising on Facebook, like Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), Nestle and Unilever (NYSE:UN) expect their next leg of growth to come from emerging markets. And in those markets people who don't have access to the Internet, do have mobile phones, with access to Facebook. Facebook is the equivalent of the Internet for many people living in those countries, and it's not surprising that companies are eager to invest in Facebook's mobile ads.
Facebook: A Long-Term Story in Social Business
Given Facebook's tremendous growth prospects in Social Business, experts see its revenue tripling over the next four years, and the company warrants "reasonably rich" multiples on its stock. There is an immense opportunity just waiting to be tapped by Facebook in this emerging trend, and the stock is a screaming buy for long-term growth investors.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.