The Social Media Club of San Francisco held their monthly meeting at PeopleBrowsr offices on Tuesday, May 17th. in SOMA. It was a conversation that included Chris Heuer, Founder of the Social Media Club as Moderator, Peter Kim of Dachis Group, Jen McClure of Thomas Reuters and Michael Brito of Edelman.

There appears to be a shift in the way that companies are messaging themselves; rather than conducting Social Media its preferred to be known as conducting Social Business. Much of the discussion centered around how each of the panelists define social media in terms of their companies and how it relates to social media. All agreed that social media has evolved from when it first came into our consciousnesses around 2004. Brito saw that when it first debuted to companies it was creating chaos but now companies are making sense of it and embracing it. McClure whose company has a large workforce felt that the term itself is being used less and its now more about it becoming part of the social organization and enabling employees to communicate with one another. Kim shared how the social media term is on the “outs” with the story of how his client, Zappos‘ CEO Tony Hsieh, fined $1 to anyone who even uttered the term social media.

The panelists also shared their own definition of Social Business. Kim saw it similar to how you connect consumers but in the business world. Its how you communicate with employees through technology such as Jive Software that provides social networking, collaboration software, community software and media monitoring. Kim said, it “pains him when people use social business as social media which it is not.” McClure sees social business as a platform to connect and help employers learn from. Brito shared his definition of social business from an infographic that he has created. As he defined it, its the natural evolution that companies go through internally to equip themselves with customers. It starts with the people internally in a company such as the CMO and as a result processes are established within and technology brought on to manage it results.

A comparison between Social Media and Social Business in terms of search and news interest demonstrated how Social Business is barely a blip, yet its most definitely of importance to those in the enterprise social world. In the end perhaps the discussion was mostly about the semantics of language as it was agreed that social media is the umbrella term, with social business being a niche version of it. Some examples of those companies as seen in the forefront of this focus on Social Busienss were IBM, SAP, Cisco, Intel. Kim though felt at tis time no one is doing Social Business Particularly well but just getting started such as Disney and AT&T. There is still a huge amount of opportunity for companies to join the social world in a business way in the near future.

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