Can social media change the rules of old-world business?

That’s a question I’ve been mulling over during the past week or so in thinking about how and where social media fits into an organization’s business planning as part of the array of communication tools and channels available to everyone today.

thepicturetodayYet social media are simply tools and means that people use to connect with other people. They represent different ways of communicating than we’ve been accustomed to, as well as different approaches to communication brought about in part by changing behaviours.

So perhaps there is a better question to ask, the right question to ask.

Maybe it’s this: Can changes in society, people’s expectations and behaviours change the rules of old-world business? Social media is right in the middle of that question as social media is a preferred toolset that many people choose from to connect with other people, whether on a personal or business level.

To me, the answer is a resounding ‘yes,’ based on a mixture of personal belief and experiences as well as what I see happening right before my eyes, both at a society level and within organizations.

Paul Seaman says social media can’t change the rules of old-world business. Moreover – I’m summarizing rather loosely the various arguments he makes in a rather good post some ten days ago – he says that social media is an irrelevance to business.

Clearly, I don’t agree with that, and I want to outline here what I do believe in this regard.

First, though, I’d encourage you to read Paul’s post and the comments offered by others with points of view. Understand everyone’s points of view. You may or may not agree with some or all of what Paul says. Either way, it’s something to think about in context when you read different views in a blog post like this one I’m writing.