Last week Chris Heuer wrote an excellent piece on Brian Solis‘ blog about the nomenclature of social business. In it he heralded the death of the name social business on the grounds that it was proving difficult to sell it to executives, whilst also often clashing with the work began by Professor Yunis.
It’s not that the ideas are losing or that the goals are without merit, they are. The problem is that the deeper meaning and richer context is being lost on executives who still think the word “social” indicates a frivolous time-wasting pursuit. To them, it’s about what someone ate for lunch. Or it’s that thing their teenagers do to ignore them at the dinner table.
It reminded me of some recent research from Cornell that looked at the framing effect the name of an industry can have on our perception of it. It found for instance that gambling has a much poorer image and reputation than does gaming.
“We found that how you label an industry really matters. This is especially true for nonusers or individuals who are not as familiar with the industry,”
Given that it’s perhaps fair to say that most executives are either nonusers or not especially familiar with social business as an industry, how much does the social business moniker actually help vs hindering adoption?
None really trip off of the tongue do they? With framing seemingly so important, what should this industry be called?