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Social business evolves to 3.0?

ATLANTA -- While some experts say social business is so ingrained in companies' everyday operations that it's dead, others say social business is entering its third phase of maturation.

Companies are no longer making the business case for social media; they see its value. They've also established policies, governance and metrics to build relationships and better understand audiences on social. But, said Victor Gaxiola, customer advocacy manager at Hearsay Social, companies are now trying to figure out how to better understand the data they are gathering. Gaxiola was a speaker at the Social Shake-Up in Atlanta Sept. 16-17.

"For the past couple of years, you can see the changes and trends taking place in the industry regarding social," Gaxiola said, "and how companies are adopting social and how they're evolving." Conversations used to center on, "Why? Why should organizations use social?" But over the last year, conversations have progressed to focus on "How?" "How can we do it better?"

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Gaxiola talked about disruptors like Uber -- a car service that enables riders and drivers to connect and arrange rides through mobile applications -- that are not only changing the traditional taxi industry, but also making the service economy far more collaborative and social. Gaxiola said companies like Uber are changing business models and part of the third wave of social business.

He said services like Uber are making companies rethink their own product lines and relationships with audiences. "A lot of organizations have to take a look and say, 'How are our consumers and audiences using our product, [and] what changes do we need to adapt to?'"

Companies can now use data not only to see real-time trends and manage crises, Gaxiola said, but can also look predictively at data to see issues that may become future trends.

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