Does Social Media and Marketing Matter? - InformationWeek

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6/24/2009
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Ben Kepes
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Does Social Media and Marketing Matter?

Initially posted on CloudAve - home of specialist cloud computing and SaaS commentaryFrom the program - Social media is all the rage in the consumer world and with some of the world's leading consumer brands. Now businesses of all types and sizes are exploring the use of social media both for internal purposes and as a communications conduit to the outside world. But do the same principals and lessons learned from the consumer world apply to businesses? It's time to get serious about social media adoption in business and ask the tough questions. What are we trying to achieve? Can social media possibly scale for enterprise consumption? How has social media proven effective and how are we measuring its effectiveness?Peter Kim, Senior Partner, Dachis CorporationBen Foster, Strategy and Content Manager, Allstate Life InsuranceGreg Matthews, Director, Consumer Innovations, HumanaMorgan Johnston, Manager Corporate Communications, JetBlue AirwaysSocial media sometimes is a tool to solve a problem that doesn''t exist - a cure chasing tool. Allstate has department called and for social.. and feels a need to use the tools to partner with organisations to asses where problems lie. Social media is a great tool within Jet Blue for;

  • Real time "taking the pulse" of the feeling of the community
  • Engaging with the community
  • The ability to inform (730k Twitter followers helps!)
  • Humanising the company
Humana is trying to reinvent themselves as a health - company more than just a healthcare company - social media and marketing helps them to innovate and find the bleeding edge ideas that will help transform the company. They created a site to gather some ideas - most of which will never see the light of day but some that might.How do we incentivise and enable collaboration within an organisation? How to make it part of the fabric of the company? Enterprise 2.0 helps with this, embedding the tools that enable the cultural shift within an organisation - give the tools to the staff and stand back ie not try and control the use of them.Two emerging areas where enterprise 2.0 stuff matters: customer service and innovation/new product development. Tension between top down and bottom up - also a company like Humana needs to be very aware of privacy with regards customer records so approaches it more by creating separate externally facing tools that don''t connect directly with internal data.In development their is always tension between IT and the social media evangelists - need to get people in the same room to talk about their relative perspectives. It''s hard for IT given that as soon as something goes wrong they get nailed - and in a modern, social media driven world rapid development doesn''t sit particularly well with the traditional IT perspective (scope, develop, test, release) - need to deal with the concerns from both sides.Things are merging - IT conferences talk about social, PR conferences talk about social. Social media is becoming the hub around whic

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