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Takeaways from IBM Social Business Case Study

July 8, 2011 | By | No Comments

Who needs Weinergate and other examples of social media gone bad? We can learn just as much (and more) from the folks who do social media right. VP of Social Media at Edelman Digital Michael Brito recently shared an email interview he conducted with IBM VP of Social Software Jeff Schick.

I learned a lot, so I’ll share just two key points:

  • The Decision. Jeff writes that in 2005 IBM “made a strategic decision to embrace the blogosphere.” In my experience, some companies’ social media initiatives are haphazard and unplanned—they start a Facebook Page because a customer says they “have to do it” or they launch a Twitter account because they read an article about how hot the microblogging site is. The fact is that, like marketing, procurement or any business activity, social media success requires a conscious decision to achieve a goal—and a plan to support it.
  • The Guidelines. In 2008, IBM implemented social computing guidelines. Jeff writes: “These guidelines aimed and continue to provide helpful, practical advice to protect both IBM’ers and IBM the brand.” The company continues to assess guidelines to address evolving technologies and social tools. It’s a critical point. Social media is not, to borrow a term from a popular cookbook, a set-it-and-forget-it program. Success requires an internal support system, part of which is made up of advice and tips to help employees achieve that success.

The interview is comprehensive and worth the read—so check it out!

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