Archive for ‘enterprise social media’ category

Am I a Social Media Martyr?

14 July, 2008 | | No Comment

I am determined to show my company “the light.” I believe that it’s in our best interest to plan and strategize around a social media program. How do I balance that with needing a “quick win” to gain executive support of our program? Something that justifies my job title?

I met Steve Mann of SAP thanks to Gia Lyons. We scheduled a call (all using direct messaging on Twitter, it was cool). I was expecting to converse on the usual topics, like how many blogs SAP has, or the struggle to get legal on board.

Instead what I got was a revelation. Steve described the process he went through to set in motion a long-term Social Media strategy for SAP. He was asked “Why do we need a Social Media Program?” One big reason “There are already pockets of activity throughout the company, potentially incompatible technologies, cost to standardize.”

It’s time to stop looking for quick wins that “show the value of social media.” It’s time to take ownership and build a strategy for company for the long term (even if that’s only a year.) If I don’t act now to satisfy the needs of our stakeholders, the more advanced folks will move on and find their own resources. A year from now we’ll have a variety of tools and platforms that may be incompatible. I need to do research around what each stakeholder can benefit from social media. And that’s not just marketing and external communications, social media can add value for other stakeholders as well.

Here are the departments that could benefit from Social Media:

  • Customer Support
  • Internal Community
  • Product Innovation / Research Community
  • Human Resources / Recruiting
  • I think that Jeff Moriarty missed a title in his list of social media titles:
    The “Social Media Martyr: s/he who sacrifices job security for the greater good of the company.” : )

Social Media at Intel: Humor Included

14 July, 2008 | | 3 Comments


Thanks to some Gia Lyons matchmaking, I spoke with Jeff Moriarty, Social Media Community Manager at at Intel. We discussed their social media program, along with a variety of other things, including social media job titles and Intel’s new Intel Insider Program. Jeff has created some new titles for us (e.g., “Social Media Ninja” and “Social Media Sherpa.”) He’s posting on that soon.

The culture at Intel is open to social media, and the higher ups have a sense of humor (Jeff’s well-received parody “Lord of the Re-Org” featured the CEO and other execs in starring roles.) There is a robust internal community, and internal bloggers who discuss all kinds of topics, not necessarily work related. They even have “internal blog ambassadors” to monitor them and keep an eye out for posts around politics and religion — flame wars have already been waged over those topics. Jeff teaches his co-workers by helping them start an internal blog so they can play with it first hand. Or he’ll brainstorm with a group that might want to experiment with social media, but may be better served by a forum or wiki.

But, similar to Cisco, social media at Intel didn’t just blossom overnight. Jeff told me how “Intelpedia” was started on an employee’s desktop, and it grew organically until IT had to support it.

And apparently, I am not the only soul to suffer from marketing folks who salivate at the idea of creating viral videos. Jeff keenly observed:

Saying “let’s make a viral video” is like saying “Hey guys, let’s plan to be spontaneous next Tuesday at 2 pm.

Finally, we decided it would be awesome to have a community of all the Social Media types from Enterprise Companies where they can share best practices. Jeremiah Owyang’s List of Social Media folks at Large Corporations is a good place to get started. In the meantime, I’ll keep sharing my conversations with the Enterprise Social Media peeps I meet. So far I have also chatted with friends from Cisco and SAP, and I try to organize a little “Social Media Roundtable” with friends from the New York Times, AAA, Logitech and Disney.

Conversations with Steve Mann from SAP (social media strategist extraordinaire) merit their own post. Stay tuned…

Evolution of Social Media at Cisco (Part 2 of a Series)

10 July, 2008 | | No Comment

I had another fun conversation today with Amy Paquette of Cisco. Our first chat was in June: see my post on “The ROI of Cisco’s Social Media Program.” Amy and I plan to chat at least once a month “until it doesn’t make sense for us to chat anymore” (but that will hopefully never happen because she is so much fun!) Their social media program is so evolved that they already have people who specialize in things like “virtual communications” on Second Life. Something to aspire to : – )

It is interesting how the Social Media Program at Cisco evolved — it certainly did not happen overnight. One thing that fueled the fire: as the external communications team was putting together their social media program, the internal comms team was simultaneously building a robust internal community. They had several hundred internal blogs before the external program took off. Amy said:

Having internal blogs is a great way for [potential external bloggers] to find their voice, and learn how to communicate with their blog. People feel more free to ask questions.

Probably the biggest differentiator at Cisco is the culture. Social media has support at the highest level of the company — John Chambers regularly reads the external blog posts: Cisco has 12 Corporate Blogs with more than 80 bloggers. And let’s face it, even the staunchest “blog haters” might waiver when the boss reads ’em.

Planning a Social Media Program: Gia Lyons gives advice

25 June, 2008 | | 1 Comment

Gia Lyons took some time out of her busy day just to give me some advice and help me navigate the stormy waters of the social media landscape. She said:

“2007 was the year of Web 2.0 — and now everyone has figured out what that is. This year is about how to use Web 2.0 tools to make or save money.”

Obviously there is lots of buzz around social media and Web 2.0. The hard part is putting together a business plan and finding case studies with ROI. Gia gave me some names of folks who are in similar roles as mine at other large corporations. It sounds like they are doing some cool stuff, I’ll report back on any great pearls of wisdom that they cast my way : )

She also showed me this great blog post about those who are less-than-enthusiastic around Social Media tools. My first reaction was “oh, nobody at my company is like that.” But then I realized, they might be thinking some of these things and just not saying them!

“Norman Naysayer,” the Enterise Octopus arch nemesis

ROI of Blogging: Cisco’s Social Media Program

14 June, 2008 | | No Comment

Figuring out the ROI of bloggging has become my quest for the Holy Grail as I try to educate my company. But the best part about working in social media is how open and helpful everyone is. We’re all on the same boat, being tossed violently in a perfect storm. But everyone is willing to share their lifeboat (in this metaphor, information = lifeboat.) The New Media team at Cisco is no exception in this generosity.

Cisco’s New Media program started out as a grass-roots effort in late 2005 with two people working part time on it: Amy Paquette and Jeanette Gibson. When I first did research on blog programs in October 2005, Cisco had nothing. zippo. nada. And then A year and half later, their director of New Media (Jeannette) is presenting at Web 2.0 in April 2007. Through various modes of online stalking (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) I managed to connect with Jeannette. I even modeled my own title after hers (“New Media”).

Here is a great story from Cisco that illustrates the value of blogging:

In Jan 2007 Cisco engaged in a lawsuit with Apple on the iPhone. Cisco owned that trademark. The lawsuit was public and there were a lot of questions around the specifics. Mark Chandler, Cisco’s SVP and General Counsel posted JUST THE FACTS around the lawsuit (he was probably tired of all those phone calls.) It was not conversational in tone, just factual. They “just wanted to get it out there.”

In one day his post got 77,000 hits and got 344 comments.

Out of 344 comments, the sentiment was a 60 / 40 split between Apple and Cisco. (Which is surprising, considering Apple’s rabid fan base.) People expressed their support of Cisco protecting their trademark. Now, I want you to take a minute and think about the corparate legal folks you know. How many of them would take this kind of risk and post the facts of a lawsuit on a blog? Yeah, that’s what I thought. So, ya gotta hand it to Mark Chandler for putting it out there.

(This reminds me of another great “controversial” post on Yahoo’s corporate blog: the day Yahoo turned down the Microsoft Deal. But that’s a whole ‘nother post.)

Chandler’s post around the iPhone proved to Cisco that a blog can be a great way to disseminate information. This was the first time that a blog had actually helped with Cisco’s PR efforts. It is not surprising that after this event, Cisco’s blog program really took off in 2007.

The icing on the cake is this great commentary on around Chandler’s blog post:

From Jan. 10 2007

“It’ll be interesting to see how this all turns out given the transparency Cisco is approaching this situation with, and Apple’s notorious secretive nature.”

— Scott McNulty (“The unofficial Apple Weblog”)

Autumn Truong of Cisco: Moving in the Right Direction

13 February, 2008 | | No Comment

There is nothing more encouraging than talking to someone who is doing REALLY cool stuff. I had the good fortune to speak personally with Autumn Truong of Cisco today. We met last year at the SNCR forum in CA. Autumn used to manage the virtual events for Cisco, but now she is in a strategic role where she consults with the business units and Corporate Marketing to educate them about social media.

With any announcement, there is a PR and an AR component. Autumn helps determine what the “social media” version would look like: since that is always different.

Autumn said it’s tough sometimes to think of new tactics, since there are no roamaps and no rule books. She asks herself the following questions before she pursues a mew tactic:

— is what I do going to impact customer behavior / sales transaction?

— what types of opportunities can I jump on that would give me a unique case study?

“Initially, education is always challenging. But once it’s done, and they see results, then next time they are more open to bringing you in.”

For example, she did some great work this summer on the User’s Conference, so the Analyst Relations team came to her for assistance.

They All Laughed at Christopher Columbus…

14 February, 2007 | | No Comment

One should never rest one one’s laurels, but need to take a brief minute here to celebrate what I consider to be a victory. I’ve been evangelizing the benefits of Social Media since I attended the Web 2.0 Expo in April 2006, and first drank from the firehose of the amazing potential created by Web 2.0 technologies.

I started to spread the word amongst my coworkers, feeling like a stranger in a foreign land. A few “converts” along the way kept my spirits up, but overall, it felt like a battle against the odds. I was even told to be wary of changing my job description to strictly social media, because “what if legal decided that there would be no more blogging?” Thankfully there were a few visionaries along the way who saw the need to bring Social Media into the business model.