Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cardio or Weight Training? Social Media is a Lot of Hard Work...

After meeting with other Social Media professionals at Cisco, Intel and SAP, I have noticed three distinct characteristics that appear to contribute to the success of Social Media programs:

1. Social Media Initiatives came from "the Top:"
At Cisco, John Chambers' blog post about the iPhone lawsuit set off an avalanche of external blogging. At SAP, the CMO requested a social media strategy.

2. Internal Community Helps: Both Cisco and Intel have a robust internal community that allows potential bloggers to try out the medium and find their voice.

3. Company Culture:
Cisco and Intel (especially Intel) both have an internal environment that is receptive to social media. Here is what I wrote about their cultures: "Social Media at Intel" and "The Evolution of Social Media at Cisco.

I just spent a week at our corporate headquarters where I met with execs who are supportive of social media initiatives for our company. As I think about how we should move forward, I am working with a PR agency that specializes in Social Media. They have lots of good ideas for me. But I still have a lot of work to do on my own...

As I vividly recollect how hard it was to drag my butt in to the gym this morning, this analogy of Social Media to personal training by Jim Durbin reminds me that we still have a lot of "heavy lifting" to do internally -- and the agency can't do these things for us:
Paying Sven to do your workout for you isn't going to help you, it's only going to enrich Sven. And for far too many of us, purchasing a 3 year membership at the 24 Hour Fitness of Social Media hotspot is a subsitute for actually exercising.

So, while our agency (a.k.a "Sven") can help with some efforts (like monitoring the blogosphere), we have to continue to lay the groundwork of a social media program. I still need to persuade legal to open up the blog program, and update our policies so that employees won't feel scared to start a blog. And finally, there are our marketing folks, whose favorite phrase is "viral video." : - )

Monday, July 14, 2008

Social Media at Intel: Humor Included

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...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Where the Hell is Matt?"

This is a cute idea. I wonder how long it took him to create this? The dancing is so well choreographed.

"What the F**K is Social Media?"

This slideshow contains the Social Media messages that many of us have heard over and over (and agree with).

If it takes the "F" bomb to get this the attention it deserves, then so be it. 'Cuz I am getting tired of explaining it : - )

So, see it for yourself, first hand.

And btw,I think Marta Kagan really is a genius (and she does too.)

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

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.