Openly social at IBM, Creating significance, How Klout measures, Kim and BMW, and crisis happens

If a company like IBM can openly embrace social tools like Twitter – where they have 25,000 employees, most any company that sells to real businesses and people can outside of covert operations.  I think this is a prime example of how to implement a social media program and empower your employees. Great presentation by Ian Greenleigh for skeptics and those in the process of figuring out how social fits in their business.

I’ll admit that I’m not a big game player in Social Media. I use it primarily to learn and connect with others. While watching others claim their mayor badges, I’ve been thinking about how this will play out for business – where it’ll intersect commerce and deliver what every business wants: ROI. I knew there was a place for it and that it wouldn’t be too long until people (including myself) saw how these games were valuable tools for engaging: “putting the ‘market’ back in marketing.”  Umair talks about how social media is for society – creating significance, not just influence. That’s the power of these tools that we’ve only begun to realize.

If you’ve wondered, as I have, how Klout actually measures influence then this is a good read. Last week I shared a post about how it’s not the number of followers but the quality that matters. I’ve also struggled with the concept of influence – wondering if it’s just a popularity contest and how it seriously has any tangible effect on business communication and commerce. I think the post above rings truer – that influence isn’t the core purpose of social. Especially when most items on Twitter are not read or retweeted. And that fewer than 5% of one’s followers really pay attention to anything you say. Face it, we’re too busy to do so. Beyond Klout there’s Peerindex and as the market matures we’ll find more effective ways to measure the things that matter. But I give props to Klout for trying – and giving us the tools to test and discuss.

Despite the fact that Tom Moradpour hasn’t been blogging long, his posts are filled with sharp insights that give marketers much to think about. (Of course, nor have I). Could be his dearth of experience at Pepsi or maybe he’s just a master at headlines that pull me in. Either way, I have to share two here today – what he learned from Kim Kardashian’s death – the power of star power and opportunities missed plus how BMW didn’t use their logo but left their audience with it emblazoned (if only momentarily) in their eyes.

I’ve been reading David Armano almost since he started blogging back in 2006 (or before). I’m not sure if it was Future Lab where I discovered him, but he’s on my must read list along with Valeria Maltoni as two of the best thinkers in content and social. Lost in many discussions on how to generate ROI from all the shiny new social tools out there is planning for crisis. Sooner or later something’s going to go wrong  in your social program. Your company might have a major gaffe. Or maybe a customer has a really bad day and takes it out on you. Either way you’ve got to be prepared – IN ADVANCE . His thoughts on planning for multiple social media crisis scenarios should be on your list to read. To share with your management team and colleagues. Taking proactive steps to plan will help you navigate effectively in the heat of the crisis. Don’t ever think it can’t happen to you.


  1. Patrick,

    Beautiful post. I can almost feel you weighing your words carefully, and appreciate the way you weave together different threads to make a picture of exactly what is happening with social media right now. I think we are all just flexing our muscles and finding our wings.

    I’d like to point out one small error. You say,” I’ll admit that I’m not a big game player in Social Media.” I disagree. You are in the game. I consider you a player to watch!

    Your friend from the #UsGuys stream, @jackinessity


  2. Patrick says:

    Thank you Jackie for the kind words. Definitely agree that we are really at the early stages of understanding how all the tools fit into our respective businesses as well as what tools we really need. It’s an interesting journey with so much more ahead!

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