IBM India’s Journey with Social Media and Tips on How to be Better Prepared

Every now and then, I run a Google Search on my name to track my digital identity (good hygiene in my opinion). I ran across an old videocast I did with Kiruba Shankar, a business blogger and (a very patient and pleasant interviewer) in late 2010 about leveraging social media in a B2B context.

I think it summarizes several of our social media initiatives well. I use many of these examples in marketing forums around the country.

Our initial foray into social media marketing involved simply social media enabling our website with social bookmarking, user comments etc. But soon thereafter we embraced digital listening and sentiment analysis.

This laid the groundwork for a complete digital influence initiative by engaging our SMEs around the world to participate and start relevant conversations to drive share of voice and also manage our online reputation management. We saw our share of voice increase by 14 points and we were asked to share this as a best practice in marketing and academic forums alike.

Since then, we have gone several steps further in actively building both internal and external communities on LinkedIn and Facebook and leveraging Twitter for social PR. For our Centennial year, we also ran an pan India Jam to crowd source ideas from employees for progress in the next Century. We currently implementing many of those ideas.

Taking a step back, I am awe struck by the velocity of change in this particular space, despite being an early adopter of social media (I was posting IBM videos on YouTube before Google bought them!). In fact, CMOs across industries baffled by the social media phenomenon and its application to business.

This was further corroborated in the Global IBM CMO Study. CMOs in India, in particular, consider social media to have high marketing impact but feel least prepared for this medium. What was surprising to me was when these same CMOs were asked for the most critical capabilities needed to be successful as a CMO, social media expertise ranked 12th out of a list of 13, even below finance skills!

I don’t think successful and progressive CMOs can relegate social media strategy to the agencies and junior team members and then spend time cribbing about how they need to deliver better marketing ROI.

So my simple advice

To define social media strategy, you need to at least have an understanding and, better yet, a passion for the medium so that the right social media engine can activated to support the right business objectives.

That requires investment in dabbling in the medium frequently and see what makes sense. No agency or course will teach you this. Just go online, set up your digital profile and start reading blogs, follow people you are interested in on Twitter, join an online community.

Its like they say with the New York Lottery “You can’t win if you don’t play!” Be Social! If you need help or tips, drop me a comment. I love this stuff.

Reposted from here

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