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March 08, 2010


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Jeff Bullas

Hi David Yes the big two, General Motors and Ford are getting into gear with Social Media. GM with its Chevy brand just yesterday kicked off a Road Trip, crowd sourced social media competition. Heading to SXSW at Austin, which I reported in a post "General Motors Gets Into Gear With Social Media Competition" http://bit.ly/b8befG. Cheers Jeff


David, thanks for the mention.

I just got off the phone for something unrelated and we were talking about the self-service revolution in the workplace, and I think that your three phases indicate the process of that revolution very well.

The shift in the responsibility of marketing from the few to the many is a small example of the greater shift of control within organizations and society.

And, for those companies at stage one and those companies sort of stuck at stage two, it's important to realize that the positive impacts of allowing every employee to take responsibility for marketing certainly outweighs the impact of employees who may take advantage of the situation and the loss of "control" the organization may feel.

If a company can create a culture in which it's truly believed that the success of the organization relies on each unique interaction between employee and customer, that company is going to be far more successful than a company simply relying on the expertise of a few marketing executives.

I wish I could make it to SXSW this year and will certainly find a ticket next year. The session sounds great.

And, for the record, it was your rant on AA the other day was what initially got me thinking about this topic.


courtney lambert @cjlambert

I'd add that we need to be careful about assuming that all people have the same knowledge and skills.

A CEO will have a wider view of the company than a customer care rep. How can a customer care rep comments on a restructure or capital raising?

A communications person will have better communications skills than an analyst (you'd hope).

It will be a good discussion!

Christopher Barger

Hi David - thank you for the mention, and for the compliment. We're all trying, and that's the important thing.

I'm looking very forward to seeing you in Austin, and I'll be attending your panel!

Tony Faustino

David: I've been reading the following study from The Center for Marketing Research at The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth about the use of social media in 2009 Fortune 500 Companies - http://bit.ly/ahZMTv. It certainly lends credence to your points regarding where companies fall into Phases 1 thru 3.

For example, in 2009, only 22% of the Fortune 500 published a public-facing blog (versus 45% of the Inc. 500). I think we could interpret this stat as validation of how many of the largest US firms are still stuck in Phase 1.


I think there is another category to include in the list you mention. That is the category of small businesses who want to create a social culture but think that they do not have the resources. I see so many people initiate the process of online engagement, but they fall short because they don't have the time or people that they think are required.
I think social business can come in many forms, not just the big flashy branded social media of Ford or GM. Small businesses need good examples of small yet effective ways that they can serve their small yet powerful online communities.
Your books have helped us a lot, and hopefully they will help the small guys too!

kenny madden

Sounds great. I hope to drop by and join the discussion. Spiceworks are based in Austin and Spiceworks being a " social business application" it may be relevant :)

Angela Daniello

Great post! Coming from a background of start-ups, it was natural for the team to understand that everyone is in sales and marketing in the company. I think social networking tools can be used to take this idea and make it more active and visible for small and large businesses. And, that the social business interaction isn’t always about hard sales and marketing types of conversation. Analisa makes a great point about the ‘small guys’.

Ralph Leon

Very interesting post.I do agree that everyone in the company is important, regardless of their position in the company. There is a problem though. It is the CEO's responsibility to make sure ALL of the employees know their role as representatives. This can be challenging for some companies, especially those that are in the retail business. Many of their hires tend to be students or a younger crowd. I know when I was hired as a teen doing retail, I felt like I was just an average worker. Not a representative of the company like I should have.
I think social business is great and will continue to grow. I even think social business can help employees feel more like part of a company. Every company is going to have to figure out how to utilize it to fit around their specific market. Enjoyed the read

David Meerman Scott

courtney lambert @cjlambert - People should only jump into conversations they have the ability to add value to. This is true anywhere. If you're at a cocktail party and you see two people talking and say hello only to find out they are surgeons discussing the operation they performed today, there isn't much you can do.

Nobody is expecting a customer service rep to discuss why the company missed earnings by two pennies. They don't expect that in an offline world either.


Chris W.

Maybe I'm speaking to the wrong prospects! Most of the people I talk with have wedged themselves firmly in #1 and don't want to move. I've worn out crowbars trying to pry them loose. Any thoughts on getting them to #2 at least?

Paul Anthony Kelly

Analisa, agree with you. Many small businesses ar not sure how to pull this off. I know this real estate broker who does runs his office like it's 1989. Fear and distrust of internet much less social media. The ones that do not embrace this will NOT be relevant in a few years.

Jeremy Knittel

This is especially difficult for a small business with extremely close "good ol boy" ties with most of our customers. We have relied on phone and face contact since day one and it is a huge step to get our long term customers to take that step.

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