Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What is a not a conversation is not social media

I spoke to Ben Parr recently about B2B social media and it got me thinking!!! This morning I woke up to ChrisBrogan's blog about conversation and innovation (not to mention the twinkies picture I saw before breakfast). I am hungrily looking to find ways on how companies engage with their customers using social media. If you are one, please read on and do share your comments.

I have used social media in several different ways in the past 3 years.

Many are for marketing, from events and sharing new products and features. That is useful but not a conversation!

While at Intuit I've done alpha testing of messages using Twitter to test what message worked, at what hour to what segment of audience. Audience reacted and we learned. Not a conversation still!

While at DEMO we built community on Facebook with a campaign called "Entrepreneur asks, VCs answer". Users posted questions and VCs answered on the Fan Page. It built community and followers but not a continued conversation.

Two weeks back we completed PayPalX Innovate conf and are still wowed by the engagement from our users and the echo of the excitement from our echo system. I loved the conversations, the passion and the real time speed of the echo by our partners, global customers and friends.

We had a dedicated team that had the joy of monitoring tweets and responding to users, listening, monitoring beyond our social media presence to scout all conversations and become part of them! We had a separate team that captured the excitement of the 2000 audience and brought videos, live ustream, Tweets, facebook, photos, blogs and tweeted everything out to Millions out there!

Now as we take a step back after Innovate I am looking to find how we can continue the monitoring daily to build that listening and social media conversation into our DNAs?

How can we go past social media being a job to making it a way of life to have daily conversation with our customers? Can we create processes to listen and metrics to track to see what works to course correct?

I know several brands that monitor Twitter to provide customer support:
1. Bank of America is my favorite example as they always respond and excel in their service using Twitter to go out of their way when I am looking for their ATM or reporting bugs on their mobile app or asking for their service.
2. BestBuy is known for it monitors in their CMO office monitoring all tweets.
3. Kodak is my favorite as they have transformed their business by listening to tweets and letting us name their products, offer deals and for quick support.
4. Intuit has an army of Tweeters listening and providing support and product info on all products. My favorite is @alisonatintuit

Do you know of companies/brands beyond CS that uses social media? I am hungrily looking for models here. I'll update here or write another blog summarizing my finding.

Which Product Managers use Social Media to listen to customer feedback to build products?
Which companies use social media with their suppliers?
Who all connect with their partners to extend their relationship across connected communities?

Let me know!!!