Tuesday, March 17, 2009

8 brand case studies of social media practices

Today at noon, Michelle and I attended a very informative presentation on social media at a luncheon meeting of the Capital City Communicators.

Sara Prentice and Ethan Huffman of the Idaho National Laboratory were the speakers. They are from the public affairs and strategic communications groups at INL (operated by the US Department of Energy).

Sara and Ethan said their research began with the use of social media in emergency management. It developed into a complete overview of the trends and best practices.

A definition by the Web Content Report says social media is “web users generating their own content in a collaborative, community-driven way.””

It’s an important topic for many reasons:

• Audiences changing
(77% of GenX, GenY, and Millenials would rather give up newspapers and TV rather than computer and internet access)
• Not just a trend -there are now 130 million blogs
• News media are looking at blogs as much as traditional sources
• Global shift in communications practices
• Corporate distrust (only 17% of people believe what CEO says)

So, what organizations are capitalizing on social media?

1. Goodwill
A fashion icon for Goodwill stores? Check out: “DC Goodwill Fashion Blog

2. LA Fire Department
The fire chief blogs about training, awards, and programs. They even Twitter about every call & response and post on YouTube & Flicker.

3. JetBlue Airways
Shape public perception with its Customer Bill of Rights. Two full-time employees follow social media. And now the airline is also tweet-ing deals: http://twitter.com/JetBlue

4. Comcast
Turning around customer service by responding to complaints online. Now they have a comcastcares twitter

5. Blendtech
A $400 blender? Supported by a award-winning “Will It Blend?”series on YouTube with CEO Tom Dickson.

6. Southwest Airlines
Nuts About Southwest gives their side of the story faster.

7. Deloitte

Built company morale across all its offices with an internal film festival. Employees made their own videos about why they liked their jobs. Some 350 were submitted -employees voted the winner "The Green Dot

8. Idaho National Laboratory
Dave & Juan’s blog for employee relationships. INL@Work promotes its workforce community. Check out the YouTube video of the INL glass blower. www.youtube.com/idahonationallab

Overall, here is what Sara and Ethan say works:
• Conversational dialogue
• Corporate transparency
• News not found anywhere else
• Personal stories
• Live or first-hand accounts (red cross chat)

They also offered these 7 tips to get started:
1. educate yourself
2. be a change agent
3. put together a plan
4. adapt your content
5. identify and develop relationships
6. being monitoring the networks
7. be disruptive

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