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Every Company is a Media Company: May 2010 Archives

May 3, 2010

Interview: Intel Social Media Strategist Ekaterina Walter

I recently interviewed Ekaterina Walter, social media strategist at Intel. Ms. Walter works in Portland and is part of a small team of social media specialists working closely with Intel's corporate marketing group to provide a set of best practices and strategies.

Ms. Walter has been specializing in Facebook strategies. You can hear one of her BrightTalk webcasts here: "Faceless to FANtastic - Effectively Engaging Your Facebook Fans"

Here are some notes from our conversation:

- My webcasts have been popular because I provide a lot of tips.

- Engagement on Facebook is important. If you don't engage you don't grow.

- We try to create a 3 to 5 year social media strategy at Intel.

- My team advises the Intel marketing group and we have also created an internal education classroom series that all 5 thousand people in our marketing group have taken.

- We don't monitor what Intel staff do in social media but we do have lots of support services for them.

- It's important to collect content so it is not fragmented. For example, we have an Intel channel on YouTube where staff can upload videos.

- Facebook is important to Intel because it is a place where people can get advice. We have more than 80 thousand fans on Facebook.

- The old days of trying to drive everyone to your main website are over.

- I am involved daily on Facebook but I would like to work more on strategy. However, if I weren't involved on Facebook I wouldn't know what Intel's strategy should be.

- There is a return on investment in social media. It's hard but it's not true that you cannot calculate an ROI.

- Analytics is very important. We use a lot of analytics tools, none are custom, all are available either for free or as a subscription.

- We also work with Intel reseller partners, helping them sell more by using social media.

- Many companies take a campaign approach to social media. That won't work, you have to realize that it is not a three month campaign but a long term commitment.

- You have to know who you are trying to reach. If you are focused you will make an impact.

- Video is very important in social media. It is highly consumable and many people prefer it over text. Also, video can transcend language barriers. Video also helps in search engine ranking.

- It is very true that every company is a media company and also every consumer is a content producer. There is a lot of media being produced, there are a lot of distractions, and that's a challenge for any company.

- Facebook allows Intel to move from a faceless brand to a human brand.

Here is an extract from Ms. Walter's latest post on her blog: Building Social Bridges:

8 Social Media Myths

Social Media is free. I cringe every time I hear that! Social media is NOT free when done RIGHT! That’s all there is to it! It requires commitment, hence it requires time and resources.

Hire an intern to do Social Media. What a horrible advice!

Social Media engagement equals a short-term program. The whole purpose of social media is to give you an opportunity of building long-term relationship with customers!

Social Media should be outsourced. ... You should own the engagement! No one understands your brand like you do and cares about it like you do.

You HAVE to be on social networking platforms. No, you don’t.

Failure is not an option. Social media is all about trial and error. If anyone tells you they are an expert in the field, run. Everything in social media changes so much and so fast (especially the tools) that anyone would have hard time keeping up with all of it.

You can’t measure Social Media. That is just an excuse! Is it hard to measure social engagement or social advocacy? Yes. Is it impossible? No. There are a bunch of great posts by Katie Paine; Olivier Blanchard and others that will tell you just that. And there are a lot of tools (free and not) that can help you with that.

Social Media is having a Twitter (and/or Facebook) strategy. Having Twitter presence does not constitute a strategy.

Please read the whole article here: Building Social Bridges » Blog Archive » 8 Social Media Myths


May 17, 2010

EC=MC - Embedded Journalists Within Corporations

I've been writing a lot about every company becoming a media company and part of that process is acquiring the skills of media professionals. The quickest way to do that is by hiring experienced journalists.

Recently, Salesforce.com acquired Steve Gillmor, a veteran tech journalist. [Steve Gillmor goes to the dark side: you should care | ZDNet]

That was a savvy move by Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, who knows Steve Gillmor very well through many interviews.

Other companies such as IBM have made similar hires. Ben Edwards, a veteran reporter at The Economist, joined IBM in March as VP of Digital Strategy and Development.

Cisco Systems has a long tradition of employing journalists. A recent hire is Jamie Beckett, managing editor of [email protected]. Ms Beckett used to be a business reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Ken Kaplan, broadcast and new media manager at Intel, has a long background in TV at KRON-TV, the former NBC affiliate in San Francisco. And there are many more examples.

Having an experienced journalist on staff will help companies tell their stories, however, the success of such ventures will depend upon how much creativity the journalist is allowed. Companies have a strong desire to control their message and nit-pick how that message is published.

Journalists are used to having a relatively free hand in deciding how a story should be presented and there is a danger that their work will be handicapped by their bosses.

Too many editors, like too many chefs, can ruin the dish.

Companies will have to trust that their "embedded journalists" are taking the right approach and take a hands-off approach.

- - -

Please see: Every Company Is A Media Company


May 18, 2010

Corporate Social Media Is Not Social -- It's Sales Media

When it comes to corporate use of social media I have problems with the use of the word "social" because it's not accurate. It's not social.

When most people use Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace, they use it for its social qualities. Yet when corporations, and many professionals use social media, they are using it for commercial purposes, they are using it for sales.

This is an important distinction because it affects how businesses should use social media.

I was moderating a panel earlier today on how businesses can use PR to leverage social media, and Louis Gray said something that was very wise. He said that people create their Facebook pages in a specific way because that's the way they like it, they are comfortable there. If you come along and engage with them you need to approach them as if you were a guest in their home.

That means businesses have to be cautious about how they sell on social media sites.

All that relationship building and engagement is not because a business wants to get to know Jane or John better, as a friend or relative would, it wants to sell more of its product or service. That's a far different agenda from most people's engagement in social media.

Like at parties, people will avoid that person that is selling something. Friends that invite their friends to tupperware parties, or similar, are tolerated for a while, but not for long. Similarly, companies that use social media as sales media must understand there is a time and place for it, or they risk alienating people.

Sir Martin Sorrell, the head of WPP, the world's largest marketing and communications group, has similar concerns about the commercial use of social media. The Financial Times recently reported:

Sir Martin warned on Tuesday that social media sites are ”less commercial phenomena, they are more personal phenomena,” more similar to ”writing letters to our mothers” than watching television.

”Invading these [social] media with commercial messages might not be the right thing.”

So let's be honest about corporate use of social media -- it's really all sales media -- let's not dress it up as anything else.

- - -
Please see: Every Company is a Media Company - EC=MC - the transformative equation for business.


May 23, 2010

How To Turn A $1.6m Lemon Into Lemonade

Zappos.com is famous for excellent use of its own media (blogs, Twitter, etc), and the media, to boost its brand. Here is another excellent example: (Hat tip Jeff Jarvis.)

It seems that Zappos' sister site 6pm.com ran into a problem Sunday morning. For 6 hours it priced everything at $49.95 or under. That means a pair of say, Jean Paul Gaultier boots that sell for $530 online (retail: $1,135) could be bought for $49.95.

Aaron Magness, director of brand marketing at Zappos, wrote that the mistake cost the company $1.6 million but that all sales would be honored:

While we're sure this was a great deal for customers, it was inadvertent, and we took a big loss (over $1.6 million - ouch) selling so many items so far under cost. However, it was our mistake. We will be honoring all purchases that took place on 6pm.com during our mess up.

Great move. Yes, $1.6 million is a lot of money but the publicity will probably more than make up for it. Zappos could have stayed quiet but instead made a savvy marketing move using its own media and trusting that social media would distribute a great story.

I didn't know about 6pm.com but now I do, and who knows, I might pop in Sunday mornings to see if another mistake in pricing has occurred (and I can get those boots :).

(The converse to this however, is that they might have mistaken the price on something I had bought in the past and it should have been cheaper.)

- - -

Please see: Every Company is a Media Company - EC=MC - the transformative equation for business.


May 24, 2010

So Many Social Media Experts... But These Are The Doers...

There are so many people branding themselves as social media experts these days that we could lose sight of the people who really are social media experts because they are doing it.

I'm really interested in the doers rather than the sayers. And I want to create a list of those people.

Jeremiah Owyang, from Altimeter Group, has put together an excellent list of people who are working within corporations as social media strategists - I'd be interested in more such lists if you have them.

I'm republishing just a very small part of Jeremiah's list, dealing with the tech sector, there is plenty more over at Jeremiah's blog: Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing.

I've also created a Pearltree around this topic, that lets you browse the LinkedIn profile of each person on the list.

By the way, if you are unfamiliar with Pearltrees it's a great media technology, it allows you to create your own curation of the web. Also, you can easily add this Pearltree to your own and it will be automatically updated with new names as they are added (in real time).


Here is just a small part of Jeremiah's list, this one is on the tech sector:

Electronics, Devices, Mobile

  • Marcy Cohen Sr. Manager Sony Electronics
  • Kelly Colgan Media Relations Specialist Schneider Electric
  • Ray Haddow, Senior Manager, Nokia
  • Ian Kennedy Head of Service Innovation, Nokia
  • Derek Brookmeyer, PR and Social Media Specialist, Dolby Laboratories
  • Esteban Contreras, Social Media Manager, Samsung
  • Technology, Hardware, Networking, Component, Computer

  • Len Devanna, Director Web Strategy & Operations, EMC
  • Gunjan Rawal, World-wide Marketing Manager, Intel Software Network
  • John Earnhardt, Senior Manager, Global Media Operations Cisco Systems
  • LaSandra Brill Sr Manager, Digital & Event Marketing at Cisco Systems
  • Richard Binhammer Senior Manager, Dell
  • Dave Mastronardi Product Manager / Implementation Architect, Raytheom
  • Bill Pearson Manager, Intel Software Network Intel Corp
  • Aaron Tersteeg Community Manager Intel Corporation
  • Bryan Rhoads Sr. Digital Marketing Strategist Intel Corporation
  • Amy Barton, New Media Communications Manager Intel Corporation
  • Bob Duffy, Social Media Strategist Intel Corporation
  • Ken Kaplan, Broadcast and New Media Manager, Global Communications Intel Corporation
  • Adam Christensen, Social Media Communications Manager IBM
  • Jeanette Gibson, Director, New Media, Cisco Systems
  • Amie Throndson, Social Media Manager, Dell Inc
  • Angela LoSasso Global Social Media Strategy and Programs, Hewlett-Packard
  • Deirdre Walsh, Community and Social Media Manager, National Instruments
  • Annie Rodkins, Program Manager Intel Corporation
  • Kelly Ripley Feller, Social Media Strategist, Sales & Marketing Group, Intel
  • Adam Gartenberg, Program Director, Information Management Marketing and Strategy IBM
  • Chris James, Social Media Strategist, Advanced Micro Devices
  • Todd Watson Social Media and Search Marketing Manager, IBM Software Group IBM
  • Jamie Pappas Manager, Social Media Strategy, EMC Corporation
  • Colleen Swanger Director, Graphics and Digital Marketing, NCR
  • Tony "Frosty" Welch Lead Social Media Strategist and Community Manager : Personal Systems Group, HP
  • Tawnee Kendall Social Media Manager, Creative Labs
  • Amy Paquette, Sr. Manager, New Media Communications, Cisco
  • Zoya Fallah, Social Media Manager, SP Video, Cisco Systems
  • Colleen Seery, Social Media & Customer Relationship Marketing, ECI Telecom
  • Frank Days, Director, New and Social Media, Novell
  • Stephanie Marx, Social Media & Web Marketing, Cisco Systems
  • William Robb, Social Media Marketing, Cisco
  • Steven Lazarus, Lead Strategist, Social Media & Interactive Marketing for SOA and WebSphere Software, IBM

  • Technology, Software, Internet

  • Diane Davidson Sr. Manager of Customer Success and Community Program Cisco, the WebEx Technology group
  • Steven Tedjamulia, Sr. Product Manager Open Text, Vignette Corporation
  • Anton Chiang Marketing Programs Manager, Web Communities and Social Media Juniper Networks
  • Alison Bolen Editor, sascom magazine and sascom voices blog, SAS
  • Marilyn Pratt Community Evangelist SAP Labs
  • Lacy (Doolin) Kemp, Social Media Communications Specialist RealNetworks
  • Marty Collins Group Marketing Manager Microsoft
  • Mark Yolton Senior Vice President - SAP Community Network SAP
  • Brian Ellefritz strategist Sr. Director, Social Media Marketing SAP
  • Holly Valdez Marketing Programs Manager Cisco WebEx
  • Rick Reich Sr. Mgr, Social Media & Technologies Citrix Systems
  • Maria Poveromo, Group Manager, Social Media, Adobe Systems
  • Brian Watkins, Social Media Manager, Formerly Omniture, Adobe Systems
  • Shashi Bellamkonda Social Media Swami Network Solution
  • Natalie Hanson Director, Global Business Operations SAP
  • Steve Bendt strategist Sr Marketing Manager Social Media Microsoft
  • Lorna Li SEO & Social Media Marketing Manager Salesforce.com
  • David Kim Grp Manager, Online Marketing and Communities Symantec
  • Karen Snyder New Media Program Manager Verisign
  • Fred "Fritz" Alberti Director of Social Media Salem Web Network
  • Vishal Ganeriwala Sr. Manager Citrix Ready Program Citrix Systems
  • Peter Parkes, Social Media Communications Lead at Skype
  • Valeria Maltoni's, Director, Marketing Communications SunGard Availability Services
  • Betsy Aoki Sr. Program/Product Manager, Social Media, Microsoft Bing
  • Kira Scherer Wampler Word of Mouth/Social Marketing Leader, Small Business Division at Intuit
  • Marcus Nelson, Director of Product Marketing, Salesforce.com
  • Michael Procopio, Social Media Strategist, HP Software
  • Karen Wickre, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Google
  • Gurmeet Dhaliwal VP, Internet Marketing at CA (formerly Computer Associates)
  • Justin Kistner, Sr. Manager Social Media Marketing, Webtrends
  • Winton "Sonny" Adcock, Program Manager, Social Media & Customer Channel for Technical Support, Intel Corp
  • Jamie Grenney Sr. Director of Social Media at Salesforce.com
  • Lynn R. Girotto, Sr.Director at Microsoft, Bing, Exchange, Mobile
  • Brian Kling, Social Media Manager, Autodesk
  • Jeremiah is looking for new names for his list.

    - - -

    Please see: Every Company is a Media Company - EC=MC - the transformative equation for business.


    About May 2010

    This page contains all entries posted to Silicon Valley Watcher - at the intersection of technology and media in May 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

    Every Company is a Media Company: April 2010 is the previous archive.

    Every Company is a Media Company: June 2010 is the next archive.

    Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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