Evolution of Social Media in Corporations and what they should know

I answer these questions very frequently, and I encourage our customers to read my blog, here’s an attempt in mass education.

What every corporation should know by the end of 2007:

1) What is social media, and how does it impact their company
2) Social Media is here to stay, it’s not going anywhere, look at the next generation or workers, they are highly connected
3) You’re not in control: Let go/give away to gain more (Update: this really works)
4) Social Media is an overlay for all marketing and announcement activities
5) Some companies are appointing official roles (Community Manager, or Evangelist) to be on point.
6) Start measuring from the start of the program, be flexible with it
7) You’re not alone, every company is going through this in some regard, find a user group, like SMC.

I’m trying to stay more strategic than tactical (as the detailed ‘how to’ list is long). I feel very fortunate, I get to interact with those that are running these programs at some of the largest tech companies in the world. While it was fun when I ran those programs at my last job, it’s more fun watching the trend as companies become enlightened from awareness to overlay.

The Social Media Corporate Evolution
Here’s a common evolutionary path that I see many corporations going on.

1) Awareness
2) Comprehension
3) The internal scramble
4) Getting organized, ego check
5) Seeking information, getting resources
6) Trial project
7) Resources, time, or role applied
8 ) Full scale program launched
9) Integration into different business units / Internal confusion
10) Overlay across all activities, budget, headcount,
11) Customers and employees collaborate on products, marketing, and support

Each of these steps requires a series of activities, and key roles need to be present to make them happen.

So be means of comments, how sophisticated is your culture, what do they know? (first section) and where is your corporation in it’s evolution (second section)

Related Resources

  • The Many Forms of Web Marketing (comprehensive list)
  • 10 Social Media Strategies for the Fortune 1000 Corporations
  • The irrelvant corporate website
    • Nice summary, JW. I am certain that the timeframe for repeating such a useful message is shortening as the early adopters/fast followers outside of the tech-related corporate world swell in number to become the mainstream. In the meantime, your 11 evolutionary steps are handy for businesses/communicators as a sanity check to realise that a lot of what they go through when seduced by social media is normal, if not always quite as sequential. Until social media is mainstream, then companies will need to become consciously competent at maximising the value of social media through offical roles and/or external support.

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