With the popularity to Twitter and other Microblogging tools, we should expect to see a flurry of simliar tools for project and program mangaement for the enterprises.
Stemming from commodity technology, I’m sure I’ll have a hard time keeping this list up to date over a few months –expect IM vendors, blogging vendors, community platforms, enterprise 2.0 vendors, and a flurry of startups to offer similiar features, first read up on the pros and cons as well as some potential use cases.
It’s interesting to see the need to justify enterprise needs of such tools that are already being adopted by consumers, typical of enterprise settings (I’m a former enterprise intranet manager). With that said, let’s start the definitive list.
List of Enterprise Microblogging Tools
I’ll be making lots of updates to this post as comments come in.
Prologue, by Automatic, makers of WordPress
Announced in Jan 08, Prologue allows users to, “…can post short messages about what they’re doing”, even in a secured environment GigaOm has adopted it for his news network, recently covered by Venturebeat.
Enterprise Social Messaging Experiment (ESME)
This pet project which was given birth by the “Demo Jam” at SAP labs (This is an SDN Community Project initiated by SAP Mentors, not part of SAP), was recently covered by Read Write Web.
Simply detailed as: “What’s happening at your company? Share status updates with your co-workers.” recently reviewed by webware. This in depth review answers many questions. Launched in Sept 08.
A friendfeed and twitter tools for the enterprise, this has been covered by Webware.
Laconica – The Open Microblogging Tool
This open source application can be installed on servers and potentially used within the firewall. Link via Nick Cowie via comments.
“Status is part of a new trend of LIGHTER communication tools. When you need to get up to date with your group, a single screen shows what everyone is doing and where they are. This means you can stay in touch on your own terms, without using heavy attention-stealing tools like email.” link via Frank. added Sept 9, 08.
“Trillr is a service for co-workers, partners and customers to communicate and thus stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What’s on your mind”. By CoreMedia. Link via Pistachio Consulting (focused on Micromedia), added Sept 9, 08.
I Did Work
This task based update tool provides teams with abiity to leave status messages. “The work log that shares Keep a history of your work, and share it with your team” Link via Ralf via comments.
Oracle’s launching a Microblogging tool internally, then for external clients: “…OraTweet is seeing companies, universities, and organizations running their own OraTweet instance, allowing them to keep their information private yet strengthening their own internal communities. It should be the same way we do email and instant messaging: We manage our own information, which allows us to broadcast messages safely in our own microcosm.” Added Sept 9, 08.
This collaboration suite has microblogging features, and hooks into titter: “…A better way to Twitter. As a small business owner you’ve added micro blogging to your list of daily marketing activities. In the past few months you’ve come to appreciate how easy and effective tools like Twitter can be to communicate project status and to inform followers of upcoming events. You currently manage your postings using a desktop Twitter client. It would be great if you could somehow link your “Tweets” with your project management system.” Added Sept 9, 08.
An internal only twitter client has been deployed for some time, and has been providing some colleagues with relief from email flare-ups. It was recently covered in BusinessWeek (link via pistachio) –BlueTwit has been around since 2007.
“Present.ly is a micro-update communications tool for your company. Give your employees the ability to instantly communicate their current status, ask questions, post media, and more.” Via comments of Pistachio, added Sept 11, 08.
Spanning both the internal and external worlds, Mixin: “… lets you share your daily activities and intentions
to get together more often with your friends”
“HeadMix has powerful messaging and social networking features that promote the capture, sharing and discovery of the knowledge trapped inside employees’ heads.”
I’ll stop managing this list after a few weeks, I know an onslaught of features will appear in just about every imaginable software package, you can leave comments below, as always, if someone creates and index, I’ll point to it.
See this list of opensource twitter vendors. Also, Laura “Pistachio” has now started a form to populate her database of vendors. She’s now published a spreadsheet on mashable.
Also, I should add that Forrester is watching this space, aside from our CEO and many employees using these tool, we’ve a report with data showing use of microblogging tools.
Have you deployed this at your company?
Rafe of Webware and I would love to know, please contact me if you have, my email is on my contact page.
I already know of a some community platforms that are experimenting with similar tools, expect this to be a bolt of feature that many will provide in the next few moons.
If you know of others, leave a comment below, oh and if you like this list, you’ll love these.
Ongoing List of Social Media Strategies
A social media strategy is a long term plan utilizing all of the resources at hand using two way social tools. In the early days of 2005-2007, developing sophisticated strategies were limited to just a handful of tools such as blogs, forums, and online video. Now with so many resources being available from Twitter, Upcoming, Facebook, Widgets, and more, the opportunities –and level of coordination will vary. This post will be an ongoing list of enterprise size companies (over 1000 employees) that share their social media strategies, plans, online –hopefully in slideshare, as it’s easier to communicate.
I expect contention
What’s interesting is how the language of corporate folks describing these tools is often very different than the language purists use. I expect some contention from this, and this will make for healthy discussion below. I too understand the need to meet business needs, but at the same the needs of customers, do leave your opinions below, or on the blogs or slideshares.
Why would a brand publish their social media strategy?
Well, for a few reasons. These programs are designed to reach customers, partners, and colleagues in an open and transparent way, why not share with them in public? Secondly, by showing these companies are sophisticated in their approach, they demonstrate thought leadership. Lastly, by opening up for a public dialog, there’s so much to learn, gain, and grow from the larger community.
Requirements for this list
If you want to share (this could potentially be useful for Forrester reports) please leave a comment. Your blog post, slideshare, video or podcast should explain what your enterprise company is doing in the social media realm, thinking both long term, and considering the many resources and tools available to you.
Sun Microsystems: Social Media is for Everyone
Lou Ordorica and Linsa Skyrocki
Access the slideshare directly, use full screen mode
While I enjoy the holsitic view of the multi-departmental opportunities, it’s important to note that social media is not for everyone, as if you look at our technographic data, you’ll find inactive in nearly every demographic cut. I’m pretty sure they are suggesting that it’s for each department, so if that’s the case, then the statement is correct.
Cisco: Building a Community with Social Media and Web 2.0
LaSandra Brill, Manager, SP Web and Social Media
Access the slideshare directly, use full screen mode
I reviewed and provided feedback to LaSandra to this prior version, I enjoyed her lessons learned.
IBM’s Adam Christensen shares this slide deck of IBM’s approach on social media. I’ll be meeting with him to discuss it in early Oct 2008.
Intel: Intel Forming “The Insiders” Social Media Advisory Team
Ken Kaplan, Broadcast and New Media Manager, Global Communications Group at Intel Corporation
In this blog post, Intel calls for a board of advisors to reach and assist to them for their social media efforts. If you’re not aware, Intel is already doing a lot in this space, much with success. I give them a tremendous amount of credit for taking risks, quickly learning, and then making iterative changes.
EMC: Applying Personal Social Media Techniques to Corporate EMC
Dan Schwabel, Social Media Specialist at EMC Corporation
In this post, Dan Schwabel shares the many different tools that are used at EMC and how they related to the overall change in personal and corporate branding. He examines events, CEO activity, and the many different social technologies used in their approach.
SAS: Online communities for SAS users and SAS professionals
Alison Bolen, sascom magazine’s Editor-in-Chief
In this post, Alison lists out the many ways that customers can communicate with each other.
Leave a comment below with URL and description.
See this list of full time Social Media Strategists and Online Community Managers at enterprise companies
Applying a Social Computing strategy to your entire product lifecycle
I’m here in NYC, one of the financial nerve centers in the world, attending Forrester’s Finance Forum. With loyalty to brands decreasing over time, companies need to figure out how to reach customers where they are, where many, are discussing their financial past, present and future online.
During today’s panel and speaker discussions, I heard a lot of trepidation, fear, and uncertainty from many of the brands. Most are answering the first two of the five questions (“what” and “why”) I use to gauge company sophistication. Some mentioned they want to toe-dip and get out if it didn’t work well, others mentioned they were monitoring, and some feel threatened by the peer to peer models that cut out the middle man.
The finance industry has a unique challenge, hindered by government regulations and often a conservative culture, they have a real challenge embracing the online conversation that’s already happening between customers.
Criteria: Although there are many finance startups and consumer review sites, this list is really about the financial institutions, large brands, and banks that are adopting social media to reach customers.
Ongoing list of Social Media in the Financial Industry
The first and greatest case study to date is of what Wells Fargo has done with their multiple blogs, starting with the Guided by History blog, Later, they launched the Student LoanDown blog, and a virtual world called Stagesoach Island Community that lets members learn and experience financial management.
This company has done quite a bit with blogs, virtual worlds, Facebook campaigns, and social media programs and campaigns. During tax time, there was a significant upswing of activity from Facebook applications, and they engaged in online dialog in Twitter by first monitoring keywords and directly responding to members.
Online communities are nothing new to Intuit, this customer-focused brand let’s customers self-support each other, as well as communicate to them using blogs. Quickbooks (financial software) has extensive growth for SMBs who want to connect to each other.
This credit card company used Facebook to find out about what customers desired, laying the foundation for delivering a customer-focused product
Ernst & Young
This large accounting services and consulting firm is anxious to reach new hires fresh out of college, by creating a sponsored Facebook group, they have online dialogs with graduating students starting the interview process online. Smart way for each party to learn for each other.
Royal Bank of Canada
Launched this ongoing blog called the Innovator Blog, which goes back to October 2006. Link via Trevor Cook. Also, they’ve a Facebook page, (link from iljazz)
Trevor Cook has more details, listing that ING has an Asia / Pacific blog, My Cup of Cha, a microfinance blog, and a Chinese blog. They’ve also created a microsite called I need to go, that has a spreadable widget.
Using map mashups and podcasts, Fidelity is reaching to it’s customers using new channels. (from Benjamin Ensor, Forrester)
Springboardforum – From Genworth – you need to get an account to see it (free) “Genworth has partnered with Dow Jones, Time Inc., Bloomberg and Source Media to provide you with tools & resources that may support your business”(tip from Jay Bryant)
This online community from HSBC Business Network is for SMB and entrepreneurs (tip from Jay Bryant)
Online community for Alberta’s Generation Y provides a lifestyle platform for youth to self express and support called Young & Free.
This lifestyle portal provides helpful content for Discover customers, called Discover Edge, it delivers expert best practices for money management. It’s difficult to see if this has social features.
This website called OpenForum provides a dialog for customers, Chris Brogan has the details.
This social network for small businesses, called Slingshot, allows people to connect to each other, promote their services, in this ‘yellow pages’ type of marketplace.
Canada’s Largest Credit Union, Vancity, launches blog
This blog, called Change Everything, is intended to spread feel good messages and videos to attract Vancity’s community, and interesting project.
MyVault by Scotia Bank
This ‘dashboard’ style interactive application allows members to manage their money, gather feeds, and communicate with community members via forums, called MyVault.
IT Counts by the Institute of Chartered Accountants
This community site ION, yields blogs by thought leaders on the topic of technology, sponsored by Microsoft.
Young & Free Alberta (Groundswell Award Winner, 2008)
The program launched in October 2007 with a two-month search and competition to find a dedicated Young & Free Alberta Spokesperson. The winner, Larissa Walkiw, became a paid employee of the credit union, working full time with the job description: talk, type and tell good stories. For her nine-month term, Larissa was essentially a full time blogger for the credit union. Learn about the award.
Charles Schwab (Groundswell Award Winner, 2007)
“In January 2007, Charles Schwab worked with Communispace to launch their “Money and More” private online community made up of 350 25-to-40 year old Generation X non-Schwab clients. Based on insights from the community, Schwab lowered account minimums to $1,000, introduced Schwab’s high-yield Investor checking account with a high yield, and developing an online landing page specifically for the Gen X target. Schwab has added 32% more Gen Xers YTD when compared to similar timeframes last year.” –see the award page
Who else? Leave a comment, of if you’re shy, send me an email. I’ll keep this updated until I can’t scale further
Social media for the insurance agency
Social media for the automotive industry
List of social media strategists and community managers at enterprise corporations
I’m doing research around how different ages using social networks, communities, and virtual worlds by age, and will compile this list as it grows. I’m looking for established community sites that are mature enough to work with brands.
There is already so much coverage on mainstream social networks like Bebo, MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn that we forget about the other smaller niche networks. First, understand technographics (how ages use social media 18+) by accessing Forrester’s profile tool, available for free.
If you know the demographics for any of these, please leave a comment.
I’m primarily seeking communties that are under 18, beyond just MySpace.
Club Penguin, Disney
8-12, Virtual World
Young Girls 10-17, Social Network, virtual dolls
6-16, Virtual World
Youth, Avatar based Social network
6-10 year olds, Virtual World
Club Penguin, Disney
8-12, Social network, virtual dolls
Teens, Virtual World
European Youth, Virtual World
South Korean youth, (and now global), virtual/social network
Youth, Virtual Pets
Pixie Hollow, Disney
Young Girls, Virtual Pet
Teen Second Life
Teen, Virtual World
Youth, Virtual World
Teens, Social Network
Youth, Virtual World/games
Shining Stars, by Russ
Youth, ‘name a star’
Youth, Gaming, Virtual World
Now of course, boomers and retired are also going to be on lifestyle social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, but I’m seeking examples that are focused in on reaching these folks.
50+, Social Network
50+, Social Network
Tee Bee Dee
Boomers, Social Network
Boomers, Social Network
There’s a larger list of Boomer sites, many I’ve not heard from.
Someone suggests this in the comments in Friendfeed, makes sense.
For what it’s worth, I hope this blog lives on past my time here.
Danah Boyd has a great PDF on Youth and Social Networks (PDF)
Many reports (260) on Forrester site tagged youth
Social Media Marketing adoption has spurred forward with the technology industry, as well as with consumer and lifestyle products, when people are passionate about a topic, the want to talk about it. The auto industry in the United States crosses so many of those themes, it’s ripe for social media marketing (providing your technographics indicates your customers are going to engage).
Here’s an ongoing list of Social Media examples, and resources:
Chevy Tahoe “Create you ad” – 2006
Perhaps one of the earliest examples (and boldest) was the advertisement where anyone could create their own Chevy ads. Many anti-SUV/Auto ads appeared, and some suggest it was a failed campaign. I believe it was a success for the very reasons it was criticized, at least GM took a bold move to embrace what everyone was talking about, aside from the residual buzz from the campaign itself.
Jeep’s Have Fun Out There
To me, this is really a great way of reaching with these tools, rather than create all the content themselves, Jeep has aggregated content from the community. I’m sure it’s been filtered, so nothing inappropriate is added, but it’s a good way of letting the community ‘drive’ their own agenda. Essentially they are “fishing where the fish are” by linking and aggregating communities where they already exist on flickr, youtube, and facebook.
Has launched several campaigns such as this ‘create your own profile‘ for your social network, featuring Honda Pilot. Other examples inlcude Acura TSX Facebook page, and a Honda YouTube channel that features a variety of innovation lead videos.
GM launches a Community program -2008
From Neville and Shel of the For Immediate Release program (podcast) “GMnext is more or less a year-long online initiative around the 100th anniversary of the company. Here’s a bit of an overview in the event it’s close to what you’re looking for. Shel did a few podcasts when they launched.” Aside from this community initiative, GM continues to push the envelope and has created a ‘social media newsroom‘.
Chrysler Listens with Insight Community -08
Forming an online community is one thing, but using it to listen to customers, then making changes is another. Chrysler has launched a Customer Advisory Board that allows customers to be involved in a two way dialog to make suggestions. This one was powered by Passenger, see list of other insight vendors.
Mini’s Owners’ Lounge
By creating an extranet for customers, Mini has let their owners self organize, self-express, and communicate.
GM’s many blogs
This Chrysler auto focused blog is rich with media, appears to be frequently updated, by void of many comments. Of course many of you know the GM Fast Lane blog, which has been around since 2005, authored by employees such as Bob Lutz, and the GMNext blogs.
Jeep’s Patriot Adventure: Choose your own Adventure -2008
Really an example of interactive marketing, not social media (aside for videos going on Youtube) Jeep launches an interactive campaign where members can direct which choices video actors make. If you don’t know the difference, you can read the many forms of web marketing.
Ford’s Social Media Press Release
I’ve never really understood the value of the social media press release, as I’d rather see corporations/employees joining the conversation, as the level of trust will be higher. In any case, Ford has developed a social media press release for it’s cars, the layout and visualization of the cars looks fantastic.
Toyota: Master of Africa -2008
I applaud this community site that talks about 4X4 best practices and sharing, as it discusses not only the sponsored brands’ discussion of their products, but other companies. Great way to really join the authentic conversations that the market will already have, and attempt to build trust.
Scion Speak let’s owners self-express
By encouraging owners to create their own personalized emblem, they strengthen member affinity. This is really an example of interactive marketing, not social media. Now, if members were able to take that emblem to their social networking site, then it could spread. Also, there should be a way to print out that emblem and adhere to car.
BMW 1 Series Graffiti Facebook campaign -2008
This is perhaps one of the best case studies of brands getting social media right, like the Dell Regeneration campaign (both by Federated Media) BMW reaches to existing Grafiti users to draw what they think the BMW 1 means to them “What drives you?”. The result is astounding, thousands of beautiful pieces of art created, and spread across Facebook.
Saturn gets Community -2008
I’ve always been impressed with the friendly Saturn brand, from user group sponsorships to the no pressure selling, they offer more of an easy going lifestyle brand. Now, their online community reflects their ethos, with groups, member profiles, and other social networking features
Nissan Finland launches Social Map Mashup
This interactive map let’s members upload their destinations and images and let’s them share with others. It’s themed around the various offroad vehicles, trucks, and SUVs by Nissan. It looks like it’s a flash app, but I question if that’s very useful for mobile users.
United Auto Workers Community
The UAW, according to Chuck Gose, “allows workers to submit their stories to about what it means to be a part of the UAW and then other readers can comment or rate the story. They can also submit video.”
Castrol runs a social networking site for car enthusiasts
This ‘gear head’ community gives an outlet for those passionnate about auto mobiles, see the in depth profiles, featured cars, and discussions at motoraddicts
Daimler launches German blog
This German blog by Daimler appears to slowly get traction, a smattering of comments, and posts since Oct 2007, this could be a great way to reach a unique audience. Thanks to Stefan for the submit.
Various Brands: Social Networking Campaigns
Many of these are too minor to point out individually, but there are dozens of brands that have created social network marketing groups or campaigns, and thousands of groups created by owners themselves, a few examples:
Staffing and Resources
Ford has hired Scott Monty to lead the Social Media Practice -June 2008
Avenue A Razorfish, an intractive firm that is now focusing on Social Media under the direction of Shiv Singh has a blog focused directly on the innovation of the auto industry, when it comes to marketing.
iMedia has an article on what Social Media Marketing means to auto brands, worth a read.
Minor Social Networking Campaigns
Of course, it’s important to note there are hundreds, if not thousands of online communities created from avid owners, such as this, and dozens other that create groups within social networks. Quite frankly, many brands are missing the opportunities on social networks, when the apply the traditional marketing efforts to a social environment. Go to Facebook, MySpace and do searches in groups and on the search bar to find more.
Owner created Communities
Of course, it’s important to note there are hundreds, if not thousands of online communities created from avid owners, such as this Mini, and Acurazine, both thriving passion communities. There are marketing opportunities, but most brands monitor, but don’t participate. Apparently, an owner created community called VW Vortex has been supported by VW themselves. (if you’ve details, please leave a comment)
Ratings and Reviews Sites
This list can be long, so I’ll just give a few examples such as Edmunds Forums, Yahoo Autos, and I’m sure there are hundreds more.
If you’ve other examples of Auto companies using social media to connect with customers, please leave a comment.
Update: Aug 2011, we’ve conducted a research project to analyze these social media crises, read the full report to find out what went wrong and how to prevent it.
A list of companies that were blind-sided by the internet, they didn’t understand the impacts of the power shift to the participants, or how fast information would spread, or were just plain ignorant.
Criteria of “Punk’d” includes a situation where the story would have not been told if social media was not available, or if social media enhanced the situation. Read my exclusive interview with Greenpeace on Forbes.
This doesn’t include fake blogs, companies who deliberately tried to cheat the system get their own honorable mention.
Although this punk’d list is the one to stay off, the one you want to get on is the Groundswell awards.
Update: I’ve added severity status for some of these Punk’d using the Categorization of Brand Backlash Storms)
Hi-Media, a MicroPayment company fined a MacroFine for Wikipedia Meddling
It’s rare we see examples of companies that actually do something wrong in social media then lose revenues, however in this French case the French company Hi-Media will be fined $36,000 for damages after deleting a mention of their competitors in Wikipedia found through IP tracing. (Category 4)
Greenpeace Toys with Mattel over Rainforest Deforestation
The continued trend of NGOs using social media to make statements over brands plows forward. Recently, Mattel was under attack from Greenpeace for deforestation of rain forests, turning their own assets of Ken and Barbie against them (dubbing them “Barbaric” in elaborate videos and pushing to the official Mattel FB page. As a response, Mattel shut down all commenting on their FB page, shutting the discussion down. Later, they did a few posts responding directly to the issue, and announcing a change in supply chain. I’ve taken a screenshot of their FB page should you wish to see the details. Overall, Mattel handled this matter well, other brands must take note of their approach. (Category 3)
GoDaddy CEO Kills Elephant, Then Trampled by Crowd
Although GoDaddy is accustomed to controversial marketing tactics this incident actually loses customers. CEO Bob Parsons took a video of him on a hunt in africa and then proudly tweeted about killing problematic elephants. NGOs like PETA responded swiftly requesting customers shift to new domain registers yet Parsons rebuts them on Twitter. Competitors of GoDaddy offered to donate $1 to elephant funds and reportedly raised over $20,000. In a gesture of branding, Mr Parsons gives local Africans GoDaddy hats as they carve up carcass for food –further inciting criticism. The original video has been removed, after critics rally behind raising money for elephants. It’s so rare, but this incident receives a stronger category rating as actual revenues were directly impacted. (Category 4)
Exported from Detroit: Chrysler Fires Social Media Agency
Just as Chrysler received a very positive reaction from their superbowl ad “Imported from Detroit”, An accidental F-Bomb was released on the official Chrysler blog, which tarnishes the driving scene in Detroit. Since then the agency employee was since fired, and then the agency NMS was also fired. This is notable for a few reasons. 1) Mistakes happen, and companies that do make them often get better (Dell, Walmart, Comcast), part of social media is to fail forward, pick yourself up and move forward 2) There’s a debate if firing the employee or agency was really warranted, or if that was too extreme, see agency blog and comments, see Chrysler corporate blog. 3) The agency NMS desperately needs a Social Media Management System with workflow and keyword triggers to ensure there’s a review process. 4) Eminem is known for many F-bomb curses, and was prominently featured in the brand campaign, isn’t this consistent with the associative branding? 5) If Chrysler showed some humor, they may have emerged unscathed by then offering free driving classes to Detroit using Chrysler cars! (Category 3)
Kenneth Cole Brings Twitter Revolution to Front Door
In a self-promotional tweet that hijacked the world sensitive #cairo tag during the revolution, Kenneth Cole promotes their own spring lineup. I’m watching the Twitter backlash unfold and see blog posts emerging. No doubt this will turn to mainstream attention (update like HuffPo within 3 hours). What’s interesting is the inflammatory tweet (now deleted) came from a blackberry with “KC” tag, and then the apology Tweet used a “we”. Update: they removed the tweet and apologized on Facebook. (Category 3)
KFC employees Goes ‘Afoul’ over order request
This Australian KFC worker in the last of the 2010 punk’d listings goes ballistic after what looks like is being taunted by a customer who requests bacon, which is forbid during Islamic tradition during this period of Ramadan. In any case, it shows that consumers now can embarrass the company and employees by using simple mobile devices then putting on YouTube, which now has over 31k views. (Category 3)
Brandjacking: DKNY Stripped by PETA Anti-Fur Protesters
In a coordinated real world and online attack, PETA anti-fur protesters overtook the DKNY Facebook wall, with little or no resistance from corporate staff. Taking a page from the successful Greenpeace assaults, PETA if catching on, although has yet to develop social assets that can be used by their community in the assault. Expect PETA and other NGOs to continue to ramp up their sophistication in assaults, often much faster than brands are ready for. Brandjackings are an interesting thing. Brands spend millions on FB pages, yet PETA and Greenpeace can easily overrun investment. (Category 3)
Fonterra Dairy Soured: Brandjacked by Greenpeace, Commits Facebook Suicide
In a style similar to the Nestle’ social brandjacking campaigns, Greenpeace launches campaign at New Zealand based dairy corporation Fonterra’s apparent Facebook page. Fonterra claimed not to manage this page, however the offensive videos and posts were removed. Apparently, the entire Facebook page was eventually dismantled.(Category 3)
‘Cook Source’ Steals Recipe. Self-Immolates In Kitchen
A blogger by name of Monica Gaudio found out that ‘Cook Source’ helped themselves to one of her 2005 recipes from her blog, did minor edits and the posted it on their own website as their own original content. After confronting the editor of Cook Source, she was apparently told the blogger the content could be used anyway they wanted (sources conflict here). Regardless, Cook Source experienced a groundswell on their social media properties like Facebook, a Hitler video, and resulted in a variety of critical articles (Google counts over 65 mainstream media articles). (Category 3)
Gap Falls Into Their Own Redesign Revolt
Gap Inc, puts forth a logo redesign, but is met with severe backlash from passionate fans, critics, and media on social media channels. There were thousands of comments, logo redesign websites, Twitter spoof accounts (over 4000 followers) and even Facebook accounts setup to lead this branding revolt and over 626 results in Google News on “Gap Logo” from mainstream press. We once thought logos were owned by the brand, but clearly we’re finding that the consumers take just as much ownership in the logo. Link via Roger Harris. (Category 3)
Bait and Switch: Pantene’s Cause Marketing Backfires
A lesson in transparency: A cause marketing style campaign was launched in the Philippines, asking women to get join a Facebook page called “I Commit to Change“. Once the members joined the independent ’cause’ Pantene unleashed its branding campaign, promoting their latest products as the agent of change. Feeling duped, the women fire back, launching blog salvos, and it remains a case study in South East Asia marketing case studies and beyond. The lesson? Be up front and clear about your intentions to consumers, or risk greater brand damage and reduced trust. As told to me from Donald Lim. (Category 2)
A Polished Apple: Mac Forums Censors Critics in Forums
A recent consumer reports publication critiques the iPhone4 as having faulty reception and antennae issues. Although widely discussed online in a variety of locations, Apple community managers have apparently censored the discussion in their own community, which only exasperates the situation as they spread it to blogs. Reading down this list, in many cases we see that censoring only makes the problem worse. Instead, companies should see this as an opportunity –not a threat to be swept under the carpet. (Category 3)
Nestle’ Sours their Facebook Page
Nestle, which has been under attack from Greenpeace members for sustainability issues has gone under attack. Apparently, junior members of Nestle’s staff (or PR firm) asked members not to mis-use the logos or risk being banned from the Facebook page. After some arguing, a groundswell overtook the page and there are thousands of critical comments, some of the ‘rudeness’ and some demanding sustainable products and threatening boycotts. There are two major issues here: A PR crises regarding rain forests and sustainability, and social media best practices. Update: Read my analysis (Category 3)
iPunk’d: Mainstream News Falls for iPad “Beta Tester” Hoax
Flamboyant CEO and internet celebrity Jason Calacanis tweeted he was an early beta-tester for iPad, and ‘leaked’ out fake specs. Mainstream media, who were hungry to break any news, published mis-stories, with a variety of accuracies. Among the over zealous journalists includes The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, CNN Money, Reuters, Macworld, ComputerWorld, and Joystiq (couldn’t find article), more from Valleywag. Just goes to show that any lead is a story worth starting, fact checking not required, and Jason knows how to catch a media wave. (Category 2)
Cleanup in Aisle 8: Digital Fingerprints Exposes Wal-Mart’s Paid Supporter
A vocal online supporter of Wal-Mart opening in Chicago was allegedly unearthed ties back to Wal-Mart’s PR firm. In an era of digital footprints, the IP address was matched to the agency that represents Wal-Mart, the Chicagoist has some of the alleged discussion, on display. There’s three lessons here: 1) transparency in fiduciary relationships isn’t only ethical, it’s probably the law, when lobbying for a company while on payroll on the web (although FTC regulations tend to be fuzzy in my opinion) 2) This erodes trust of communities and the social web. 3) It’s disappointing to see Wal-Mart (or it’s partners) on this list again (see below) this is a good time to send a disclosure memorandum to all agency partners. (Category 2)
Pepsi’s AMP iPhone App Encourages Guys To Score –Yet Results in a Penalty
Pepsi’s AMP brand which caters to young males created an iPhone application that arms studs with pickup lines for different categories of women. This application gives young men to categorize women (geek, cougar, band girl and beyond) and offers pickup lines, useful information to relate to them and a ‘scoring’ system after they’ve done the deed. Unfortunately, a groundswell emerged from blogs and mainstream press forcing Pepsi’s hand to remove the app –and the offensive material. (Category 3)
Honda Product Manager Crashes Into His Own Comments
An overzealous product manager at Honda promotes his own product but fails to disclose his own relationship with the company –till the community calls him out. Honda responds by sheepishly removing his posts, due to lack of disclosure and not being a company representative. It should be recognized that every employee is a representative of the company –official or not. What’s needed? Training, internal policies, and a safe place to practice. (Category 2)
Digerati Dooce Sends Maytag/Whirlpool to the Cleaners
Consumer activism or celebrity abuse? Popular blogger and Twitterati (over 1 million followers) had problems with her brand new Whirlpool machine and took to her social tools to discuss, complain, and suggest a boycott till her machine was fixed, read her chronicle, and what happened next as it spread to Forbes. Not sure what Whirlpool could have done to avoid this –all customer experiences good and bad are exposed on the social web, how does a brand know when they’re talking to an influencer? They don’t. (Category 3)
Property Manager Sues Over Moldy Tweet –Infecting Their Own Brand
A tenent in a Chicago apartment who had 20 followers in Twitter was sued by property manager for saying: “Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it’s OK.” is being sued for $50k for defamation. As a result, this incident has received global attention on the Associated Press, Chicago Tribune and major news outlets. This may have caused self-damage to Horizon as prospective customers may search Google for Horizon and see how they publically sued a customer. Horizon later issued a statement regarding their intention to “sue first, ask questions later” (Category 3)
Decrescendo For United Airlines After “Breaking Guitar” Song
A musican scorned is a scary thing –add YouTube and the whole world can see. Dave Carroll claims he saw United baggage handlers toss his custom guitar, then complained with no resolution. He turned to what he knows best, and created a song and shared it with the world. More from LA times who says that after the song started to get popular, United changed their tune from minor chords to major, thanks to Mark for submitting. (Category 3)
Fire Sale: Furniture Company Habitat Self-Evicts on Twitter
Stylish furninture maker Habitat jumped on the Twitter bandwagon, but this time, tags it’s self-promotionary tweets with popular trending topics such as the Iran election. What’s this the same as? Parasite marketing. As a result, the Twitter community strikes back, and Habitat retreats. To their defense, they’re just the ones that got called out -there’s a bunch of spammers doing this now. Thanks Mark for the submission (Category 2)
Contest for Bloggers Results in Asus Losing
Computer manufacturer Asus hosted a sponsored contest where bloggers could review their products –then the community could vote on the best review. Asus, not happy with the honest (but not that shiny review) review from one blogger, decided to shift the rules to benefit a more positive review. Backlash ensues, read comments, link via Ian Fogg (Category 2)
Snotty Dominos Employees YouTube Themselves To Court
Millions are grossed out by two Dominos employees who uploaded a video to YouTube of them blowing snot on pizzas at a Dominos stores. Interestingly, the crowd was able to pinpoint their location, they’ve now been fired and are facing felony charges, NYTs has more. Thanks to Josh for the tip. (Category 3, and perhaps 4 if this doesn’t get cleaned up)
Buying Friends? Belkin pays for Positive Reviews
This scandal leaves consumers not sure if they can trust the positive reviews about Belkin products. As one employee offered to pay users of Amazon’s Mechnical Turk to write positive reviews. As Belkin was exposed, they issued a mea culpa suggesting this was an isolated event, but now, it’s suggested that these orders came from executives. (Category 2, yet if the Fed gets involved, it go to Category 3 or 4)
Motrin Gets Headache From Twittering Moms
A well-intended Motrin ad launched towards baby carrying moms triggered them to revolt on twitter. On this quiet weekend it spread to blogs, YouTube, and then mainstream press. Some argue the moms were acting more like a mob, Motrin didn’t test it’s copy with the target audience up front –leaving everyone with a splitting headache. (Category 2)
CNN Falls For Rumor –Sinking Apple Stock
A rumor created by community created news site iReport that falsified CEO Steve Jobs having a heart attack spread to mainstream media website CNN, and caused a dip in stock price. User generated content will always have the risk of falsified content. (Category 4)
Exxon Mobil Brandjacked in Twitter
The twitter community (myself included) was eager to embrace “Janet” a no holds barred up front in your face corporate representative that was ready to tackle the hard issues –sometimes without grace. Unfortunately, to the Twittersphere’s surprise and Exxon, Janet, is not an official company representative she claimed to be. Read the story to unravel the multiple angles to this unique case. (Category 2)
JC Penney Brandjacked by Fake “Sex” Ad
We’re seeing more ads being created. In this case a ‘third party vendor’ (agency, I think) created this and submitted it to Cannes. JC Penney wasn’t happy and had it removed from YouTube. Unfortunately, blogs picked it up and it will never go away, video is here, I know you want to click. (Category 2)
Louis Vuitton gets Brandjacked in Anti-Genocide Campaign
Artist creates and sells T-shirt demonstrating how the media turns a deaf ear to real world tradgeies such as genocide in Dafur, infringing on LV logo. LV fires back, with lawsuit, a groundswell begins. Submitted by Søren Storm Hansen (Category 2)
Burger King exec trash talks using daughter’s email
Not sure why he didn’t just create a new email address, that would have been a lot safer. Submitted by Hilker. (Category 3)
Johnson and Johnson to bloggers: Hurry up and get dis-invited
Sounds like a mis-coordination, bad timing, and not a well thought through process that ended up getting scobleized, and Maryamized. (Category 2)
Anonymous Unmasks Church of Scientology
The church of Scientology has been criticized by an anonymous group, a faceless mass that has created videos, staged marches and protests, and is subvert the Church from around the internet. (Category 2)
Marvel nearly cuts of bloggers from Iron Man screening
Techcrunch (700,000 + subscribed) who intended to host a screening for loyal tech readers (perhaps a perfect audience of tech bloggers) were cut off by Marvel. Techcrunch is known for copy and pasting legal notes right onto the blog, fortunatly, things were quickly resolved. (Category 2)
Target-ed by Bloggers
A blogger complained about an indecent ad that portrayed as demeaning to women, complained and was shoved off by a Target representative. Story now on NYTimes, little things, can be big.
Target’s Rounders program “This is our secret game”
Target encouraged it’s premier members in the rounders program to pump up it’s brand in a Facebook group, sadly, the covert operation ended up on blogs and then mainstream media
HD DVD Decoded by Digg, unDugg, then Dugg again
Digg users publish HD code, industry freaks out, Digg maintains stance.
Wholefoods CEO caught being a troll
Whole Foods CEO, was anonymously trashing competitors and pumping company up on Yahoo finance boards. (Category 3)
Delta holds customers hostage
What’s worse than being held prisoner on Delta’s dirty plane? (Video), watching the crew getting off da plane. Oh, and no food, crying babies, but one talented videographer. (Category 3)
Taco Bell’s infestation crawls into YouTube
A minor rat problem moved it’s way to YouTube, spreading faster and farther than expected, a total of more than one million views for all videos. Submitted by Graham Hill (Category 3)
Facebook Party with Molson ends up with Hangover
Molson invited folks to share party pics in Facebook, including with youth, which resulted in a backlash from community and parents. Molson withdrew the campaign and went home early –no more Facebook partying for this brand.
Data storage blogger posts industry price lists, sales reps cry f#ck!
Robin Harris, one of the most well known of the data storage blogosphere posts price lists that were received from various customers.
Dell Laptop Explodes, news at 11 –via YouTube
More bad news for Dell, as laptops explode in Japan, all can see online.
ZZZ… Comcast suffers from Narcolepsy
Sleepy Techician caught on YouTube, then fired. Also see Comcast must die blog, submitted by Jeff Jarvis. (Category 3)
Hitachi “Hell” Gets The Finger
Angry customer gets bad service, writes long experience, and flips off HQ in picture, he’s also an influencer in the gaming community. (Category 2)
The Naked NOKA Chocolate Uncovered
A premium chocolatier (Noka) had a tremendous markup ($309- $2,080 per pound) of their secretly re-packaged chocolate, was exposed as a fraud and spread on blogs. And their google results is really painful. Submitted by Whitney.
AOL Holds Customers Hostage –Then Gets Canceled
This guy really bothers me, I can see why Vincent Ferrari was miffed. It’s clear, he was dealing with the customer retention department. Nothing worse than the feeling of being held hostage. Submitted by David Alston.
Airplane Fiasco’s Spread Online: JetBlue
There are so many examples, such as a YouTube testimonial about JetBlue’s 8+ hours stranded in terminal. Related: JetBlue’s CEO responds after flights are cut months later due to storm.
Starbucks Brandjacked by YouTube Video
Who wants a tasty frappuccino when there are kids starving? This was one of the first cases of brandjacking we saw.
Why we Dwell on Dell Hell
Jeff Jarvis launches blog post that sends a flurry of PR negativty at Dell’s poor service, it’s since been improved.(Category 3)
Locks were disabled using a simple bic pen cap, spread on forums and blogs, one of the earliest examples that got mainstream attention. (Category 3)
Wives of EA beg for spouses back on blog
Call HR? Forget it, call Livejournal. This early incident from a wife of a game developer complains on a blog –getting national attention from press and media. As a result, EA did make some changes to their work and lifestyles of their employees. (Category 3)
The Barbera Streisand Effect
Singer star tries to remove content from internet, it all goes downhill from there. I actually learned about this from reading my colleagues Groundswell book (Category 2)
Apple’s dirty little secret plastered over NYC
Apparently, 18 months is all the iPod will run before you’ll need to buy a new one, says this video, where street teams went around defacing ads. Submitted by David Churbuck (I got his name right this time)
Also see: 8 Groundswell Examples: News, Education, Religion, Cops, Restaurants, Music, Conferences, and Analysts
I know I’m missing others, please leave a comment, and I’ll credit you
Update: I added CNN in April 2009 to the punk’d list for their CNNbrk account, I found out later, that it indeed was not an example of a brandjacking, but instead CNN helped foster the relationship with the non-employee creator James Cox, who sent me an email and explained.
I’m doing research for a client, to find out any examples of insurance companies using social media to connect with it’s customers. I’ve done some scanning over a 48 period of time, and asked my twitter (a social computer) followers, who gave a tremendous amount of helpful links. Since I’ve received many links from the community, I won’t hoard my findings, but share them in public. I’m thankful for those that help me, and I try to give back on this blog.
Overall, without surprise, this industry has not adopted these tools, as one would expect. Whether they should or not should start with by answering these questions:
Are their respective decision makers using social tools to find answers about products and services?
If so, which tools are they using, and how are they connecting?
Would insurance customers benefit from asking and answering questions directly to each other?
I did find a few examples, yet just small blossoms in the field, no clear wins that would make a case study of complete success or failure, among them include:
Pick Your Advisor, India
This website allows users to select a financial or insurance advisor using a friendly personable interactive selector. Each of the advisors has a picture asscoiate with them, and a psuedo blog. As I looked closer, most of the blog data was not being used, or was being used like a chat room.
Allstate Community Forum
It appears this forum (code suggests it’s powered by lithium software, see the whole list) which launched in late 07 is a great example of a company embracing it’s customers using community software. Sadly, there’s very few messages and discussions. The forum is segmented by role (singles, couples, parents) and you can start to see some Q&A occurring. In my recent report on Online Community Best Practices, I found that companies must have a kick start plan to get their communities going.
esurance fan opportunity
Esurance’s aggressive online advertising of it’s cartoon like superhero “Erin Esurance” is causing some fandom, and some are dressing up like her. Mack questions if esurance should embrace some of these fans, but I’m not so sure. Is the goal of the cartoon campaign to drive awareness, or involve in a discussion about insurance. Some have mixed reactions on interacting with fake personas, so perhaps a different strategy would be needed.
Embrace Pet Insurance, Facebook
For those of us who have pets, care can often be expensive for family members, as a result, embrace pet insurance launched this Facebook group. There are 83 members in the Facebook group, few discussions, a handful of wall posts and no applications.
Perhaps the most interesting insurance related blog is Singapore’s Tan Kin Lian, a former CEO who is “I write this blog to educate the public about insurance, finance and current affairs in Singapore”. The archives go back to 2005, and there are a handful of comments on many of the recent posts. He posts frequently, and is using it in a Q&A type format. On the other hand, there are new blogs appearing, such as this one from Golden State Life Insurance (only 3 posts)
In a recent Forrester report, Oliver Young’s case study highlights how Northwestern Mutual benefits from internal collaboration using the Awareness platform. I’m sure there are many other examples, but this industry is often not forth coming. Shel Holtz has additional commentary.
Rehashing of Commercials on YouTube
Liberty Mutual launched a TV commercial series called “Pay it forward” that was published on YouTube (it doesn’t appear to be sanctioned from the brand), with 150,000 views. They could easily take this campaign to the people by creating a campaign letting the community share their stories view text and video. Interestingly, a few folks decided to take the time to parody the video. Update: I’ve just been notified about the Responsibility Project by Liberty Mutual, a video campaign with a blog (comments enabled), I don’t see much community aspect.
Perhaps the most vibrant examples are these various forums. Insurance is likely not a daily activity, and members may prefer to ask questions anonymously to each other. In this forum for insurance agents, called Insurance Forums (top thread has over 60,000 views and 1000 responses regarding a convention). AM/PM insurance has a thriving community, appears to be a customer community. Kiplinger an financial analysis resource has a forum for general insurance discussions.
This isn’t a great example of social media, but Geico’s caveman has interactive marketing elements where you can visit his “crib”, also the character appeared in real life at a recent SXSW party I attended.
Zuzzid, Norwhich Union’s Community Ratings
To me, this is the perhaps the promising program, a website where community members can speak out about, rate, and rank insurance agencies. Sadly, this community has had little traction, just a few postings, and if you read the bottom line it’s created by an insurance agency, UK’s Norwich Union (which coincidently has the highest rating) for this to work, it’ll have to be from an independent source.
Pemco wants to be like you
Pemco, a Northwest insurance agency in US, launched am interactive marketing site called were a lot like you that shows many profiles of potential prospects, and allows members to upload theirs. While it appears most of the content is created by the agency or the company, there’s very little area for member to member interaction (what social media is about). A good start, I hope they take this to the next level, and let the community really take hold and drive, create, and discuss the content.
There really isn’t much activity happening in the insurance industry to use social media, and where it may be successful, it could likely be behind the firewall, impervious to public viewing. Update: Jeff Jarvis is also on the hunt for industries that are somewhat impervious to social media, I’ll agree, social media isn’t great for everything, let’s use our heads, not everything is a nail..
Lastly, I’ve received half a dozen emails and tweets in total saying they are working with a client on social media, but can’t disclose the details, or will ask the client, or the project has ended. A very quiet industry, indeed.
In general, most financial and insurance industries are going to fall just behind the curve of mainstream adoption when it comes to social media tools, they rightfully will wait and vet out what works and what doesn’t.
If you see any other examples of insurance companies solving real business problems using social tools (I’m not as interested in toe-dipping), please leave a comment.
Related: I did this same list for the Finance industry, see Ongoing list of Social Media Efforts from Banks, Credit Card, Financial Institutions and Lenders
Marketers and individuals know how important it is to track conversations in websites, especially where peers connect to each other (sometimes, where the highest trust occurs). A handful of new tools are starting to emerge that give specific tool based search, which I’ve started to list out below.
This list is specifically for tools that track discussion boards, forums, and communities, for a broader reach, see this list of companies that measures brands on the social web.
How to use these tools? Plugin your company name, product name, executives names, for your own company and your competitors, to see who is saying what about your brand.
Companies that Track Discussions in Forums and Communities:
“BoardTracker.com, a Pidgin Technologies property, is an innovative forum search engine, message tracking and instant alerts system designed to provide relevant information quickly and efficiently while ensuring you never miss an important forum thread no matter where or when it is posted. Boardtracker brings the most targeted audience closer to the boards, by being a search engine only for boards and by supplying a categorized and highly effective searching and browsing experience to users.”
“Linqia creates an independent search for online communities and groups with user ratings and comments. From the biggest and most famous online community to the smallest most hidden group, Linqia surfaces existing online communities and groups which can either be uploaded by our users or just commented and rated according to YOUR opinion and experience.”
Our goal is for Twing to work perfectly every time, and that you’re quickly and easily able to find exactly the information you’re after. But should you need help, we’re here for you. After all, online communities are about people helping each other, so as a community search engine, we take the same approach.
If you know of any others, please leave a comment, and I’ll add it to this list.
If you’re not familiar with OpenSocial, it’s a protocol lead by Google to allow widgets and applications to be portable to any social network or website that part of the alliance. If you’re not familiar read “Explaining OpenSocial to your Executives” to get started, I explain it in pure business terms.
I’m conducting research right now for an upcoming report on OpenSocial, I’ve already interviewed David Glazer and Kevin Marks from Google, and have interviewed Joseph Smarr from Plaxo, Nick O’Neill from All Facebook, and will be talking to David Recordon from Six Apart next week.
I just asked my twitter network, (and received about 20 responses) about which white label social networks are open social compliant, and received quite a few responses. I frequently use social media tools for research ‘discovery’ to quickly find out a multitude of answers, but of course, it’s no substitute for analysis. I’d guess that I use social media tools for 10-20% of all my research, asking, reading, linking, or leaving comments.
The reason why I limit this list for 2008, as I’m pretty sure it will be most of the industry that adopts this standard
‘White Label’ (you can rebrand them) social networks that have adopted or agreed to offer the OpenSocial Protocol
KickApps (read more)
Ning (OpenSocial Directory)
Flux (read more)
So why is this significant?
Soon, corporate websites with social networks will start to host popular applications for other websites, this makes the web distributed. Soon, corporate websites will stop being irrelevant. Development time will be reduced, applications can quickly be rehashed and other opportunities that I’ve found will be in the report.
I expect this list to get quite a bit longer by the end of this year, if you know of others, please leave a comment.