b2cloud

2nd October 2009

Make my business a quick buck

Thoughts By 7 years ago

I noticed the same question keeps coming up whenever new social media sites pop up and this is ‘how can my company benefit from this?’ My schools of thought around this concept for ages were something like ‘back off you money hungry large corporations’ not everything is here to be exploited in order to make a buck. Advertising just drives me crazy and any one who thinks they’re smart enough to do a ‘subtle’ marketing campaign via social media is just kidding themselves. I think that there is a general misconception about social networking – it’s not going to drastically change the business world forever – it’s not a cheap marketing tool that everyone can now successfully exploit by getting famous people to mention their brand a couple of times to build brand awareness.

It’s not going to solve any major problems or create solutions for business overnight (although I’m sure social networking discussion has stimulated some great ideas). This is in fact where many business’ are getting it wrong. A brand cannot be built on Facebook and a business cannot build a corporate online personality via twitter.

It’s about individuals and their ability to captivate an audience. The most successful uses of social media for corporations are when a ‘thought leader’  (an individual) creates rapport with an audience, normally on a global scale. They post, tweet etc. their ideas and the individuals within their field/industry that recognise them as thought leaders want to hear what they have to say.

The business’ that have used social media in an innovative way have been the ones who have hired and harnessed this talent, empowering their employees to speak online and subtly people realise they are from an organisation ie. @Padmasree (CTO of Cisco) @rexster (CEO of Deloitte digital).

So perhaps the solutions created or the problems solved by social media is having young ones like me being able to access the abundance of knowledge that would otherwise be unattainable to us without social networking – in terms of that affecting business – I guess there is a whole generation of us climbing up the corporate ladder getting a favourable/unfavourable impression of corporations based on the ‘thought leaders’ we are following on social media sites (ie. Twitter).

  • Hi Claire

    For me it has really about trying things and joining in the conversation in public social media and seing what comes back. We have gone into partnership with Yammer through connecting up on Twitter as well as exploring opportunities with Tractis, a really cool Web 2.0 legal model.

    Where we have really driven the $$$ has been internal use of social media through Yammer and also our innovation program which is social media driven.

    I have to say that I avoid spammy social media stuff like the plague but I think it is cool to let people know what you are doing, new products etc.

    On the other side using blogger, youtube, twitter is a really cost effective way of doing things on the web

  • Claire

    Hi Rexster,

    I definitely think the real benefits of social media for companies is internal uses.

    We use Yammer at b2cloud and it works well to keep us connected and up-to-date with the latest articles on social media. As we do not all work at the same office it’s the most effective way to ask questions and share info within the group. The difficulty I have seen with getting the benefits from Yammer is the ‘champion’ always has to keep the conversation going – it peaks and troughs with participation and I have often heard of organisations where it just dies down all together.

    I would be interested to learn what social media has driven your innovation program, and what you see as the most successful (externally).

    I saw Deloittes youtube campaign to appeal to Gen Y’s and as a Gen Y (and proud of it!), I was impressed. I believe there is a very fine line between letting people know interesting new stuff (which I love) and spammy stuff (a not-so-subtle) sales pitch about a company’s new product.

    Deloitte’s is one of the few companies that I believe are getting it right – in fact I had planned to attend their upcoming social media talk in Melbourne because of this reason – but unfortunately a few other people agree with me as it’s sold out!

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