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BlogWell: Corporate Case Studies on Social Media Programs

June 24, 2009

Yesterday I attended Blogwell San Francisco and heard presentations on social media best practices from top brands including Cisco, SAP, Wells Fargo, Kaiser Permanente, Intuit, Dell and Pepsi. Each presenter had 20 minutes to present and 10 minutes of Q&A. This fast-paced format kept things moving. In the opening remarks, the organizers encouraged attendees to tweet during the conference, which I did. It is fascinating to see how well accepted using a laptop or mobile device to tweet or blog in real time (or catch up on email) has become during conferences.

Jeanette Gibson, Director of New Media Communications at Cisco, highlighted some of the ways Cisco uses social media to save money on communications while increasing conversations, interaction and engagement. A number of attendees later commented on how far ahead Cisco is from its corporate peers in this area, which I agree with. Disclosure: I have been a paid consultant for Cisco New Media Communications.

Mark Yolton, Senior Vice President of Community Networks at SAP, showed amazing statistics on SAP’s expert community network, which has some 1.5 million members and contributors. My question to another attendee was, “Since Mark is now an SVP, what is the next promotion for him—Chief Community Officer?” He laughed and said CCOs are already out there at some organizations!  See the brief done by DDB agency on this for details. This is quite a powerful statement on the power of social media.

I cringed a little hearing Josh Karpf, Digital and Social Media Manager with Pepsi, give a rapid-fire presentation on how they apply social media to raise awareness of their products and brands. I am not a big fan of soft drinks. However, it is only fair to give them kudos for creativity creating conversations with their target audience and be willing to take the feedback from the public.

I met attendees who worked for Intel, Wal-Mart, Ernst & Young, State Farm and Chevron. Most held communications or social media positions and were the “voice” of their corporation online. I also saw badges of individuals who work for software or services vendors in the space, including Technorati and BIZ360. I met a few consultants and saw someone in uniform from the Coast Guard.

This was my first exposure to an event organized by the Blog Council. I was impressed with the integrity and authenticity of the representatives. Peter Walheim spoke passionately about the importance of ethics, governance and policy for corporate bloggers, and gave all the attendees a hardcopy of a new Disclosure Best Practices Toolkit . The skeptic in me was satisfied that BlogWell isn’t a shill organization for its corporate members.

Overall it was an enjoyable afternoon. The conference organizers promised that all of the presentations will be posted on the BlogWell blog in the coming week….should be some good stuff.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 25, 2009 4:14 am

    Hi Ron:

    Thanks for the shout-out and positive mention. I also wanted to let you (and your readers) know that I’ve posted my BlogWell presentation from yesterday on SlideShare at http://tinyurl.com/kkqdqt … the posted presentation has a big index of “bonus” slides I didn’t cover during my 20 minutes of fame at BlogWell, in the hopes that they help someone else.

    Regards,
    Mark Yolton

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