Monday, July 31, 2006

Social Media Mavens Series

This series looks at what some of the top companies and organizations in the world are doing with social media. Every two weeks, I'll post an interview with a corporate leader in the social media space. These interviews will let you see how the top companies in the world are using social media, and hopefully give you some instruction on how you can craft your own social media efforts.

The entries in the series are:

Lindsay Lebresco - Social Media Manager, Graco:

"I work with these people to create quality content that we hopes connects with our readers and helps underscore the fact that the people behind the products at Graco are on the same journey our consumers are on or are headed on."

Bonin Bough - Director of Global Social Media, PepsiCo:

"Overall I think we need to stop focusing on the “either/or” approach to traditional versus online social media marketing. At Tropicana and PepsiCo we have an integrated marketing mix strategy. The Juice is a specific tactic that brings a different and deeper level of engagement and provides a platform for an open conversation, so we can actually engage directly with our consumers."

Tom Hoehn - Director of Interactive Marketing and Convergence Media, Kodak:

"It isn’t about the tools it is about connecting with our customers. This helps people within Kodak understand the opportunity at hand without getting caught up in jargon."

Kristie Rogers - Marketing Manager, and Cathy Mortensen, Blogger for HomeGoods:

"It was a conscious plan to keep the blog as organic as possible. We wanted to make it inviting just as if you were having guests over to your home. We give a lot of autonomy to the bloggers. There are very little restrictions. Referring to “commenters” by their first name makes it more of a dialog. We like to think of HG Openhouse as a sisterhood - girlfriends having a conversation with one another."

Gary Koelling - Director of Emerging Media Technology, Best Buy:

"When we first build BlueShirt Nation (BSN) it was an attempt to solve a specific problem. We wanted to get employee and customer insight that could lead to better, more relevant advertising. We never got a direct answer to that although you could argue it led to us to better advertising eventually. Any way, the users made it into a social network. Steve Bendt (the other founder of BSN) and I just happened to have the good sense to stick with it - whatever it became."

Terry O'Neil - Executive Vice President, Cit

"Social media requires a long-term approach and cohesive strategy. It’s about establishing and encouraging conversations with customers in order to strengthen and improve products and services. In doing so, companies need to embrace unfiltered dialog from customers, recognize they’re not going to be able to control the conversations and use this real time feedback to improve the overall customer experience."

New entries in this series will be posted every other week. If you have a corporation that's successfully using social media and would like to be interviewed for this series, please email me.

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