Following the keynote, the conference broke into two groups to have a more in-depth discussion on how a company can measure success in implementing and using social media. I was in a group moderated by Jamie Pappas, Manager for Enterprise Social Media and Strategy at EMC, Peter Blacker, the EVP for Digital Media at Telemundo Networks, and Frank Eliason, Senior VP of Social Media at Citibank. Black believes that the ways that we tell stories have shifted given the change in the digital ecosystem.
Eliason notes that you have to recognize who is in the space. It’s critical that employees aren’t in silos, and social media is driving a lot of that. Companies need to focus on how their customers view their organization, not how they view themselves. “It’s all about culture”, change needs to emanate from the C-suite. As far as who owns social media, companies need to realize that customers and employees own a large chunk of it through their participation.
No CEO ever wants to create a bad experience. Social media has raised the curtain between companies and their customers, as well as between managers and employees. Communication across these new channels allows parties to develop trust, as they communicate with people instead of companies or brands. Companies can use blogs, for example, to share stories in a manner than engages consumer’s emotions. If you ask readers to share their stories, Pappas offered, you are not only a content provider, but also a content curator. A participant noted the importance of search to social media. Your content isn’t valuable unless your customers can find it.
The eventual goal of any social media evangelist is to ultimately manage change in their organization until their position is obsolete.