May 3, 2009

Social Media Opportunity & Vulnerabilities

Open window.The Social Media Academy released a report reviewing the "social media status" of six global enterprises including Dow Chemical, John Deere, NetApp, New York Life, Toyota, and Vodafone.
We had a pretty good understanding about the estimated outcome –yet it was shocking to realize how vulnerable businesses are that stay away from social media. The present case demonstrates how a small group of social media savvy consultants can compromise a global enterprise based on publicly available data.

We used only publicly available data by dissecting the social web. The data was aggregated from over one million people who publicly expressed their opinions and emotions in social networks, groups, communities, forums, blogs, and other social media related places. The “Mind Share Report” demonstrates not only that social media is heavily used by businesses across all industries but also that it poses a significant threat to companies who do not understand how publicly available information can be used by their competitors to create devastating effects.--
The full study is available for $195, but you can glean some very good insights from the free 30-page executive summary, especially as a blueprint for using social networks to find out more about your audience/stakeholders and what they think about your organization and issues. 

What you see in the corporate world are fan pages set up in Facebook, reviews of services in Yelp!, LinkedIn profiles of employees and groups related to their organizations, Twitter streams about organizations and from organizations, videos both for and against on YouTube. These same outlets are used by citizens to share things that they like about government and things that they don't like about government. Social media is the world's largest, ongoing focus group.

Take a look at the report and start searching networks for your agency and issues that you touch. Learn and engage. You can read the free 30-page executive summary (in PDF) here.

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