Social media is the automobile industry and the telephone business of the 21st century combined. The people and organisations who learn how to use the power of social media will benefit and the people who want to stay shackled to yesterday's technology will slowly fade.
Over 50% of the top firms on Wall Street are investing to make social media an integral part of their business. Firms as divergent as Dell ($3 million in revenue attributable directly to Twitter posts), Jet Blue (over a million followers mainly for customer service issues), and IBM (50k in Alumni network on Facebook - just one example of success), are using social media as a core part of what they do.
These are only some of the many examples of effective use of social media. In reviewing these case studies some common themes emerged:
1. The grassroots and the top of these organisations are involved.
2. They have clear guidelines, then they let people get on with it.
3. They learn from mistakes & successes.
4. They empowered widespread participation. They trust employees.
5. They experimented creatively, with Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Wiki's, libraries and more.