2010 was a year of social media discovery and test for many marketers (with some deception in some cases as expectations were probably too high), 2011 will be the year of Social Media reality for Chief Marketing Officers. Yesterday, I was reading an HBR article highlighting fact that many french companies have been focusing on building relationships with fewer clients rather than broadcasting their message to the world. I thought that it was really going the opposite way of social media philosophy but at the end of the day, the most important is that companies build deeper relationships with their customers. Social Media should support that, and marketers should continue to better align their Digital strategy with specific business needs (sounds obvious but not always the case...yet)
In the last few months, companies showed more maturity, they've learned a lot and know pros and cons of Social Media. Marketers have experienced it and are now in a position to build a shared roadmap on Digital (cross functions). Most have shifted from 'nice to have' to 'must have' while building specific guidelines, consolidating brand presence on fewer platforms with some degree of integration to enterprise marketing systems (marketing automation, web content publishing...).
This week, our IBM Brand System* team has just announced the creation of an official IBM France page on Facebook. This is good new and I hope it will federate our communications, other Facebook communities and bring our fans up to date with local news. More than this, it should be an extension of offline discussions we have with our ecosystem (clients, partners, government, students, citizens, employees...) on topics such as Smarter Planet. It also opens up new opportunities for our brand to continue to build interactions with students: our Human Resources team has also participated to this project by creating a 'Join us' section. This is also a great way to get different teams working together on building your brand. It has to be coordinated with specific objectives so it can be monitored, improved and deliver concrete benefits to your organization.
*IBM Brand System?
“Picture a framework with five columns. From left to right the columns are labeled what it means to look like IBM, to sound like IBM, to think like IBM, to perform like IBM and ultimately to be IBM…To really activate the System, you go from managing outward expressions and manifestations of the company — visual identity, naming conventions, messaging, design and the like — to the behavior and performance of people. This Brand System is necessarily inclusive of corporate culture.” Jon Iwata (IBM SVP Marketing and Communications) from John Bell's post (Ogilvy)