Social Media at IBM – Beyond Blogging (Rochester Presentation)

Nothing keeps me grounded like speaking engagements. Yesterday I spoke to a group of business professionals in upstate New York at the Rochester eBusiness Association’s “Blogging for Business” forum. I’ll spare the blow-by-blow verbose recap, but here are the slides from the event:

Here are a few take aways:

  • I love meeting with people to learn about their experiences and challenges in implementing social media in their enterprises. Every company has unique challenges they face – even those in the same industry. And in the end, it all comes down to culture.
  • At the same time, I’m not as stimulated meeting with people whose sole job is talking to people about social media (or, as I call them, the “social media blowhards”). I prefer to speak with fellow corporate folks doing the hard work of implementing this stuff.
  • It is clear that many people’s initial perception of IBM is still of a stodgy, boring company. After my presentation, several people remarked to me that they were surprised that IBM was so progressive, and that IBM was a different company than they’d thought. To me, this this reaffirms the premise that IBM’s brand is best communicated by the individual IBMers, since their interactions with others have more influence over perceptions than any formal form of communications (media coverage, advertising, etc.).
  • While I personally might see some of IBM’s deficiencies in social media, it is very reaffirming to know we are out in the lead amongst our peers and the general business population in driving social media within the company.
  • Many here (and pretty much everywhere I speak) have commented on IBM’s unique culture as a reason for our success in social media. This is true, but we’ve also done a lot over the past decade to create that culture of innovation. It isn’t easy, but it is possible. This is worth a few posts all in itself.


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