Answering Questions on Corporate Social Media

Are you an avid user of social media platforms?

Yes. Who isn’t in these days: I use mostly LinkedIN, Youtube, WordPress, XING and Twitter for professional purposes and Facebook for private purposes.

Internally at IBM, I use Connections, Sametime, Smallblue and other internal tools available for Sharing Content. With Clients I use ibm.com Community for sharing content. I try not to send anymore big attachments to clients.

Is your use of social media platforms occasionally business related?

Yes, most of the time. I start my day reading, sharing and commenting the news on Twitter and LinkedIN. It’s very important for me to share news and receive comments and other news from friends and business contacts.

For me this process of “accidental discovery” is a crucial mean to acquire information on new Business events related to Clients and on industry developments.

What motivates you thereby?/ If not, why not?

On my capacity of Business Solution Professional, specially in the areas of Digital Strategy and Enterprise 2.0, I do support a team of 8 Account Managers covering a vast array of industries. Information is crucial and indispensable for my daily activity. When I’m front of a client I have to be informed on his industry and company in order to sustain a professional conversation. The times when one arrived in front of a client empty hands and asked about its industry are over. Clients expect now that you’re aware of their Industry Pains and of the latest Business trends: even the first conversation with a CxO has to provide value for the client.

What benefit or gain is in your opinion associated with the use of these platforms?

The main benefit is information processing. Currently there are two paradigms for interaction with Internet: the Google Paradigm, when you type in the Google engine what you’re looking for. Here you basically trust the Google Engine and the “black box” approach on the way you get your information sorted for relevancy.

The second one is the Facebook Paradigm, when you ask your community of acquaintances (fans, followers, contacts, you name them) to provide you with information about what you’re looking for. Here you basically trust your peers community (people like you) about the quality, pertinence and relevancy of this information.

The current trend of socialization (allowing comments and links to Facebook is a very interesting way to enrich this process. I’ll give you an example, the other day I was watching a very interesting Conference on Learning Language in very young children, at TED.com. The quality of this platform is remarkable and the specialists who present their ideas and projects are worldwide class. Well, I can tell you, the most valuable information I gathered was not even from the video (although it was extremely interesting) but from one of the comments I read. This is for me a striking example of how one is creating and gathering Knowledge in Internet nowadays.

Which downsides can you identify thereby?

The major downside is actually the risk of impoverishing the Quality in the communication due to a massification. In case the conversation becomes a pure broadcasting of publicity. Social Media platforms could become a real Babel Tower where everybody speaks but nobody listens.

In your opinion to what should be paid attention in B2B segment when it comes to the communication with business customers – as we have got them?

Indistinctly of who is involved in the communication process, the message has to be relevant and pertinent: I can’t, I shouldn’t advertise my Painting Skills among a community of Banking Business. One should pay attention to the context of the communication, and be consistent with the Target Reputation.

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