Open Research: How Complex Companies Scale Social Business

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Social media is powerful but it can be quite complex for companies looking to leverage it at scale. For CMOs, marketing execs and organizations looking to understand what works and what doesn’t, a useful resource is the open research paper embedded below.

Jeremiah Owyang and Andrew Jones of Altimeter Group, say, “The interesting thing about this research is that corporations are beyond the ‘why’ social but are now focusing on integration and tying together with all customer interactions.

The report says tension is emerging within companies across the following areas:

Six Common Tension Dynamics as Companies Scale Social
Corporate vs Business Unit
Global vs Local
Consistent messaging vs Varied content
Comprehensive Software Suites vs Specialized Point Software
Individual disruptors vs Established program managers
Enterprise Deployment vs Organic social growth

Covered in this research are four companies: Whole Foods, General Motors, Amway and PUMA. Each organization manages a complex social environment to engage with customers in the following ways:

    • Whole Foods puts local social engagement into the hands of store managers.
    • General Motors organizes for social business internally, then supports regions.
    • Amway empowers distributors yet maintains brand consistency
    • PUMA scales limited headcount for worldwide engagement

Despite operational and organizational readiness forming within some companies, the report says many are still overwhelmed by the number of conversations taking place without proper resources, training or tools. “We found that brands still lack clarity about how to address social media proliferation specifically within their own organization.” The full report is embedded below, courtesy of Altimeter Group:

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Sabaa Quao
I am a career entrepreneur, business strategist, and creative director with a passion for emerging platforms in the digital media and marketing space. I believe that creativity is the most valuable resource on the planet. As president and founder of /newsrooms, I am responsible for strategic and creative teams that generate social media content and marketing conversion for companies intent on leading in their business categories.
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