Tag Archives: marketing

Sneeze like mad and spread the virus!


Week 10 is upon us, and this marks the production of my final blog. Don’t be deceived by the title of my blog – I’m not talking about the flu! In previous weeks, I have discussed how non-profit organisations and our case study organisation can use microblogging, in particular Twitter and wikis.

So exactly how widely utilised is social media within the not-profit sector? According to Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, The U.S.’s largest nonprofit organizations are using social media more than any other sector. Ninety-three percent of the top US charities now have a Facebook profile, 87% have a Twitter presence, and 65% have a blog.

Why is social media beneficial for non-profit organisations? Laura Lake, in her blog, “The Five Benefits Non-Profit Organizations Gain from Social Media Marketing”, highlights the fit between social media and the non-profit sector is attributed to the following factors:

Ease of funding: A nonprofit organization is not required to pay dividends and any surplus income goes towards fulfilling the organisation’s goals.

Involvement of stakeholders: Social media facilitates an overall integrated experience with stakeholders.

Establishing relationships
Clients who are already connected to the company via social networking can use the same channels to tell those they know about it, thereby increasing the organisation’s clientele even more.

Videos as leverage
Charitable organizations can also use social media networking to get potential customers to view their promotional videos. YouTube has a nonprofit program, whereby organisation’s receive special benefits, which include extra uploading capability and branding capabilities of the highest quality. They may also be added to YouTube’s list of nonprofit channels and videos page, and the videos themselves may include a “call to action” overlay.

Surveys and polls
An organization can also use Facebook or Twitter to conduct surveys to ascertain customer satisfaction with their programs and services and make amendments to program and service delivery based on this feedback. Surveys and polls can also generate interest in fundraisers and other events that are being held by the organisation. They can also learn why their donors are making their contributions, and find out what their consumers value and are interested in.

For the purpose of my last blog, I am going to focus on external social networking strategies and how these strategies can be implemented to increase the viral, interactive, and social influence strategies of the case study organisation. I will specifically look at how the organisation can use social networking to source funding for one of the programs that provides support to asylum seekers with access to nil, or limited funds, while they are awaiting hand down on their application for permanent residence in Australia.

Joe Garecht discusses how viral marketing can be used by non-profit organisations to promote their services and fundraising campaigns from person to person and group to group via, email and social media recommendations. It is a quick, affordable and easy way to promote products and services.

The following strategies can assist your organisation’s fundraising campaign to go viral:

1.   Affordable Asks.

Keep the contribution you are asking for affordable and quantify what the donation is for, so the organisation is kept accountable and donors know where their money has been allocated. $10,000 asks don’t go viral.

2.  Find “Sneezers”

The best way to spread germs rapidly and extensively is through sneezing. The same principle applies to the spread of online viral campaign. Hence, your organisation needs to find good ‘sneezers’, that is people with a broad network who aren’t shy about promoting your charity. These supporters head up the viral campaign and spread the word about your organisation.  (For more information on getting others to pass on your message, readBuilding Fundraising Networks).

3.  Succinct messaging

Viral marketing relies on good, succinct, and easy to explain concepts.  A successful fundraising campaign relies upon people working on the campaign being able to quickly and accurately describe the campaign, whilst invoking compassion and empathy from potential donors. For example, instead of, “Our organization was founded in 1924 by three Philadelphia social workers for the purposes of collaborating with…” use, “We save kids from starving.  $12 will feed a child for a week.  We have a child who needs your $12 today!”

4.  Facilitate giving

Make it as easy as possible to give.  When conducting a viral fundraising effort, set up a separate web page that allows people to give directly to the campaign easily and in the right chunks.  For example, if you’re raising $25 donations to pay for vaccinations, this campaign-specific page should ask how many vaccinations the donor wants to sponsor… 10 for $25, 20 for $50, etc.  (For more information on setting up great fundraising pages, read Fundraising on the Internet).

My inspiration for a viral marketing campaign is drawn from the One Paramatta campaign that examines the issue of racism in people’s daily lives.

My proposal for the case study organisation is to capture a series of videos on You-Tube that follow the format of a reality television series. The coverage would feature the clients going about their daily activities, as well as episodes that show the volunteers working with the clients. The objective of the videos is to challenge the public perception that refugees and asylum seekers in Australia are rewarded with Government handouts.

So how can we get the you-tube campaign to go viral?

1. The organisation’s website.

To be made available on the homepage with a link to a separate page for donations. Provide donors with a choice of where they direct their financial contributions eg $10 donation towards food, $20 donation towards clothing.

2. Facebook

In addition to adding the video to the organisation’s facebook page, a link to ‘facebook causes’ that allows facebook user’s to make donations.

3. Twitter.

Keep in mind the power of succinct messaging. The 140 word limit ensures the essence of the campaign is captured in a short, simple and easy to read format.

Another pivotal success factor for the campaign would be to gather as many good quality ‘sneezers’ as possible to promote the campaign. A good starting point would be the organisation’s stakeholders who could promote the campaign through their networks. It would also be beneficial to enlist the support of philanthropists to promote the campaign as their networks would consist of people with the financial capacity to make sizeable donations.

These are just a few ideas, amongst many and I would love to receive feedback.



Wiki Strategies for non-profit organisations.


A Wiki is a collaborative platform for online information creation. Wikipedia is a classic example of the impetus created through the successful use of wikis as an online information resource.

 Three Reasons why wikis are important to an organisation

1. Everyone can participate: Wikis challenge hierarchies through the easy flow of information. Good ideas can come from anywhere within the organisation and wikis let everyone participate and help the best ideas to emerge. Wikis make it easy for large number of people to collaborate.

2. Centralised storage of information for your organisation: The wiki is a repository of your organisation’s knowledge. All of your oganisation’s information such as meeting notes, legal documents, project collaboration and staff photos should be stored on the wiki to enable information to be easily located.

3. Low cost: There are many high quality and free open-source wikis available. TWiki and WikiMatrix provide an easy way to learn about the many wikis available.

The case study organisation is a Brisbane based non-profit organisation. One of the challenges faced by this organisation is how to develop wikis with an active community of users.

Wikis can be used with great flexibility by anyone in any way for collaboration, knowledge sharing and to promote a cause. The following ideas contained in an article by Techsoup can be used by our case study organisation to help build a community:

  • Begin by scheduling a meeting with major stakeholders, board members and key staff members to demonstrate how the wiki will be used and help them understand how powerful a wiki can be in your organisation. Get major stakeholders, board members and key staff members excited about the technology.
  • Ensure that the wiki has content that’s relevant to everyone, including volunteers and coordinators.
  • Post detailed instructions on the wiki explaining how to perform common tasks such as editing pages, uploading images, and formatting sites to assist with staff with becoming proficient at using the wiki.
  • To further encourage new users to embrace the wiki, use the site’s RSS feeds to monitor when new pages have been created. When a user adds a new entry to the wiki, go to the page to offer advice and encouragement to the poster or simply answer questions.
  • Empower your community to develop its own way of thinking, structuring space and working on content. This should ensure less resistance because people can decide who best to work together and the space will remain active and the content recent over time.

Implementation Tactics

Some implementation tactics our case study organisation could use are:

  • Start with a hosted wiki (the one you do not have to install on your own server but can go to a website and sign-up for monthly service plan).
  • If/when you need more functionality and flexibility, use commercially developed and supported software, such as Confluence.
  •  Confluence is a wiki tool that has features designed to enhance knowledge sharing. Confluence has a range of access controls that supports the security sensitive information. Correct policy and common sense in the organisation is one means of mitigating the risk of sensitive information being released by an employee. The advantages of implementing knowledge sharing not only internally but externally can outweigh any proposed risk.
  • Select a specific project involving a small team who have urgent need for collaboration.
  • Nominate a project leader who has experience with using wikis.

Finally, learn and share.

A prominent non-profit organisation successfully using wikis is CARE.

CARE is a global non-profit organisation working to eradicate poverty. They use Wikispaces Private Label as a platform for members to communicate, collaborate, and share best practices. They have many wikis on their site, including:

  • A knowledge café where individuals share best practices for engaging the cultures and communities in which they work
  • A wiki where they train their global members and volunteers in emergency preparedness and response
  • Various wikis designed by groups of employees interested in bringing new capacities to the organisation
  • Wikis developed for strategic planning, improving their organisation, and measuring the impact of their various projects and initiatives.


A few good wiki resources.

Wikis in organizations

Could a wiki help non-profit organizations.

Nonprofits Share Their Wiki Success Stories.

Seven wiki adoption techniques for the enterprise.

Wiki Writing Tips

10 Wiki Strategies for Educators


Twittering in the non-profit community sector


Community organisations, or not profit organisations, either deliver programmes on behalf of the government or fill a gap in service provision within the community. They focus on empowering communities and their stakeholders and encourage engagement and provide services that are responsive, relevant and accountable to their communities. What better way to achieve these objectives than through the use of social media.

A Brisbane-based community organisation that provides a range of services and programmes for thousands of clients throughout Brisbane will be used as the case study organisation. Their stakeholders include: clients, staff, the local community, other community groups and organisations, and the broader community and funding bodies. For this week’s blog, I will discuss microblogging strategies that can be used in non-profit organisations.

 Why Twitter is Important to Non-Profits:

  • To find people within the community who support the organisation’s cause.
  • Twitter provides a platform for members of the community to exchange information with the organisation and help one another without depleting the organisation’s resources.
  • Twitter allows organisations to begin discussions with new people and inform them about organisational goals and enables the supply of tools to interact and engage with the public and major stakeholders.

Lovejoy and Saxton’s analysis of ‘How Non-Profit Organisations Use Social Media’ has found that there are 3 key functions of micro-blogging updates —“information,” “community,” and “action.” They state that Twitter when used strategically by non-profit organisations can engage stakeholders through dialogue and community-building practices more effectively than through traditional websites through the use of direct and instant communication.

So what strategies can be put in place to ensure the 3 key functions of micro-blogging within the community sector, ‘information’, ‘community’ and ‘action’ can be achieved?

  • Clearly Define Your Objectives It is important to have clearly defined objectives when participating in micro-blogging, such as Twitter, to highlight content, promote awareness of an issue and instigate action. Clearly defined objectives will help you to ascertain if Twitter can assist your organisation with reaching it larger communication goals.
  • Know Your Target Audience(s):  To communicate effectively, tailor your communication to your target audience and communicate messages that resonate with your audience and prompt them to take action.
  • Determine Resource Needs:  Determine if you have the appropriate staffing resources to create content and manage your organisation’s Twitter account. The organisation should appoint a program coordinator as a point of contact for twitter activities and to ensure content is posted regularly.
  • Generate interest in your organisations’ services by posting at least once a day, and as you generate more followers follow up your posting with ‘tiny url’s’ that link back to your website and services.

 ActionAId Australia provides an excellent example of how to use Twitter to find and engage volunteers. ActionAid Australia sought volunteer bloggers to travel to a remote location and train locals to use Twitter to end poverty. Furthermore, they set up the Toto Challenge (The Overseas Training Operation), which was promoted relentlessly through Twitter. Action Aid Australia has used the challenge to find and interact with volunteers on Twitter, as shown here:


What’s your plan?

Twitter is not just a strategy, it is also a tool. Based on your goals and your audience, a plan of action needs to be devised to enhance your organisation’s Twitter presence:

1. Upload a logo and add a bio and website before you start following people. People won’t reciprocate your following with the default Twitter Egg image and a blank bio that tells them nothing about who you are or what your non-profit stands for.

2. Send out a few tweets before you start following people. You want to make sure that there are some “Recent Tweets” displayed when people first click on your Twitter username. Otherwise, most of those you follow will not follow you in return.

3. Use “Favourites” to organise your Tweets, especially if you are following thousands of people.

For additional tips on the use of Twitter in non-profit organisations, click here:

Apart from information sharing and engaging stakeholders, the other fantastic benefit micro-blogging offers a non-profit organisation is increasing brand awareness, which can result in the organisation receiving additional donations and funding.

Thanks for reading my blog. I would appreciate any comments or feedback.

The use of web 2.0 applications in an Airport environment: best practice case studies.


Throughout this discussion, I will examine several best practice examples of the use of web 2.0 applications at airports. International Digital Marketers, Abaar.net, in their review of the world’s best airports use of social media, indicate it is important to have a good mix of content in social media, and recommend 40% informative, 30% news, 20% fun and entertainment and 10% user generated content.

Savvy airports utilise social media to promote themselves as destinations. Facebook. Twitter and YouTube are the most commonly used web 2.0 applications. One such savvy airport is Changi Airport in Singapore, and they were recently awarded a SimpliFlying Award in Social Media Excellence for their “Be a Changi Millionaire’ promotion.




The video was shared across facebook, twitter, youtube, youku, blogs, news sites and campaign microsites. The result of the campaign: concession sales grew by 18%, 4415 entries were received per day, concession sales increased by 13% yearly, sales of over $500 per transaction increased by 20% yearly and 2.8 times its target of US$1 403 605 in PR value!


It is not just the world’s largest international airports that are utilising social media. Akron Canton airport in the USA embraces the use of web 2.0 applications. They were the first blogging airport in the US and launched their blog site in 2005. The blog site was designed due to its impact on SEO and brand affirmation. The airport also engages the online community with the use of Facebook. Flikr, You Tube and Twitter.

The social media microsite for Minneapolis -St Paul International Airport provides travelers with interactive information. For example, the microsite’s “Eat, Shop, Relax” tab directs you to coupons that can be printed or displayed on your smartphone and used at most retail shop and food and beverage outlets at the airport. MSP airport has over 1080 twitter followers and almost 900 facebook fans and they keep incoming and outgoing passengers informed about airline deals, and where to park.

As well as harnessing social media for revenue-producing opportunities, social media can be effective to assist with crisis management, which was recently demonstrated by Yeager Airport. In 2010, a jet overshot the runway. Messages about the incident and updates were posted on the airport’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as the contact details for the airport’s media representatives. By placing factual information on Facebook and Twitter in a timely manner, media sensationalism, rumours and fictitious reporting through media channels was prevented.


So how do Australian airports measure up? In April 2012, BAC and QUT announced the appointment of Associate Professor Alexander Dreiling as the Airport Chair of Innovation. The major challenge faced with the use of web 2.0 applications in an airport environment is the management of large-scale, multi-stakeholder, multi-jurisdictional, and socio-technical systems. To address these complexities it is important to implement holistic digital strategies meet a diverse range of stakeholder needs and preferences. In order to address these issues, the project involves the design of a whole-of-airport digital strategy using social media and mobile devices to communicate with passengers, visitors, business partners, contractors, employees, communities, media and government.

Brisbane Airport has also led the way in the use of social media, as it was the first airport to join online pin board, Pinterest. While BAP’s other social media platforms, facebook and twitter are focused on the sharing of vital information, the focus of pinterest is a bit more light-hearted and entertaining. As Brisbane Airport Corporation’s head of Corporate Relations, Rachel Crowley has stated “We think people will enjoy a place to ‘pin’ their happy memories of past holidays and trips and share their latest plane spotting milestones. It’s a fun site that celebrates airports, aviation and our city, Brisbane”.


I hope this blog has shed some light on how airports, both domestically and internationally, are utilising social media for the provision of important information to stakeholders and to generate revenue through the creative use of social media platforms.


ROI on web 2.0 applications: it’s engagement that matters, not eyeballs.


ROI, as you are probably aware, is an acronym for ‘Return on Investment’. From a business point of view, a company wants to be satisfied that every dollar spent will make them more in return. The return on investment formula is as follows:

                                (Gain from Investment – Cost of Investment)

ROI     =     ──────────────────────────────────

                                                 Cost of Investment

Traditionally, ROI has been measured in web metrics, such as page views, users, and click-throughs, colloquially referred to as ‘eyeballs’, but this is no longer considered a comprehensive enough method of measuring ROI.

The ability to measure Return on Investment (ROI) for the use of web 2.0 applications in the workplace has been impeded by the fact that it is difficult to show a direct benefit and immediate return as a result of the use of social media. Connie Benson, Community Strategist, has identified that the measurement of direct benefit and immediate return is challenging for business to measure because customer engagement is a long term commitment and because a lot more education is needed about the importance of the use of social media to increase not only the profits, but the reputation of a business and the ability to provide customer satisfaction.

Joshua Paul discusses why he thinks it’s important for an organisation to measure community engagement  and highlights 6 Key Customer Engagement Metrics for improving online community ROI.

1) Visit to New Registration Ratio

What It Measures: This ratio measures the ability of your marketing messages and website to recruit and convert people who visit your website into online community members.

How to Measure: Divide the number of new online community registrations by the total number of visitors to your website.

2) Visit to Login Ratio

 What It Measures: Are increases in members accessing your online community a result of more members finding value in your community and returning, or just an overall increase in website visitors?

How to Measure: Track the number of people who visit your website against the number of returning members who log into your online community. Tip: It is also helpful to combine the new registration and returning logins to see the overall community access (new and returning) to website visit ratio.

3) Login to Post & Comment Ratio

What It Measures: This ratio indicates whether or not your organization’s online community is seeing an increase in contributions by members.

How to Measure: Create the ratio by tallying the number of forum or blog posts, idea submissions, comments, or file uploads, then dividing it by the total number of logins.

4) Post to Comment Ratio

What It Measures: This metric determines if the content being produced in the community is driving engagement.

How to Measure: Compare the number of blog post, forum entries, idea submissions, or file uploads to the number of comments these items receive.

5) Login to Action Ratio

What It Measures: By comparing activity with logins, you have a ratio that pinpoints the effectiveness of your community-building tactics inside your community. If you measure activity alone, you don’t know if you are seeing an increase due to better engagement tactics inside your community or a general increase in members visiting your community.

How to Measure: Actions are defined as including blog and forum posts, comments, posting and downloading files, watching videos, “friending” people, sending private messages, and many other actions depending on the community. Divide the sum of these activities by the overall community logins.

6) Members to Completed Profile Ratio

 What It Measures: This ratio gives you an idea of how committed your target audience is to the community.

How to Measure: Divide the number of completed (or mostly completed) member profiles with the overall membership of the community.

 Jason Falls argues the problem with trying to determine ROI for social media is “you are trying to put numeric quantities around human interactions and conversations, which are not quantifiable”. He illustrates his point to advocates of quantifiable metric measurements for ROI for social media by highlighting the inability to assign multiple choice answers to essay questions as an analogy.

Katie Delahaye Paine states that a shift is needed in how social media platforms are measured. According to Katie, the ultimate question to be asking when measuring engagement is whether all parties are getting what they want out of the conversation.

Katie Delahaye Paine  shares her insight into the difficulties faced with measuring ROI for social media platforms on SME-TV:

Where do we go from here? Do you agree with the likes of Jason Falls and Katie Paine? Is it impossible to measure community engagement in metric terms? Or do we have to think laterally in terms of how we can measure engagement. The following example provided by Tom Gray in response to Jason’s article provides useful insight into how to measure ROI for social media tools:

A client was preparing to self-publish her book and she mentioned its title and premise on her LinkedIn profile. An editor for a major book publisher noticed the reference and liked its focus. He engaged her in a conversation the result of which is she kept the $20 000 that self-publishing would have cost and pocketed $20 000 as an advance and is slated for a bells-and-whistles release this Fall including major launch campaign and national distribution to leading on and offline book sellers.

What is her ROI? A couple of hours invested in setting up a LinkedIn profile,  a five minute update announcing her book, a couple of hours of conversation via email and telephone = $40,000 ($20 000 saved plus $20 000 in advance) in addition to royalties,  increased fees and speaking engagement dollars due to status upgrade as a ‘published’ .

I would love to hear your thoughts on this contentious topic!

Social Media Policy


Wikis and blogs are commonly used social media platforms for people to engage in collaborative work and promote an organisation’s digital brand. Whilst the use of social media platforms is a great tool for reaching a larger audience, organisations must ensure appropriate social media policies are in place to prevent incidents such as employees leaking private company information on sites, such as Facebook. “Dooced” is an internet expression that means to lose one’s job because of comments made on social media platforms. So using common sense and being responsible is important.

According to Dundas Lawyers, it is imperative for organistaions to have a Social Media Policy (SMP) in place to make employees and contractors aware of what conduct is unacceptable and would likely lead to termination of employment. The SMP is a legally binding document that exists alongside a contract of employment.

It is essential for companies to have SMP’s in place to protect the company both internally and externally. Some common examples of employee misconduct that may leave an employer exposed and liable are: copyright breaches, trademark breached, confidentiality breaches, privacy breaches, defamation and discrimination claims.

About BBC

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the largest broadcaster in the world. The BBC is a British public service broadcaster and it main responsibility is to provide public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. The BBC is a semi-autonomous public service broadcaster that operates under a Royal Charter and a Licence and Agreement from the Home Secretary. Within the United Kingdom, the work is funded primarily by an annual television licence fee.

Outside the UK, the BBC World Service has provided services by direct broadcasting and re-transmission contracts by sound radio since December 1932, and more recently by television and online. Though sharing some of the facilities of the domestic services, particularly for news and current affairs output, the World Service has a separate Managing Director, and its operating costs have historically been funded mainly by direct grants from the British government.

BBC and the use of Social Media

BBC’s current social media policies do not prohibit employees’ accessing social network websites or using web 2.0 applications.  This means employees can engage in posting pictures, messages and videos on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MSN during work time.

Internal risks:

Confidential Information

When employees post the articles, messages or pictures relating to their work on blogs, Facebook or Twitter, they might inadvertently disclose sensitive or confidential information about the BBC . The information assets of this company could also be deliberately exposed by disgruntled employees.

Legal implications

While the increasing use of social media in organisations is beneficial in many respects, it is essential to ensure the organisation is protected from any legal implications. The BBC and the ‘Twitter bomb hoax case’, whereby the BBC broadcast Twitter images during a news broadcast reached the High Court. This served as a wake up call to the BBC and highlighted the need to understand the legal ramifications of the use of social media and the need to implement a ‘prevention rather than cure’ policy in the organisation.

External risks:

Technology Risks

External attackers can gain valuable information by listening to voice conversations, searching email messages and even controlling the built-in camera to take pictures or record video on employees’ mobile devices. In addition, all messages between the sender and the receiver could be controlled by a third party impersonating an individual or group with whom the BBC has been communicating with. This situation might result from certain attacks including phishing, social engineering and email address or webpage spoofing.

Potential Consequences

Attackers might disclose confidential information they have gained about the BBC. For example, the email addresses of BBC Company customers, the latest reports and exclusive photos stolen from employees’ personal devices could be sold to competitive companies. Fictitious or amended new stories could be produced and published once attackers gain access to personal devices. This would considerably harm the reputation of BBC Company.

Social Media Policy

Whilst the BBC does not prohibit the use of social media, they have recently tightened up guidelines for employees using social media tools within the workplace.

The BBC guidelines are divided into three areas:

1. Your own personal activity, done for your friends and contacts, but not under or in the name of BBC News

2. Activity for core news (breaking news), programs, or genres carried out officially in the name of BBC News

3. Activity of editors, presenters, correspondents, or reporters carried out as part of official BBC News output.

Any use of social media must first be approved by an employee’s line manager, according to the BBC’s editorial policy guidelines.

BBC published its social media guidelines (PDF) for journalists in order to deal with some of these potential legal risks. In addition to this, BBC has provided its official tweeters’ guidance (PDF) to avoid personal interests or unrelated issues. More BBC’s social media strategies on social networking and microblogging sites are introduced in its guidance. There is a tendency that BBC will become considerably successful in Enterprise 2.0 under its social media guidelines and guidance.

TheNextWeb blog also discusses the new BBC social media policy that requires “a second pair of eyes” to review every Facebook post (and Twitter update, for that matter) related to news reporting. The policy clearly states, “A second check might well avoid you saying or linking to something unwise, which could land you, or the BBC, in trouble.”

Whilst I think the BBC’s social media policies are a step in the right direction, I think the BBC should introduce legally binding contracts prohibiting employees from using social media tools for work-related purposes outside the workplace, as employees personal devices are at increased risks of attack, due to inadequate security.

Global giant IBM: Benefits and Risks of implementing E 2.0


The uptake in use of Enterprise 2.0 tools can largely be attributed to the following factors: cost-efficiency; size and simplicity; complex deployment and maintenance is not required; they are user-friendly and don’t require IT professionals to operate them; and because programs are easily expanded and a small internal program can be increased incrementally and eventually opened up to outside participation.

Global giant, IBM, has adapted the integration of social media tools in the workforce. IBM is one of the world’s most prominent and successful companies and most people have heard of them, but fewer are aware of their use of social media, such as blogs, Twitter and Facebook, to network employees globally towards a centralised online presence. This initiative has achieved some fantastic results.

According to Implementing Enterprise 2.0 at IBM (case study 2012). IBM has successfully created:

  • IBMers submitted over 170 short videos to demonstrate, in their own individual voice, what IBM means by “Innovation that Matters.”
  • Approximately 300,00 IBMers on LinkedIn. This number is growing at 24% per year.
  • IBM has the largest employee presence of any firm on the platform.
  • Over 50,000 members of alum networks on LinkedIn and Facebook
  • Blog Central now has more than 20,000 registered users in 73 countries (+100% since launch)
  • More than 400k Sametime instant messaging users, resulting in 40-50 million instant messages per day.


IBM uses a variety of databases, including blogs, which enables employees from all corners of the globe to engage in online discourse and collaborate and share information. By building an extensive global knowledge network, IBM has decreased the time required for research by employees that in turn frees up more time to be spent on sales and product and service improvements, thereby enhancing productivity and efficiency. IBM has also developed their own software, such as SocialBlue, for employees to utilise and exchange information and ideas online within a secure and controlled environment, thereby protecting the company’s business information as well as enhancing staff engagement through improvements in internal communication.

Another strategy successfully utilised by IBM is crowd-sourcing, which has resulted in excess of $100 million generated in new businesses. IBM has used the power of social media to seek financial contributions, skills, knowledge and ideas from the masses for IBM projects.

The key profit generating benefits of implementing the use of social media into IBM’s core business strategy has been: increased employer knowledge and education; increased efficiency; and improved communication skills. IBM invested in the creation of social media tools and has been receiving a return of investment by monetising those tools as part of their product portfolio.


IBM does have a formal policy for employees utilising social media. However, as a general rule of thumb, employees are responsible for content created and they are prohibited from releasing private information about the company. One of the greatest risks with using Enterprise 2.0 technologies is security, and an accidentally made comment can go viral within a matter of hours, whereas older methods of communication, such as snail mail, gave the company more time to implement recovery strategies. Another problem encountered with the release of information is the accuracy of the information and the information may not be reliable. Individuals in breach of security policies are held solely responsible for any content released.Implementing Enterprise 2.0: Free Chapter 4 – Key benefits and risks

For more information, click on the links below:

IBM Study: If You Don’t Have a Social CEO, You’re Going to be Less Competitive

How IBMers Use Social Media to Get Things Done