Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

Social media is rarely the work of only one person, especially when it comes to implementations done by organizations. Today however, I wanted to talk about the difference that one person made in each of three companies - even though they worked in concert with a team that supported them.

My first example is part of an interview I did recently with Frank Eliason who works at Comcast - a company we’re all keeping in our sights. Would it be fair to say that many customers are still on the fence about the cable giant? Frank started dealing with and handling customer issues using Twitter.

The one thing: what Frank has done for the company is showing the public that they can and want to solve customer problems. He’s not just talked about how sorry he is when someone’s service is down, he’s actually gone ahead and helped his team identify the root cause and take action.

The second example is the work my friend Scott Monty has been doing at Ford, a US automaker where the cars only a few months ago were considered a bad investment. Scott posted about the company’s vision first on his blog, then contributed to pointing to the site where it was posted.

The one thing: people listened because he was putting actual execution beyond his words and cars in their hands to test drive so they can see for themselves what is real. The company implemented not just an aggressive marketing communications program, it’s also putting its own business behind it.

The third example is a classic, we spoke about it here a couple of years ago, probably for the first time. Richard Binhammer is the communicator who was at the forefront of social media conversations in the digital team at Dell.

The one thing: if you want to know what makes Richard and the whole Dell team real is their ability to represent the organization in social media. In March, the team unveiled a new laptop at SxSW while they were launching it concurrently in traditional media. I was there that day by virtue of being present, and not because this was an event with exclusive invitation.

What these three professionals have in common is their desire to actually execute and implement in the business what they - and their organizations - communicate to the world. And actions do speak louder than words.

Social media is not just a set of new channels for marketing messages. It’s an opportunity for organizations to align with the marketplace and start delivering on behalf of customers.

Valeria Maltoni | Conversation Agent