MAD Perspectives Blog

What was Hot or Not at NAB 2010?

Peggy Dau - Wednesday, April 21, 2010




I went to the NAB show in Las Vegas last week.  My reasons were twofold.  Reason #1 was to see what's new and intriguing in the technology addressing the broadcast and studio markets.  It is always exciting to see what's going on in this industry and as you can imagine, the buzz word was 3D!  In addition, there is a lot of attention being paid to multi-screen content consumption and how to enhance the online viewer experience.  As often happens, sports is the target market for a lot of the enhancements that will soon be available for online video.  ESPN has been a leader in how they incorporate technology into the viewing experience and many small vendors are uniquely focused on making the online experience as interesting and compelling as the living room experience.  Pay attention as local sports comes online.  By local, I mean the town little league teams or soccer/football teams.  It's exciting and accessible!

Why is this relevant for MAD Perspectives?  Well, what happens in the M&E space usually is adapted, in some way, by other industries.  while the demands from M&E are quite high, companies in healthcare, manufacturing, green tech, oil & gas and other industries are using video more frequently in their messaging and communication strategies.  In addition, video or imaging is increasingly a core part of their information gathering or business process.  Understanding where video trends are heading, can help these industries provide enriched services.  Imagine the benefits of 3D medical imagery!

What are some of the key things I learned?

-enabling multi-platform content consumption is HUGE (manage, encode, transude, protect, distribute, display)

- encoding bitrates have made big improvements (meaning, less bandwidth required for delivery of MPEG2, SD and HD content)

- telcos are FINALLY enabling CDN services (why let Akamai have all the fun?)

- 3D is super hot (and you shouldn't try to make a project if it wasn't shot that away originally, quality does matter)

- camera prices are decreasing, meaning UGC (user generated content) quality will improve


Reason #2 for heading out to Vegas was to check in with the myriad of vendors with whom I have relationships based on my past life at Hewlett-Packard.  I was interested to see what new products they had to offer but also to understand why they don't leverage digital media more effectively in the way they tell their story online.  These are vendors who live in the digital media market.  Their solutions focus on every nuance of the moving image, yet only a few of them tweet, blog or even use video on their websites.  These companies have interesting and compelling stories about how they have solved problems of encoding, content management, broadcast automation, storage, asset management, content distribution and more.  They understand the power of video.  They understand the importance of personal relationships.  Yet, they haven't "crossed the chasm" to utilize various digital media solutions available to them to make their stories come alive.

I think the challenge for many of these companies is the understanding of how to leverage social media, in particular, in a B2B market.  We all understand social media as a person to person medium and have even seen the benefits in B2C markets.  Yet, B2B lags behind.  This is primarily due to:

- lack of time and resource - many companies have thinned their marketing staffs and are concerned about the time it may take to tweet or blog

- risk management - companies fear employees misrepresenting the company, sharing confidential information, or exposing compone networks to viruses

- traditional marketing mindset - these companies are still in a push marketing mode where they control the message

I believe we will see a shift in B2B adoption of digital media to tell their story as we move through the next couple years.  The economy is slowly turning, as evidenced by the increased attendance at NAB this year vs. 2009.  I think we are also seeing other indicators (i.e., strong earnings reports, flat unemployment, upward movement in the stock market).

Yes, it takes time to define a digital media strategy.  However, your customers are spending more time online researching, learning and comparing solutions.  You need to be memorable and share your story in a meaningful way.  You need to reach out to your customers via the channels that they use (and the "millennials" are visual and social). 

What's your perspective?



Media Workflows and Social Media - are they a match?

Peggy Dau - Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm off to the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show in Las Vegas this week.  This is a nod to the past 10 years of my business life which centered around IT based solutions to simplify digital media creation, management and distribution.  The media industry is ALL about workflows.  There is barely a vendor that doesn't use the term workflow as they describe the functionality of their solution.  Workflow is about integration of various people, resources and tools.  Workflow is about collaboration.  Collaboration requires communication or conversation.

As I head out to NAB I am very interested to see how many of these very traditional media vendors are incorporating social media into their products, workflows and businesses.  I've been able to identify a few vendors who have openly incorporated social media into their marketing efforts.  I'm interested to understand how they might have integrated social media into their workflows. 

My gut instincts tell me that incorporating activity streams within workflow communication can create greater interactivity between workflow personnel who are often in different geographic locations.  I believe that private communities (private due to the proprietary nature of content creation) can spark the creative process. As I speak to vendors at NAB, I'm curious to get their impressions of how social media may change how these workflows function.  Can social media create greater efficiencies and cost savings?  Or is it best left to the marketing gurus?  Stay tuned, I'll let you know what I find out when I'm back from Las Vegas!

What's your perspective?



Self Knowledge in Defining Company Strategy

Peggy Dau - Monday, April 05, 2010

I attended Sobel Media's special event last Wednesday, "An Evening with Maria Bartiromo: "Ten Laws for Enduring Success".  As could be anticipated by the title of the event, Ms. Bartiromo was promoting her new book.  I'm reading the book now and see some parallels between Ms. Bartiromo's comments on how we as individuals can achieve success and how companies set strategies.  The first of her ten laws is Self Knowledge.  She defines self knowledge as "the ability to define for yourself what shape your life will take, and how you will pursue success...It is tangible, but not necessarily monetary."

Companies who are defining their digital media strategy also need to who they are and how they define success, before creating a strategy that leverages the plethora of digital media solutions available today.  They may be a technology, manufacturing, services, healthcare or media company.  Some industries adopt evolving technology solutions such as digital media, more rapidly than others.  They may be unsure as to the benefits associated with these solutions.  They have an image of their company and the industry in which they participate.  However, successful companies are constantly assessing their goals, product and/or service offerings, go-to-market models and assessing their measures of success.

In thinking about self knowledge as it relates to your business, consider what success means.  Yes, your business must drive revenue to stay in business.  But, what else do you want it to do?  Is it about innovation, customer service, philanthropy, education, saving the planet, feeding the world?  Once you've re-affirmed your goals, consider how you measure success.  Is it solely about revenue?  Or are their other metrics that will help you determine the success of your business.  Perhaps it's about patents filed, new products introduced, leverage of green technology, increased crop yield or reduced customer support resolution time.  It is hard work continuously validating, affirming and defining your goals, strategies and measures of success.  However, it provides you with the opportunity to listen and adapt.

This is a key tenant of self knowledge.  It is also a core mantra for evolving social media strategies.  Listen to yourself.  Listen to what others say about you.  Consider how your messages are being delivered, received and perceived.  You can adapt your strategy depending on your business, your industry, your product or solution, your distribution method, and your customer and the platforms or devices upon which they receive content.  What is your level of company self knowledge?  Do your executives and employees have a consistent understanding of company goals, strategies and measures of success?

What's your perspective?



What is Digital Media? You use it Every Day!

Peggy Dau - Thursday, March 25, 2010

MAD Perspectives' charter is to help companies define and plan their digital media strategy.  But, I often am greeted with quizzical looks.  These looks are that individual's request for further definition about my business.  Their primary question is, what is digital media?!  Interestingly, this is a term that has been around for quite some time, but with new buzz words emerging every day, it is no wonder that this term has been lost in the shuffle.  Let me take a few minutes to share my opinion on what digital media is and how it can help you and your business (btw, you use digital media every day!).

Digital Media is an amalgamation of tools that allow us to communicate, electronically, using text, images, audio and video.  These tools include software, hardware and hosted platforms to create, edit, store, manage, deliver, protect and distribute digital content.  These tools allow individuals and companies to connect, collaborate and communicate for fun or for business.  Let's explore a bit more.

The term digital media is the result of the marriage of technology and creative arts.  It is the digitization of compelling content (i.e., pictures, graphics, audio or video) for distribution across a network.   It is assumed that these are not analog radio or tv networks, but IP (or some evolution there of) networks.  As the internet became commonplace and networks became more sophisticated, businesses and consumers alike, eagerly consumed online content.  We looked forward to the old AOL message "You've Got Mail".  We took email a step further and started attaching files, pictures and video.  Digital media made the world seem a little bit smaller.

Websites evolved from static, brochure-like pages of information to interactive destinations that enabled consumers to post opinions, share recommendations and download information.  Depending on the site, we could watch video.  I remember watching clips from the 2003 World Series between my NY Yankees and the Florida Marlins (yeah, the Yankees lost, sigh!) on a PC while I was traveling in Europe.  Performance was sketchy at best, but it was awesome to be able to see at least a little bit of the game.

Technology has advanced.  Forget the arguments over formats, codecs, bitrates, bandwidth, editing suites, platforms, etc. They can all be sorted out.  Now, we take online video for granted.  In some cases we still have high expectations for video quality, but YouTube has taught us that quality may not always be the primary concern.  Many business websites incorporate video, flash or animation to augment their story.  User-generated content is de-rigueur for consumer sites and broadcast television.  Our perspectives, our thoughts and our images are all part of the story, regardless of whether it is entertainment, news, B2B or consumer oriented.  We do this via online video, social media, web conferencing, video conferencing or interactive marketing.  This is digital media.

Digital Media is our ability to share information, images, pictures, presentations, videos, animations about our companies, our products, ourselves while we are online, regardless of network or device.  What's your strategy for using digital media to tell your story?

What's your perspective?




Managing through the Digital Transition

Peggy Dau - Thursday, March 18, 2010

I was at the Digital Hollywood/Business Week 2010 Media Summit, in NYC, last week.  I was inspired by the thoughtful comments from keynote speakers and panelists.  The mainstays of the NY media industry (advertising, publishing and broadcast) are all in the midst of great upheaval as the internet, online video and social media pose challenges to their traditional business models.  I've become a huge fan of the NY Times for reasons far beyond having been a dedicated reader since I was a child.  While advertising and broadcast are faced with ongoing monetization challenges, they already leveraged the concept of a "network".  However, the newspaper biz is a truly analog business.  We consumer content by buying a physical product, get ink stains on our hands and recycle the product after consumption.

The demise of the newspaper business has been debated for several years and many papers have had to close their doors in the last few years.  There is no argument that the model must change and in full recognition of this, The New York Times dedicates a large portion of its R&D budget (YES, they have a R&D group!!) to digital.  The New York Times is focused on leveraging existing and emerging digital channels to reach their customers (and allow their customers to reach them).  The lessons they are learning as they evolve are meaningful for the publishing industry brethren but also for non-media industry businesses challenged by the plethora of digital media options available to them.

I would like to share a few of my takeaways for their keynote:

- Stay true to your customers.  Remember what you have promised be it innovation, quality, integrity, entertainment, reliability, humor, etc.
- Your content should support your promise.
- New Media is an opportunity, invest in it.  Define a 3-5 year plan.  Yes, it will change as new platforms, technology and cultural standards shift.
- Acknowledge what you don't know - it's OK!
- Alternative business models will continue to emerge but profit is still the bottom line
- Keep an open mind:  test, learn, adapt

There are pros and cons to sticking with what's tried and true versus jumping on the latest technology bandwagon.  Take the time (but don't get stuck in analysis paralysis) to figure out how these technologies can benefit your business.  Thanks New York Times Company for being a role model!

What's your perspective?




Social Media facilitates customer retention

Peggy Dau - Monday, March 15, 2010

Last week I talked about how social media can facilitate the sales process.  Let's take that one step further and talk about how digital media can help you improve customer retention.  We touched on the topic of customer support as part of the sales process.  This topic is even more critical when it comes to customer loyalty.  A happy customer can become your best advocate

What is a happy customer?  Simply put it is customer who have not defected to a competitor.  It is customers who intend to purchase more goods and services from you.  It is a customer willing to recomment your company and its products to others.  It is a customer making incremental purchases or increasing their average order size.  It is a customer sustaining customer support or renewing their warranty.

business people by Business Planning Software.

What does customer support entail?

Customer support is more than enabling customers to contact you when they have a problem.  Customer support is getting ahead of the curve and proactively notifying customers when their are issues, product changes, special offers, in person events and more.  The goal once you have attained a new customer is to encourage them to buy more or for your cusomters to recommend you to their business colleagues and partners.

A few facts about B2B buyers:

- they depend of 3rd party feedback in purchase decisions
- they want to be part of the product or solution development process
- they trust colleague opinions particularly where those colleagues are using the target product or service

How does social media fit here?  Social media = an objective 3rd party opinion.  In addition, social media allows and enables real-time interaction.  It fosters an environment to inform while building trust and creditbility.  Whether it is a LinkedIn group around a specific category of product or the customer support forum on your company website, ad hoc interaction with your existing customers allows you to get honest feedback regarding customer satisfaction, IT needs, purchasing plans.  Companies can use social platforms to alert customers to supply chain issues, product releases, training sessions and more.  Being proactive is an element of the authenticity often mentioned around social media.

Your ability to LISTEN to your customers as they participate in online forums or to invite their feedback regarding product performance or features, enhances the relationship. Extend your conversation with your customer beyond the actual sale. Acknowledge, respond and champion their involvement.  It can turn customers into influencers of product roadmap and new purchasers.  Social platforms allow companies to have direct, immediate and interactive communication with many accounts.  Take advantage of these tools to sustain your customer base.

What's your perspective?





Sales and Social Networking

Peggy Dau - Monday, March 08, 2010

The art of selling has evolved over the years, but the basic premise is unchanged.  A company has a product or service that it sells to its customers.  The product is sold directly or via a channel such as a retailer, reseller or the internet.  The goal for both the direct or indirect channel is to get to the key decision makers or influencers for the entity buying the product.  Once they have identified this decision maker, they want to provide them with the facts about their product that differentiate it from its competitors, fulfill the needs of the customer, and address extemporaneous goals. How has social networking helped or hindered the sales process?

The past 10 years have seen the internet accepted as both a sales channel and an information portal.  For the sake of this discussion, we are not going to focus on sales via the internet.  We will focus on the traditional sales model of a sales person calling upon an established set of accounts.  Many sales people that I have spoken with are aware of social media, but mostly from the consumer perspective.  Their initial thought is that social media is Twitter and that all it is a random set of meaningless thoughts. They may be on LinkedIn, but they are uncertain as to its benefits other than as a "virtual Rolodex".   Given that sites like Twitter,Facebook or YouTube did evolve from a individuals point of view rather than a business perspective, it is understandable that sales personnel may have some concerns.

In addition to some healthy scepticism, there is also a cultural issue.  Many successful sales people are successful because they have built strong relationships with their customers.  They have wined and dined, played golf or attended sporting events.  They have built business based social relationships. they feel that social media is not personal due to the lack of face to face interaction.  However, the new breed of sales will include those very individuals around whom these social platforms were built.  These millenials are familiar with the tools and understand the potential.  As many sales people have adapted to CRM (customer relationship management) software and updated order processing and order management systems  they will now figure out how, where and why to use social media.

Shaking hands by mr.curtispope.

Here are a few thoughts:

1.  Listen to what your existing and potential customers are saying online.

It is extremely likely that your clients are online.  They are exploring websites, industry forums, blogs, customer support pages and social networking sites to learn more about the vendors they work with.  As a sales person, you can gain insight into their pet peeves, challenges and concerns by "listening" to what they are saying online.  Using tools such as Google Alerts, you can define keywords around topics such as your company and its products plus the names of your current or prospective clients.  You will be able to see, at least at a high level, what content your client is placing online as it relates to your company.

In addition you can perform searches is Twitter and Facebook, again using keywords, to see what they are talking about.  If you want to get more sophisticated, there are subscription based tools from Radian6, TelligentVisible Technologies and others.  Once you have these tools set up, the time investment to scan the news becomes a habit rather than a huge time commitment.  Remember, 20 years ago email was not present in the corporate sector and now our email in boxes are packed while voicemail has reduced.

BTW, you can also listen for information about your competitors!

2. Find key decision makers and influencers

Many of us are familiar with a rolodex, business contact, or CRM systems.  We collect business cards from our client, at networking events or trade shows.  We follow up on those with whom we had compelling conversations and we hold onto the rest of these cards.  The goal is to have a suite of contacts with whom we can pursue business. 

In addition, sales people often have primary contacts within a business that are in purchasing, IT or marketing, but they may not be the key decision makers.  they may not even be influencers.    Most sales people will leverage their primary contacts to increase their visibility within the account, with the goal to gain access to these decision makers.  Of course, if you can get inside the head of these decision makers you can shorten the sales cycle and win more business.  Social networks can help with this process.  Using LinkedIn as an example and remembering the theory of six degrees of separation, your LinkedIn contacts may be connected to that key decision maker you desire to meet.  An introduction from a business colleague who can speak to your experience and reputation, from a trusted contact, can go a long way to easing that first conversation.  In fact, LinkedIn can give you a little insight into their background and what makes them tick.

3. Educate your customers

Part of the sales process always includes providing updated information about your company and its products.  With increasing focus on managing travel expenses, sales people can become frustrated by not being able to be in front of their customers as often as they like.  An alternative mechanism to sharing information with clients is to use podcast and webcasts to provide information.  They enable the company to share information to broad audience in a cost effective manner, while enabling potential customers to interact and ask questions during the presentation.  In addition, in many cases, the information is available for a limited period in an on-demand manner, allowing customers to access the information as their schedules permit.

If this solution is deemed too impersonal, then think about the incredible advances in video conferencing.  At the low end their are simple, free (yet not secure) tools such as Skype.  On the high end their are video conference environments such as Cisco Telepresence or HP Halo that visually connect participants in virtual conference rooms using advance camera, lighting and networking technologies.

In addition, invite your customers to join LinkedIn groups, company blogs, RSS feeds, etc.,  that may be sponsored by your company.  The goal - make it easy for your customers to get the information they need!

4. Customer Service

It is often the case that once the product or service is sold, that the sales person moves onto the next opportunity.  This is understandable.  However, in today's world where social networking is so prevalent, it is important to keep your customer's happy.  An unhappy customer will tell 10 colleagues about a bad experience, while only telling 3 colleagues about a positive experience.  Sales people need to stay in touch with customer service.  If your company has a customer service forum, check in to see if your customers are participating and at what level.  Are they satisfied?  Are they facing a challenge? 

Happy customers are loyal customers and will recommend you to others.  Customer retention has become an increasing focus for many companies as their products and services become commoditized.  Your customers want to feel as if they have a voice.  Enabling them to participate in customer support forums, rewarding them for solution suggestions, listening and responding to their questions is all part of the extended sales process.

It's a new world for sales people.  They are faced with a broader view of their customer, but that's a two way street.  Their customers have access to far more information about vendors than ever before.  Social networking and digital media solutions can augment the sales process and facilitate access, education and support.  Make these tools are part of your daily habit!

I want to thank Chris Brogan and Joseph Jaffe for their insights on these topics.  Information in their blogs helped me solidify my thoughts.

What's your perspective?



Olympic Inspiration

Peggy Dau - Monday, March 01, 2010

Well, the Games of the 21st Winter Olympics are closed.  I'm sad.  It was a great two weeks of athletics, competition and digital media.  Hmmm...  You're wondering about that last bit.  I truly love the Winter Olympics.  I love the beautiful locations, the fabulously fit athletes (although I may have seen the beginnings of a beer belly on a bobsledder), and the edge of your seat competition.  This year, more so than any previous Olympics, we were able to experience the Olympics on TV, Internet and social networks. NBC is the official U.S.  broadcast network.  Not only did they provide coverage on TV, but we could also follow events, blogs, and twitter feeds at www.nbcolympics.com.  We could become fans via Facebook.  They invited us to participate in the games, virtually.

In addition, we could find a perhaps more global view from the International Olympic Committee on their site, www.olympic.com; on Facebook and Twitter.  And, of course, we could interact with our favorite athletes as they tweeted and posted comments.  For those of us who could not (or did not want) to go to Vancouver, we were able to feel a little bit closer thanks to online videos and the instant and honest comments made by attendees and athletes.  We could commiserate in their disappointments or celebrate in their achievements.  We could share our own thoughts with friends and fans as our favorites pursued their dreams.

I've always felt the Olympic games were a phenomenal opportunity for international sport, but always felt a bit removed (except in 1988 when I was lucky enough to go to the Calgary winter games - what a great experience!).  Perhaps this is how customers have felt about the companies from whom they purchase products.  They can admire the company and its products, but never feel like they have a true connection.  They can speak to their sales representative and ask questions about features, functionality, benefits, manufacturing, etc, but they don't have any influence.  Digital media through the use of online video and interactive webinars, social networks to enhance communication and connectivity or customer support forums to prioritize and address key issues, allow companies and customers to have a voice.  Companies become more approachable and customers have an increasing number of communication avenues.

Let's be inspired by the Olympians and their fabulous experiences and by the Olympics themselves as they continue to become more interactive.  My congatulations and thanks to EVERY athlete who participated in Vancouver, each of you provided 2 weeks of inspiration!

What's your perspective?



Developing a 360º Perspective

Peggy Dau - Tuesday, February 16, 2010

As I was watching the women’s mogul skiing competition at the Winter Olympics on Saturday, I saw how they bounced down the moguls, taking great care to maintain the correct form.  Then they would flip head over heels with in layout positions or skis crossed or spin 360º, only to land and ski through more bumps.  I thought about how companies struggle to integrate digital media solutions into a 360º interaction with customers.  What do I mean by this?  I’m thinking about how companies reach out to their customers or business partners via their website, press releases, events, in-person or online training or customer support.  There are new solutions for managing your access to or accessibility by customers, emerging every day.

Does digital media make this easier?  Harder?  Or just more confusing?  Hopefully it makes it easier, but it does require some thinking on several topics.  First, think about who your customers are and how they prefer to consume content.  While face to face meetings are always preferred, depending on the information being shared it can be equally effective, and less costly, to reach a geographically dispersed or broad range of customers through live and on-demand webinars.  What level of interaction do they prefer?  While some webinar solution allow for instant messaging or audio interaction, others don’t.  Or, perhaps a webinar is too broad and complementing in person meetings with video conferencing makes more sense.

Second, think about the kind of information you are sharing.  We have been in the mode of pushing content, through formal, relatively static channels, to our customer and business partners.  With the variety of solutions now available, we are increasingly sharing content in a more casual manner.   How can the information being shared be best presented?  A simple, concise press release can inform a very wide audience, but does not allow for interaction.  On the other hand, using social networking platforms, to reinforce the press release and listen for feedback, does enable interaction.  The goal is to strike a balance across the variety of communication channels. 



Simplistically, you can consider the following
         
  •  Company website:  informative content about your company and its products
  • Press Release:  announce compelling news about your company, its products, partnerships, customers or   executives   
  • Interactive Marketing:  online advertising and promotion of your company
  • Online Video:  one way communication of information about your company and its products
  • Webinars:  communicate targeted content about the company and its products with the ability for structured   interaction between the presenter(s) and participants
  • Video conferencing:  live interaction between a defined set of participants; enable geographically dispersed participants to meet more frequently
  • Events:  targeted representation of your company and its products based on the focus of the event; enable face to face contact
  • Social Networking:  less formal communication with a broad audience with the ability for immediate feedback

    • How do you connect with your customers and partners? Who and where are they?  Where are your competitors and how are they connecting?   How does each element of a communication strategy enable you to connect or collaborate more effectively?  Think about developing a strategy to allow your customers or partners to get a 360º perspective of your business.  In return, you will gain a 360º view of your customers and their needs.
    • What’s your perspective?

     



    Yes, you need a Social Media Policy!

    Peggy Dau - Tuesday, February 09, 2010

    There is a lot of buzz in social media circles this week since it became known that Forrester Research, Inc. has established a policy prohibiting their analysts from having personally branded blogs that discuss Forrester research.  Forrester CEO, George Colony, has recognized the ability for analysts to build a personal brand (i.e., Jeremiah Owyang) based on their expertise in their market segments.  I don’t want to debate whether this decision is good or bad for analysts or whether this policy is a result of Jeremiah’s departure from Forrester as their leading social media analyst.

    What’s more interesting is Forrester’s implementation of a social media policy.  They are not the first, nor should they be the last firm recognizing the power of social media, yet focused on protecting their intellectual property.  The value of any company, be they an analyst firm, services business or product company, lies in their “secret sauce”.  This can be their knowledge, their processes, their technology or their innovation.  It’s not surprising that they want their revenue generating value to remain inside company walls.  So, how do companies become more accessible, more human, and more open while protecting their IP and their brand?

    One step they can take is to establish a social media policy.  This should be a core component of your overall social media strategy.  Policy, "a definite course of action adopted for the sake of expediency, facility, etc.”, allows companies to establish guidelines for its employees as to how they will behave or communicate.  Several companies have been very public about their social media policies.  They include:  HP, IBM, Intel, Wells Fargo, Wal-Mart, Mayo Clinic, International Olympic Committee (IOC), and many more.  For visibility into these policies click here.  In many cases, these policies are an extension of existing statements regarding employee conduct.

    Many social media pundits have shared their thoughts on the ‘must haves’ for a social media policy.  The primary goal for most social media policies is to remind employees that when they blog or chat on behalf of the company, they are an extension of the company.  They should be transparent about the fact that they are an employee and should remain as professional online as they would be in person when communicating with customers, business partners or competitors. Would you share product roadmaps without a non-disclosure agreement in place?  Would you discuss company financials while online at the supermarket?  A social media policy services as a reminder that while social media can provide great benefits to companies in terms of visibility, transparency, accesibility and marketing, it is a forum with open access by and for anyone.

    The social media policy helps the company articulate its goals for using social media.  It provides business units and employees with the guidelines that enable them to take advantage of social media for the benefit of the company. Is your company utilizing social media?  If so, do you have a social media policy?

    What’s your perspective?