SxSW 2008: Social Strategies For Revolutionaries

by March 10, 2008

Charlene Li’s Social Strategies For Revolutionaries talk at SxSW 2008 discussed integrating social (conversational) media in the consumer outreach efforts of corporations and groups.

  • Businesses are having hard time dealing with social revolutions. Many companies want social networks and blogs but don’t know what they mean. To make revolutions stick, you need process and framework in addition to revolutionary ideas.
  • Groundswell: social trend in which people use technology to get what they need from each other rather than from traditional institutions like corporations
  • People – asses the customers who you arte trying to reach. Ladder of participation: inactive, spectators, joiners, collectors, critics, creators. –each provides value to ecosystem. Spectators: 48% adults, 18% of adults are creators. Youth is 39% creators, 66% specators.
  • Objectives – decide what you want to accomplish. What do you want a blog for? Research needs to be used for listening. Marketing should be used for talking. Sales should be used for energizing customers. Support should be for supporting customers. Development- pull customers into process.
  • Strategy – plan for how to build relationships with customers
  • Technology –decide what to use to solve problem only after the other points are addressed.
  • Examples of revolutions with process and frameworks: Blendec uses YouTube videos to promote blenders; Ernst & Young writes back to students on Facebook (other companies think of Facebook as another marketing channel); Best Buy created site ( as support system for employees; Intel created internal wikipedia.
  • Find the people most passionate about developing relationships with customers in your company.
  • Educate your executives. Let them see social environments and benefits.
  • Put someone important in charge of social media efforts so there is buy-in.
  • Define the “box” with policies and process –legal, etc.
  • Make it safe(r) to fail.
  • Don’t isolate social strategy –permeate it across the organization. Involve everyone in it. Start small, but think big. Needs to be across all customer touch points.
  • Be patient. Cultural transitions take time.