What I am going to say today may seem a little out of character. (Blame it on the weather and being cooped up inside too long.) Here goes:
Corporate America needs to get with it and more effectively use social media.
Okay, I can hear you grumbling, “What is she talking about?” I’m talking about being able to reach the masses. I’m talking about building mindshare. I’m talking about leveraging the knowledge of both employees and clients, and competitor’s clients, and even people who don’t yet know they will be your client someday, to help you build a better product, market more effectively, and even reach new markets.
In his bestselling book The Wisdom of Crowds, James Surowiecki describes a new kind of collaboration – one where a crowd's "collective intelligence" will produce better outcomes than a small group of experts.
Consider this proof point:
SRMedia Digital Publishing recently ran their sixth annual Beat the Crowd Oscar prediction contest. Of the 318 participants, only 30 had more correct predictions that the collective wisdom of the crowd. (I scored a measly 11 out of 24.) The collective group correctly predicted 17 out of 24 Oscar winners. Interesting, right?
How should companies reach new constituents and build their collectives? One tool they need to add to their kit bag is social media.
We can all find many examples of small companies and companies that grew up on the internet that are very effectively leveraging social media. After all, they have to be nimble and adaptive to survive. But does this really apply to big corporations?
I will admit that as a marketing executive in a big corporation I would have argued that the people who buy things like say – mainframes – aren’t in the blogosphere. But is that really true? This may sound almost blasphemous coming from someone who practically bleeds blue, but this blogging/twittering/linked-in convert is predicting that if large corporations don’t start effectively leveraging social media, soon they will be left in the dust. Why? Because the people who are going to buy their products five years from now will have formed their collectives elsewhere.
What do you think about collaboration via social media? What do you think about the wisdom of the collective? Do you have an example of where this is working effectively?