Case studies showing benefits from social media apps

In a previous post I wrote about a the Plan – Do – Check – Act approach to developing an appropriate social media strategy for your business. I want to follow-up on that post with a list of case studies showing practical examples of companies around the world of how they are using social media applications and services to enhance their service.

In the previous post, I wrote that social media applications can be used internally within an organisation to enhance knowledge management and collaboration as well as external uses to directly enhance customer service. Both have a similar end goal – service to the customer should improve through direct access to information and/or through a better informed staff.

Social media inside the organisation

Online learning
BT use an online learning service, similar to YouTube, where staff can produce a short video about new product or service offerings in order to train BT staff. The online learning program is called ‘Dare to Share’ and was covered on the BBC Radio 4′s In Business program.
Online learning and collaboration
Traditionally, when releasing a service or product, it could take up to six weeks to produce the necessary educational manuals etc to train staff. Now with the ‘Dare to Share’ program, BT are now seeing training programs turned around in 2 – 3 days. Such is the popularity of the service, that staff are now using it to provide tips on internal operating processes and workflows. The online service comes with the usual web 2.0 features, in that staff can rate videos, provide comments and download for repeated use.

Wikis – online encyclopedia’s for collaboration
Wiki’s can be intranets/websites that enable information to be updated and changes to be tracked and thus facilitate the sharing of information among teams or groups. To get a detailed list of the various uses of wikis, please view this article from the eCommerce Journal

Janssen-Cilag, a pharmaceutical company, redesigned their intranet as they found that large areas of the intranet was out of date with no search capability. Nathan Wallace, their IT director, proposed the use of a wiki as a model for the new intranet with the proposal that “best collaboration systems are incredibly simple and open”.
A wiki
A wiki’s capabilities of being able to edit content easily and track any changes allows an organisation to concentrate on encouraging staff to contribute and collaborate. Effectively using the same model as Wikipedia.

Closer to home, companies such as Blacknight have been using wiki’s to collaborate on technology matters and also to update customers on support issues.

Moving outside the organisation

Youtube Channels
A channel in YouTube is a home page that a company or individual can use to upload videos and track their usage and any viewers’ comments and ratings. FBD insurance are one example of a company that uses a Youtube channel to broadcast their latest ads and track viewer feedback and ratings.

Twitter – broadcasting your message to your customers
Dell has two twitter accounts, the first Dell Outlet that tweets on offers on certified refurbished Dell equipment and Direct 2 Dell which tweets on headlines from Dell’s official blog. Dell, amongst others, believe that the short message capability of Twitter is ideal for communicating effectively with their customers. Their Outlet tweets contain links to coupons on Dell’s Facebook wall.
Improving customer service by tracking twitter
Frank Eliason in Comcast, started using Twitter to respond positively to customer comments and complaints, rather than let the comments go unnoticed. Comcast’s twitter account name is Comcastcares and the monitoring service is supported by a team of ten. One point to note on Comcast’s use of twitter is that it is used along with, rather than in place of email and phone support channels.

Using a blog to publish customer stories and feedback.
Puddleducks provide outdoor clothing for all the family. Aedan and Suzanne has been using the company’s blog to publish customer stories and feedback on their range of clothing products, along with any stories related to ducks in general!

I hope that these case studies begin to give you some ideas about the use of social media applications within an organisation and externally with it’s customers. I would be interested in hearing any experiences you have had with using social media in your organisation.

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