The rich learning experience that is social media

Click for larger imageIf you’ve been business blogging for some time, or involved in social media for business since 2005 or thereabouts, you probably know about Kryptonite.

The case of the Kryptonite bike lock and how it could be cracked open with a simple ball-point pen has become almost an urban legend with varying accounts of how the manufacturer dealt with the blogstorm that erupted during  a two-week period in 2004.

The timeline you see here puts that in stark relief. Suffice it to say that the Kryptonite bike lock debacle was a harbinger of things to come as social media evolved into far more than just blogs, as businesses drove online in bandwagons and other conveyances, and as millions more people discovered the power and influence of a single voice online with an opinion.

What about examples of what went well? There are plenty: great ideas, terrific execution, measurable positive results and overall best practice in how many organizations have used social media as a means to engage with customers, employees and others online, not as just another marketing channel but as a genuine engagement method.

Here are two great resources for good-example case studies:

You can learn a great deal from reviewing such examples of what others have done, and how well they’ve done it.

Let’s look at what organizations didn’t do well. As with most experiences, you can equally learn a great deal from studying negative consequences or outcomes, see how the organizations dealt with those consequences or outcomes, and what you can learn from that.

Kryptonite was the first and many others have joined the hallowed Hall of Social Media Shame since then. Big names like Motrin and Domino’s Pizza, to name just two which I’ve written about in this blog in the past year.

Those two examples are among 37 others gathered together into "A Short History of Social Media Screwups," a compelling presentation at Slideshare (and embedded below) by Matthew Yeomans of Social Media Influence in London. Names like Comcast, JetBlue, Molson, Dove, ExxonMobil, Target, SouthWest Air, Paperchase, KitKat, BP and more.

It’s a rich list of learning.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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