Archive for September, 2011

by Adam Sutton, MarketingSherpa Reporter.

In the last few years, teams across SAP began experimenting in social media. SAP is not a small company. The business management solutions provider offers 47 products and services in more than 20 global industries with 53,000 employees. With such a broad organization, it was not easy to ensure each team followed a proven game plan.

“It was very enthusiastic, but somewhat undirected. Kind of a buckshot approach,” says Todd Wilms, Senior Director, Social Media Audience Marketing, SAP.

Some of these experiments successfully built an online audience, but many struggled to gain traction. SAP’s executives wanted to replicate the successes and formed a team, with Wilms as a founding member, to find out how. Having completed its research, the team now travels the world teaching SAP’s employees how to launch successful social media strategies.

Learn more  . . .  MarketingSherpa: Social Media Marketing: How SAP identifies and replicates successful tactics across a global company.


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There are countless articles and blog posts comparing how social media is more akin to a marathon and not a sprint, but I only partially agree with this premise.

While, I believe these three key salient points are spot on…

  • Plan: Just like you would never run a marathon without proper planning (up to a year in advance), you should never kick-off any social media activity before you have identified your overall objectives and target audience.  You know when this not happening, when the first question is: ‘How do I set-up my Twitter handle?’ followed by the answer to your ‘why’ question by ‘because I need to get [pick your number] followers’.
  • Practice: Most experienced runners will tell you that they will start off by practicing brisk walks before they even start to run when preparing for a marathon.  I would argue that when it comes to social media, we are not even able to crawl yet.  Next time you get the question above, ask the person to engage in an existing external community first (whether it is a blog, LinkedIn group, etc.), or even better yet, an internal community if you happen to have those in your company.
  • Prepare for the long-haul: As any experienced runner will tell you, pacing yourself, especially during the first half of a marathon is key, both mentally and physically.  Similarly, when you are starting off with social media, you need to be mentally prepared and focused on a few activities and succeed with those before attempting to do more.  This will not only help you learn and showcase your accomplishments (which could be handy when you have to go to your manager asking for more budget), but will also teach you the discipline to be patient and consistent.

…I also believe there are at least two very fundamental differences, and hence the title of this post…

Continue reading here…

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