How are big organizations learning to thrive using social media tools? In this 12-minute podcast, you’ll hear an interview with Bob Pearson, president of the Social Media Business Council, which helps large enterprises to share best practices on social media issues. Bob spoke at Third Tuesday Toronto on July 7, 2009.

You can listen to the podcast now with the player above or download it to listen later. Or subscribe to this podcast in iTunes using the link at the top of this page.

Here are the show notes:

tttlogo_3.jpg[00:01] Intro and welcome; about Bob Pearson and the Social Media Business Council
[02:10] Interview with Bob begins
[02:20] Biggest challenge facing large organizations using social media? They have to not only think outside the box, but also create a new box. Are they aware of the conversations out there? Wake-up call!
[03:30] Most people realize they are not speaking to customers at all; customers demand that you do things in a way that works for them; build a bridge between customers and organizations.
[03:55] Social media skeptics change with time; lots of innovators are making things happen – Ford, Starbucks, Intuit, etc.
[04:38] Why would you NOT want to build a better relationship with your customers?
[04:53] Social media is very quantitative; you can see traffic, purchases, etc., helping you to understand what’s happening; ratings and reviews help you figure out where the passion is.
[05:46] Even silence is a signal; it’s not a viral campaign if it stops when you stop spending money; word of mouth is the goal.
[06:33] Great content at Social Media Business Council Web site; take a look.
[06:40] Bob is actually in Canada on vacation.
[07:12] Lots of info about Bob’s presentation on Twitter and blogs.
My own key takeaways from Bob:
[07:39] Customers are shaping our reputations daily. Are you accidentally outsourcing the building of your brand?
[07:55] True leaders identify issues before they happen; customers assume you are listening to them in real time; reminded me of the United Breaks Guitars event of this week.
[08:20] Realize that the customer doesn’t care where YOU want them to go; they are part of their own liquid network.
[08:42] Less than one percent of a customer’s time is spent purchasing; 99 percent is spent browsing and socializing.
[08:49] Brands can build trust by being there when they’re needed, not when YOU need the customer.
[09:00] Sharing of content is key. You must have content that people need to share. Why else would they come back?
[09:19] Any time you’re talking to customers and you tell them the truth, you win.

If you work for a large organization and you’re involved with social media, check out the Social Media Business Council.

[09:40] Thanks to Joe Thornley and the organizers and sponsors of Third Tuesday Toronto; in the fall Shel Israel will speak, launching his new book, Twitterville.

[10:04] Video version of my Webinar, “How to use new media to make the most of your event or conference.”
[11:02] Lots of positive comments about my interview with Paul Barton of Hawaiian Airlines.
[11:13] Where to send comments: email to Donna AT Trafcom DOT com.

Look for the Trafcom News Podcast on Theme music is “Beneath Your Surface” by the Elisabeth Lohninger Quartet from the Podsafe Music Network.


  1. […] Episode 86:Social Media For The Big Guys In episode 86, Social Media For The Big Guys, Donna Papacosta and special guest Bob Pearson discuss how “the big guys” use social media for brand development. Bob Pearson is the President of The Social Media Business Council, and the former VP of Communities and Conversations at Dell. As President, Bob consults with large companies (Coca Cola, Intel etc.) who want to understand and use social media to improve their brand. In the interview Bob states that the biggest challenge for large companies is getting out of old habits; as Bob puts it companies don’t just need to think out of the box, they have to build a new box. Before a company can embark on a social media campaign they have to evaluate the conversations that surround their brand. Where are these conversations happening? Who is having them? What are they saying? These are a few of the questions that a business needs to ask themselves before they even think about developing a social media campaign. The purpose of social media is to connect the customer and the brand, so that a relationship forms. Once you understand the conversations surrounding your brand, the easier it is to develop a relationship with your customers. Another interesting point that Bob makes is the way that companies use the information that they collect from social media. From the data that they collect companies are able to see traffic, purchases, passion level and customer feedback relating to their brand. This information is market research about their customers, not just their demographic. […]


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