Mature and business-experienced students, now consultants, from a Leadership Class of the Social Media Academy pulled together this groundbreaking survey of the business use of social media which provides insights and illustrations about this whole new ecosystem.
The report covers 222 pages, and 6 companies in depth - Toyota, Vodafone, Dow Chemical, New York Life, John Deere, and NetApp.
While the insights may or may not stand the test of time, the point is that the process of assessment is rigorous and follows a clear methodology. Because it is a well constructed methodology it can be continually improved. This is one aspect alone of this report which makes it worthwhile reading. This kind of approach is called a Social Media Assessment, and is usually aligned with corporate objectives.
As a graduate of the Social Media Academy, and a Black Diamond consultant, I know the rigor of the methodologies, which are continually refined based feedback from practitioners, such as me, in the field.
As for the companies and conclusions themselves, well suffice to say that they cover the spectrum of good planning and poor or inconsistent execution and visa versa. In the main they reflect the learning curve of companies moving into social media.
Where the initial objective or approach is not inclusive of customers, or not about customers gaining more information for better decision-making, or not about creating a better user experience, the investments fall short.
The key value in the report is the in-depth and factual content of the 6 assessments, and the learnings for future investments in social media. When you read the report you can assess for yourself whether or not the group predicted the slump in Toyota's customer loyalty scores.