Andy Sernovitz: “large companies getting into social media need support and SMBC was the missing piece in that puzzle”

Last week, I was attending the Blogwell and SMBC meetings in Philadelphia. I also had an opportunity to sit with Andy Sernovitz, the founder of SMBC and well known author of the Word of Mouth Marketing opus.

It’s now more than 2 1/2 years since I joined the former blogcouncil, now known as Social Media Business Council, and a lot of water has gone under the bridge. I thought, as Hervé Kabla and myself – co-founders of Media Aces in France – are currently finalising our book entitled ‘Social Media Taught to My Boss’ (in French, but I’m open to suggestions from publishers), that it would be a great idea to sit with Andy and review the history and principles of SMBC as well as take a bit of hindsight and see how things had developed over the years. It’s hard to describe but spending 3 years of field practice in Social Media for a large company implies that a lot of work and effort has been put into these initiatives. Sometimes it’s good to put down one’s tools and muse.

Andy keeps repeating that doing Social Media for large groups is not as easy as doing the same for an individual or a small shop. I know that many people must not believe that this is true. « You are a big brand hence it’s way too easy » a lot of people must think. Yet nothing has ever been more true. Innovating within a large enterprise is a never-ending, groundhod day-like heavy-lifting exercise. This is why SMBC is important. It enables the heads of Social Media like us to get together, to help each other and to learn from one another. This is what Andy is referring to as being the « missing piece in the puzzle ».

And this is also why there are now more than 150 members within SMBC. Hats off Andy!

here are some of the 150 members of SMBC as of now …

Andy Sernovitz on Disclosure: “Disclosure is Easy”

Web 2.0

The next presentation at BlogWell after Ken Kaplan’s Intel presentation and John Earnhardt’s description of what Cisco was doing on the video side, was Andy Sernovitz’s presentation about disclosure best practices. Disclosure is utmost important in social media usage within firms. This ethical issue has to be thought through very carefully by social media managers, and not just by lawyers. “Disclosure is essential”, Andy said, it is “the only way to be successful”.

But he also insisted that “disclosure is easy”. It is about “saying you are and who you work for”. In essence, it means that you have to say “I work for such and such and this is my personal opinion”. This applies to you blogging on behalf of your company and can also apply to you managing bloggers doing the same thing on your behalf, be they internal or external. As a matter of fact, it is also fairly applicable to you when blogging for yourself on your personal blog in case you have a full time job somewhere else. It’s a matter of honesty and transparency, which is very much in synch with the early versions of what used to be called netiquette.

read on at

http://www.blogs.orange-business.com/live/2008/12/sernovitz-on-so.html