we didn’t fully understand how much we needed [It].
Jesse redNIss, VICE PRESIDENT OF DIGITAL, NBC UNIVERSAL/USA NETWORK
As soCIAl medIA mAtures, more tools become available for managing different aspects of it. IDC analyst Michael Fauscette says that while business units remain involved in picking these technologies, I T
increasingly helps select and implement them. In addition,
established enterprise applications, including Salesforce,
Oracle, NetSuite and RightNow, are adding social media
features. Meanwhile, social media vendors are merging
or adding new features to make themselves more useful
to companies. Here are some of the main vendors in
various categories of tools:
video content management system, data-mining tools and a single-sign-on system for website visitors. The company’s Digital Products
and Services (DPS) unit handles department-specific IT projects.
Redniss says he used to think IT was too cumbersome to
respond quickly enough to social media needs, but he now says,
“We didn’t fully understand how much we needed them.”
Over the past couple of years, as NBC Universal has de-
veloped broad corporate efforts involving Facebook, Twitter,
Tumblr and other social media sites, data management and data
mining have become paramount. “We really need to figure out
the right kind of funnels to build to bring everything to them so
they can store it and we can sift through it,” Redniss says.
But his unit will still make its own technology decisions, too.
In fact, 18 months ago, Redniss recruited a DPS employee, Robin
Fordham, who is now director of technology for USA Network. “I
just jumped the fence,” says Fordham. “Instead of USA Net being
my client, I work for them directly.”
Fordham leads a small team of developers that figures out how
to execute Redniss’ ideas. For instance, when Redniss wanted to
improve customer loyalty, the group took the lead in adopting
Bunchball’s Nitro platform, which uses gaming to build loyalty.
Fordham’s unit has also done most of the work in adopting Echo’s
Streamserver, a commenting engine.
Continued from page 24
n Analytics: Lithium Technologies, Radian6
( Salesforce.com), Trampoline
n Customer service: Attensity, Get Satisfaction
n loyalty programs: Badgeville, BigDoor, Bunchball
n metrics/reputation management:
Social networking has roared to the top of many corporate
to-do lists. In an eMarketer survey of 227 companies with more
than 100 employees, 80% of the respondents said their employers intended to use social media for marketing purposes in
2011, up from 58% in 2009.
Meanwhile, social networking is being adopted by other
departments, thanks to new tools and strategies.
According to Michael Fauscette, an analyst at IDC, social
media tools are spreading “across all departments.” The
research firm does a twice-yearly survey measuring which departments manage social media strategy and tools. When IDC
first conducted the survey three and a half years ago, marketing
dominated the results.
“It was by far the most prevalent department,” Fauscette
notes. “Now, [there’s] pretty even distribution across all departments, including sales and customer service.” Fauscette says
social media is used internally for collaboration and idea generation, and externally for marketing and crisis response.
When it comes to managing the strategy behind social
media, however, marketing still rules — it handles that
responsibility at 48% of companies — and IT isn’t involved
at all. Corporate communications is second, cited by 29% of