Here’s a 6-minute conversation I had with Bryan Rhoads, digital strategist with Intel’s Social Media Center of Excellence, about how Intel approaches social media. Bryan’s influence extends up and down the hallways of the 80,000-employee company, so much so that one of his colleagues calls him “the blogfather.”
Watch, download or embed the video on Vimeo
Intel is widely seen as a leader in tech innovation, but in recent years that culture of innovation has permeated social media as well, and it was on full display at the recent Consumer Electronics Show, where Intel’s social media team set up an Upload Lounge where bloggers interviewed thought leaders like Chris Kelly, candidate for California Attorney General. (Disclosure: I’m a member of the Intel Insiders social media advisory group, and Intel paid for my trip to CES.)
Intel’s social media managers achieved buy-in across the enterprise three to four years ago because of the relationships forged with Legal, PR and Marketing and management’s embrace of “the idea of getting as many voices as possible involved in the company’s social media efforts,” Bryan says.
The company formed a Social Media Center of Excellence, charged with being the central hub where employees could learn and become famliar with social media. The team developed a widely admired set of social media guidelines, and the company took the daring step of actually trusting its employees.
If someone wants to blog on behalf of Intel, they can do so simply by watching a 30-minute training video developed by the social media team. More than 1,000 Intel employees have taken the training class. Employees can start a presence on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube Flickr and other social media sites. “They can do it and know that they won’t get canned,” Bryan says.
Intel understands that, as central as Intel’s corporate blogs, like the Inside Scoop blog, are to the company’s social media efforts, its customers are talking about the company and its efforts elsewhere, too. “So it’s not just about the formal Intel blogs but also ‘off-domain’ as well, he says. For example, Intel employees and managers now tweet on more than 250 Twitter accounts.
“The data is coming in that all buyers in all markets are using social media in their purchase process,” Bryan says, suggesting that companies that haven’t begun incorporating social media into their business processes will be missing an enormous opportunity. “Our customers are there, our future customers are there, and their customers are there as well.” Twitter, he says, is the perfect conversation platform for companies. “When the brand is not there, it’s a blemish.”
I conducted the interview with a Zi8 palm-size camcorder that Kodak loaned me. It records in high definition (up to 1080px) and outputs videos as .mov files. Oddly, I wasn’t able to import the file into Final Cut Express, which I typically use to edit my videos, so I fell back to using iMovie for this edit.
I’m still experimenting with the Zi8 — here, Bryan is a tad out of focus (the hall in the background is sharper), even though I had facial recognition on and it locked onto his face. (I messed up my earliest interviews with the Zi8 because it was in macro mode for shooting close-ups of flowers and the like.) Despite such small hiccups, I’m very impressed with the Zi8, especially for shooting outdoors, and now prefer it over the Flip cam. I often slip the Zi8 into my pocket in case I want to do a spur-of-the-moment interview, something I can’t do with my larger Canon HV20 camcorder.
• Intel social media guidelinesJD Lasica, founder of Socialmedia.biz, is now co-founder of the cruise discovery engine Cruiseable. See his About page, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.