You CAN do a successful social application. Anyone can.
by Josh Bernoff
I was looking over the winners and finalists from the Forrester Groundswell Awards and it hit me: this proves excellence in social media can come from anywhere.
The consumer and employee winners sell car races, yarn, security software, credit scores, books, and shipping. The B2B winners sell computer products, marketing services, online services, regulatory compliance services, environmental services, and enterprise risk services.
The finalists came from a diverse set of industries including travel, education, retail, financial services, auto, media, wine, weight loss help, insurance, and steel manufacturing. Not to mention a product that lets women go the bathroom standing up.
The methods are diverse, too. The winners included online market research communities, blogs, podcasts, a word of mouth campaign, and online communities. Finalists used YouTube, widgets, avatars, idea communities, Facebook, and online events. And a number of successful entrants created campaigns that spanned multiple social channels.
Look, people the message is this: Do not tell me you cannot do this. People in every country and in every industry, with all sorts of customers and all sorts of management and all sorts of objectives, are creating not just innovative but incredibly effective social applications. I've worked with six insurance companies in the last two years. I just talked to a bunch of milk processing executives ("got social?"). I have yet to find a company, an industry, or a geography that can't benefit from connecting its customers with each other through social.
There are no excuses left. Just do it.