Despite its many detractors, social networking seems to be taking a foothold in the corporate world.
Notable corporate Facebook presences (either via a self-initiated or a fan page) are Nike, Adidas, Microsoft (perhaps a very natural fit), Coca-Cola (with over 4 million fans), Nutella (over 3 million fans), Red Bull, Pringles, Toys”R”Us and Cheerios, just to mention a few.
For example, Coca-Cola’s Facebook page was originally created by two fans. Instead of pulling the page, Coke decided to support it and allowed them to run the page. Coke invited the two fans to visit their factory and gave them a guided tour. The result is a genuine and honest Facebook presence lacking the feel of a ‘soulless’ corporate promotional campaign. Furthermore, the page is open to user-generated content. A potentially risky move which has paid off so far.
Twitter hasn’t escaped corporate attention either. It is used from American car manufacturers (Chevrolet) to top-end Australian law firms (Allens Arthur Robinson) and from international energy giants (Shell) to Australian banks (Westpac).
Interestingly it was recently announced that Twitter users now can plug their Twitter into their LinkedIn account and have their Twitter post appear in their LinkedIn profile (and vice versa). This is an interesting development considering that LinkedIn has been positioning itself as a more serious corporate/business social networking tool (as opposed to Facebook).