Army Social Media Strategy? Why NOT you!

Written by on November 18th, 2008

You could recruit new leads, JUST like the Army!

Straight From Iraq

I was aware that the Army had been investing in some of the smartest and most sophisticated weapons in the history of mankind but little did I realize that part of the 220 million dollars they spend to recruit new soldiers will be spent on social media!

The other day I shared with you how a little known business consultant’s podcast became as popular as the business podcasts produced by the Economist, Bloomberg and other well known brands.  Today I wanted to show you how the Army is investing in WEBCASTING to become more relevant to their prospective customers.

In an article in the New York Times by Stuart Elliott, Stuart outlines the new strategy being used by the Army.   On their newly redesigned website, www.goarmy.com recruits will be able to view a new section called Straight from Iraq.   According to Lt. Gen. Benjamin C.  Freakley, the commanding general of the Army Accessions Command in Fort Monroe, Va, the goal is to provide,  “verifiable information about what being a soldier is really like”.

YouTube style videos

The section offers dozens of YouTube style videos of less than a minute where soldiers talk about the conditions they are living and working in.  The videos remind prospective recruits they have access to computers, the internet and “all the equipment” they need. (…More…)

Starbucks Missed the Boat?

Written by on August 3rd, 2008

About 6 years ago I sent an overnight letter to Starbucks headquarters suggesting they consider offering their customers a private, password protected online community to continue to build their brand, engage customers and gather more data about their customers.

At the time my firm provided online communities to groups and organizations in the higher education space and we were looking for a way to leverage our product in the commercial market.  The company executive I sent my letter to was preoccupied with other issues at the time and my subsequent follow up phone call was met with a response,  well – similar to what you’ve heard from time to time in your  career – don’t call us, we’ll call you!

Fast forward to 2008 and we see Starbucks coming out with what they call their new customer online community called Mystarbucksidea.com.   The community offers customers an opportunity to help direct where the company is going and is modeled after a number of successful examples including Dell’s  Community Forum and Salesforce’s Ideastorm.   (…More…)