A colleague sent me a link yesterday to a report recently released by Social Media Academy titled: Mindshare Report. The report, generated by students of the Academy, used publicly available data available on the social web to analyze the social media status of global enterprises such as: Dow Chemical, New York Life, Toyota, and Vodafone.
The report outlines how social media is used by businesses in all industries, but also that it poses a significant threat to companies who do not understand how publicly available information can be used by their competitors to create devastating effects. Specifically, it demonstrates how a couple of social media savvy consultants can compromise a global enterprise based on publicly available data. For example, it highlights how a Twitter user commented recently: "Yes, we are moving to 21 acre farm and looking for a tractor. A used John Deere would be ideal I think. What do you think?". This is a great opportunity to service these users, otherwise, the competition surely will.
You may remember my blog entry When I Use Twitter, IBM Wins... where I told my story on how I use Twitter to pick out prospective customers and provide some customer support for existing ones. I believe this is something that all companies must do, or they risk losing customers.
Go ahead and read the Mindshare Report from the Social Media Academy. If your company is not engaged yet on the social web, take a peek at the IBM Social Computing Guidelines, which outline the rules that all IBMers must abide by when using social software (in and outside of IBM).