Here's another something to consider about our continual quest for case studies.
Those of us that work directly with businesses and clients around social media aren't always at liberty to discuss openly what they're up to.
We can anonymize the information to a certain degree, but if the campaigns or information about their efforts aren't already public knowledge, we can't always spill the beans.
I know you'd like to hear dozens of examples of how some companies are setting up their listening strategies, with specifics. Or how they're organizing their resources and teams. Or how they're building engagement guidelines. What they're putting into their goals, strategies, and how they're measuring. You want tangible examples with numbers, definitive data points, and identifying information enough that you can draw parallels to your own business somehow.
But businesses don't always to put it all out there, especially when they're in tinkering and exploration mode, and the competition is thick and fierce. In part, they hire providers and advisers that they can trust to keep that information confidential. In fact, many of us have to sign NDAs to do our work, which means that without explicit permission and specific parameters, we can't disclose a thing.
It's one thing to evaluate and analyze public campaigns and try and interpret intentions, strategies, tactics, and what they all mean based on information that's available. It's entirely another to have the privilege of a peek behind the scenes, and talk with a company about the true ins and outs of their thought process, decisions, strategies, and approach. Put frankly, some companies just aren't at the point in their social media exploration where they're comfortable letting people poke around in their sandbox.
And I think that's perfectly okay, and their absolute prerogative. Every business has to decide what's best for them, and when and what they're comfortable sharing. Remember, case studies are meant to illustrate a goal, a process and a result. Many of us are still somewhere in the middle of the process part.
There are those that are willing are telling their stories, at least in part, and they're not hard to find. Here's a collection of some of the social media case studies I've gathered from across the web.
But keep in mind that the openness of the social media world is wonderful in theory, not always easy in practice, and it's not an absolute. When you're asking some of us to share our experiences with companies from the inside to inform your own efforts, it's sometimes not our decision to make. And when you're asking companies to share what they've done, remember that many of them are still working it out themselves.
Where does that leave us? We are going to have to forage, form a hypothesis, start somewhere, and hammer it out for ourselves, based on the best information we have. Either that, or wait until the roads have been paved for us.
The more we tinker, the more we share, the more examples and touchstones we'll all have. And as we go, it's up to us to take what we know, continue to innovate, and create the rest.
image credit: casey.marshall
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