When you think of GE, you think of a company with as long a history and one that is established as any in the world. You would not think of them as a company that is in forefront of social media in the enterprise.
Many companies have responded to the explosion of social media by creating policies that tell employees what they cannot do, stifling creativity and missing opportunities, rather than viewing this a powerful tool in an overall marketing and branding strategy.
To quote another blog (http://thepowerofinfluence.typepad.com/the_power_of_influence/2009/02/ge-gets-social-media.html), GE “gets it.” Social media is a core part of their marketing strategy, and shapes their message to be delivered in a format that appeals to generations of people who consume their information in a different way. Does anyone on facebook really care that GE has a new nano coating on a wind turbine blade? Maybe not, but maybe I feel just a little better about GE and relate a little more to them because they gave me information on a medium and in a format that was pleasing to me.
Besides blogging and facebook pages, GE has also made considerable investments in what could be referred to as ad-hoc think-thanks. They have reached out to YouTube influencers (http://www.fastcompany.com/1693221/ge-ijustine-smosh-mysteryguitarman-alphacat-brittani-louise-taylor) as well as many other bloggers to pick their brains and solicit ideas on how GE could further raise their profile. It is a significant investment to fly large groups of independent bloggers to a meeting simply to solicit some ideas, but to me a very brilliant one. This is just another example of GE breaking the perception of old, established, component manufacturer and instead showing how progressive their thinking is. Is there a better way to find out how to be successful in social media than to humble yourself and ask the people that are?