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Andy’s Answers: Why EMC had to rein in its “Social Sprawl”

EMC Corp. had something good going for them: Executives who encouraged employees to be social. But it led to something negative: Too many EMC-branded accounts competing for fans’ attention.

Their senior social media manager, Thom Lytle, calls it the “Social Sprawl.” The number of followers across all of their social media accounts spiked for a few accounts and flat-lined for the rest — meaning their social media message was spread too thin.

In his presentation at SocialMedia.org’s BlogWell conference in Boston, Thom cited a “Shawshank Redemption” quote to explain how they consolidated and strengthened their social media presence: “Get busy living or get busy dying.”

Some key points from Thom’s presentation:

  • Get busy dying: Thom and his social team shut down more than 150 EMC-branded social media accounts that either didn’t work or overlapped other accounts. He calls the process brutal, explaining that getting employees to let go of these ineffective accounts takes a lot of time and communication.
  • Get busy living: EMC Corporation still encourages their employees to be social, just in more meaningful ways. For example, Thom and his social team create wikis for how employees can participate in each new campaign. They’re also planning an employee training program called “Social Media University.”

Watch Thom’s full presentation below. The slides are available for download.

If you like this presentation, see more great social media case studies like it live at BlogWell Dallas, Feb. 19.