Volume 12, Number 6 -- March 20, 2012

IBM 'Boot Camps' Turn Social Media Newbies into Hardened Veterans

Published: March 20, 2012

by Alex Woodie

If you're a social media greenhorn who can't tell a Twitter feed from a Facebook wall posting or a microblog from a YouTube video, then perhaps you'd be a good candidate for IBM's new Social Media Boot Camp program.

IBM says its eight-week social media boot camps help small and midsize businesses get the skills they need to successfully engage in social media, and integrate social media into their organizations' daily activities, particularly for marketing and sales efforts. The boot camps include one-on-one time with IBM's social media "coaches," who set goals for boot camp attendees and help them develop social media acumen (but don't spit obscenities in their faces or make them do a lot of push-ups).

Ed Abrams, who is the vice president of midmarket business at IBM, says social media has had a big impact in our personal lives. "But the real power of these concepts are still in its infancy in the business world," he says in a press release. "There are limitless opportunities for businesses to engage with their employees, business partners, and customers over these social channels to help make better business decisions and reach new markets."

One early participant in the Boot Camp program is Key Information Systems, an IBM business partner and IBM i reseller based in Southern California. Pete Elliot, Key's director of marketing, says his company has reached new markets thanks to creative social media marketing techniques learned in the program.

"The IBM Social Media Boot Camp has helped take our efforts to a whole new level, further opening our eyes to the world of possibility and extending our ability to tap into new markets that we would have never reached without engaging over social media platforms," Elliot says in a press release.

IBM developed the program and its curriculum in conjunction with Profitecture, a company that develops social media coaching strategies. IBM held its first Social Media Boot Camp at the end of 2011, and is currently looking for people to participate in boot camps slated for July.

For more information on the boot camps, click your mouse button on this IBM webpage or set your Twitter reader thingee to get updates from #IBMSocialBiz.


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Editor: Alex Woodie
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Timothy Prickett Morgan
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