Owning Thought Leadership Through Twitter

Challenge

The Open Group has been a leader in the development of open, vendor-neutral IT standards and certification for more than 20 years. Bateman Group’s main objective was to increase brand awareness and elevate The Open Group as a thought leader in the social media realm. To accomplish this goal, we designed a tweet jam, a moderated discussion on Twitter, to bring attention to the organization’s knowledge and resources around hot industry issues and trends.

Strategy

In order to ignite a lively conversation and bolster The Open Group’s social profile, the first step was to identify a compelling topic. At the time, the controversial concept of social media “walled gardens” had been a popular topic of discussion among security and IT professionals but the larger story was untold, making it ripe for a lively discussion on Twitter. Walled gardens refers to the trend of private companies, in particular social networks that have realized the value of controlling information and restricting the once open flow of the Internet content through closed, member-only networks.

We developed a compelling discussion framework and reached out to a very select group of influencers to enlist their participation. These journalists and industry luminaries included Charlene Li and Alan Webber of Altimeter Group, Fahmida Rashid of PC Magazine, Tony Bradley of PC World and John Fontana of ZDNet’s Identity Matters blog. We also recruited Dana Gardner of ZDNet’s BriefingsDirect blog to moderate the discussion.

Results

The tweet jam garnered more than 450 tweets on three continents, igniting 2.5 million impressions within one hour. Furthermore, the #ogChat hashtag was a top trending topic on Twitter throughout the discussion in major U.S. cities including San Francisco, Boston and Portland. In addition to the previously secured participants, the walled garden conversation also sparked interest from several industry leading professionals around the world including consultants and community managers from Dell, Oracle and IBM.

Engagement level was particularly impressive. Among our industry expert participants, a remarkable 73 percent of tweets were original content, as opposed to simply re-tweeting others. At the end of the day, The Open Group established thought leadership around a popular industry topic and built credibility and relationships with leading experts in the tech world.

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