Being Loud About 3M’s Quiet but Powerful Innovations

Greg Gerik

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Greg Gerik

Greg Gerik, 3M @ggerik

Greg Gerik, Social Media Leader for the Global E-Transformation Team at 3M, joins the Social Pros Podcast this week to discuss managing a diverse and international company’s social presence, innovation through product diversity, and why he wants to move away from being associated entirely with social.

Read on for some of the highlights and tweetable moments, or listen to the full podcast.

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Tweetable Moments

“It’s about facilitating the flow of information and leveraging technology to make that happen.” -@ggerik (tweet this)

“I have a certain bitterness in my heart for #NationalDonutDay this year.” -@jkrohrs #donutpros (tweet this)

Moving Away from Solely Social

When you think of 3M, you may immediately think of Post-It® Notes. But according to Greg, 3M has over 70,000 SKUs in its product catalog. Most of their business is B2B, but about 18% of it is B2C, and that’s where Greg started out. Part of the secret of 3M is that so many of its innovations are within other products, powering the very technology many of us use every day. “What was developed as a special capability in dental [adhesives] now allows us to make street signs brighter. That’s something special that only happens at 3M.”

To manage such a breadth of product types, 3M has created the Global E-Transformation Team. 3M has always been a social company, he says, so social media becoming the new fabric of the world is a natural transition for them. People already want to be a part of the innovation driving this century-old company, so 3M is not struggling for engagement.


via 3M

Greg wants to move away from being associated entirely with social, though. “I find that analytics and technology plays such a large important part of my role,” he says. “I am not a community manager.” His new blog at aims to take advantage of that new paradigm. There, he’ll move away from a focus on social and instead “really focus on leadership, technology, data, and analytics.”

Right now, there are three different worlds: marketing and sales, PR communications, and IT. All three are trying to get into the social space, sometimes without the skills to do so. It’s a marriage of all three with the skill set that comes with social that will, hopefully, become our future.

Holy Social Goes Holey

The first friday of every June is National Donut Day. Started by Salvation Army volunteers way back in 1917, it’s a 76-year tradition that’s now taking social by storm. National donut companies like Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme, and Entenmann’s all jumped on the opportunity, as well as some regional brands like LaMar’s Donuts.

Even non-donut brands were jumping on the #NationalDonutDay bandwagon. 7-Eleven tweeted, ingeniously, “Today is National Donut Day. Tomorrow is jealous.” and baseball parody Twitter handle @MLBMeme tweeted a photo of Prince Fielder warming up… with donuts replacing the weights on his bat.

Social Media Stat of the Week: 1/3 of Home Internet Traffic is Netflix

Netflix is cleaning up. According to the most recent data, Netflix accounts for 32.25% of nightly home internet traffic, far above its competitors and even YouTube (at 17.11%).

Netflix accounts for 1/3 of nightly home Internet traffic

Furthermore, Netflix’s push to create original content has been a success so far. Their recent release of the entire last season of Arrested Development garnered a huge amount of views. Procera found out that about 1/3 of Netflix viewers watched part of the series, while 1 in 10 watched the entire last season in one sitting. So did Netflix do the right thing by releasing the entire thing in one chunk? Zena says yes: “I want to see it, be part of it, be able to talk about it, be caught up, and then I’m kind of done.”

Netflix certainly could have drawn out this release, releasing an episode or two at a time over a longer period of time, but they seem to be playing into the fact that viewers want to “binge-watch” shows these days. And for now, it seems like it’s a successful strategy.

Four Your Information

How did you get involved in social media?
“I saw a need or an opportunity and tried to fill it in or find ways to leverage social within my organization at the time.”

What do you like best about social media?
Social brings us closer, connects us in a way that we weren’t before. “I like the ability to empower people that normally don’t have a voice.”

What do you like least about social media?
Headline-chasing has made us into our own worst enemy.

If you could do a Skype call with any living person, who might that be and why?
“That’s easy today, very easy: Edward Snowden. That is the guy today I would love to have a Skype call with to really understand what he was thinking and what he knows.”

See you next week!

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