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Eastman Kodak Company
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Why … do I take the time to use social media like Twitter and Facebook? …. Because there is no better way to engage the various audiences that are important in my professional and personal life.

…Your involvement in social media will grow your brand, strengthen the connection between you and your company’s key audiences, and keep you aware of what’s really happening with your business. It’s well worth the time investment….

No, these are not the quotes of a social media consultant. Refreshingly, these are the words of a CMO of a well known company.

When I came across the interview of Jeffery Hayzlett, Kodak‘s CMO I was excited to see a top executive who is actually using social web for his work on a daily basis, without the usual huha around it. When asked about the root of his involvement in social media he said:

I first started using social media to keep in touch with family. I soon realized the benefits of updating my fellow employees, our customers, even the media and anyone else who wants to keep updated on what’s happening with Kodak marketing.

When asked about authenticity of his online persona:

it’s important that people hear from the real me. I’ve had people ask me if I do my own posts (I do — you can’t fake it with social media). I’m just a guy from South Dakota with a really cool job, so I can’t help getting excited at some of the great things we do.

Many of my customers are asking about ROI. His answer:

We have seen very tangible returns from our participation in social media, including traditional media coverage, sales leads, increased customer consideration and direct product purchase.

And when talking about integration of social tools in their marketing operation:

Of course, social media is a part of Kodak’s integrated-marketing approach and much of it is managed by employees like me with other full-time jobs

Not everyone were happy as I am when they read it. One commenter wrote:

Mr. Hayzlett might be better off spending less time twittering and blogging and working on comprehensive marketing plans aimed at addressing the critical failures of the past few years. Twitter is a tool, Jeff.

Though I agree with Jeffery in almost everything he wrote, his closing argument is a bit tricky:

Your involvement in social media will grow your brand, strengthen the connection between you and your company’s key audiences, and keep you aware of what’s really happening with your business. It’s well worth the time investment.

I completely agree – but it works only if done right, as an integral part of overall marketing and company activities, by enthusiastic employees who love the social web and use it in their private life as well.

You can read the full article here.

Follow Jeffery Hayzlett and me on Twitter

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