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Someone emailed me this the other day and I know I could respond to it but figured I'd like to discuss this maybe here and see if through the power of others I can write something a little better then what I could have alone.

"Quick question what organizations or even business case studies are you aware of where their use of social media has produced bottom line results or profits however it may be defined? These studies may not be perfect for what we are trying to do but I definitely think it would lend some insights. I am having a hard time finding any...Or is social media so organic that you can't really trace the "conversations" to a bottom line result?"

Is there a golden example?

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I wouldn't consider this a "Golden Example", but I like to attribute a large part of Barack Obama's success to social media. From "Obama Girl" and JibJab, to the many YouTube activists debunking myths spread by the opposition, this Election is taking a whole new dynamic never before seen. I was amazed to see how fast (and decisive) the Muslim and "Hussein" rumors got thrown down on YouTube, and the opposition literally being laughed at in public for spreading such lies.

As recently as last week there was a blurb about a McCain supporter holding an "Obama" monkey doll, figured out that he was being videotaped, and quickly handed that doll off to some nearby kid. That's huge: this guy didn't feel safe with publicly heckling Obama at a Republican Party event.

There are "bottom line" results trickling in via Obama's Campaign warchest, with a bulk of sub-$100 contributions, but that's really only a fraction of the overall benefit.

Without Social Media in the mix to educate and debunk the myths, the majority of people would be "programmed" to vote based on the frequency of viewing paid TV and Radio Ads; and the watchdogs wouldn't have a widely-received outlet to publish any fact-checking.
I don't know if there is a golden example but I know that many big named companies certainly are engaged in some hardcore SMO (social media optimization) and viral marketing. I think most of the stuff out there on the web is about individual bloggers and how they used stumbleupon, digg, reddit or whatever site to spike their daily traffic.

Here are two links that might be helpful in terms of looking at case studies of big companies.

-The well fargo case talked about some tangible results.

-Homedepot case also give some figures. Home Depot and SMO

Hope this helps and good luck.
There are a few... But not sure what point of view you're going for. I think you're looking for how success is made for a business using social media? One area you may want to look into is in influence and social media in decision making (which is a big thing now as we start looking at how decisions are made with the glut of information we have at our finger tips). This is especially highlighted in IT decision making...

You can also look at the new drive for measuring intangibles (measurement isn't new... it's more the motivation as valuations are being reassessed).

Digg’s Recent Bans and the Limits of Crowdsourcing (http://mashable.com/2008/10/08/digg-bans/) is a pretty good article about democratization of news and how even Digg is going through some growing pains.

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
Just saw this on digg to follow up on what Laurence said.

Laurence A. Lee said:
I wouldn't consider this a "Golden Example", but I like to attribute a large part of Barack Obama's success to social media. From "Obama Girl" and JibJab, to the many YouTube activists debunking myths spread by the opposition, this Election is taking a whole new dynamic never before seen. I was amazed to see how fast (and decisive) the Muslim and "Hussein" rumors got thrown down on YouTube, and the opposition literally being laughed at in public for spreading such lies.

As recently as last week there was a blurb about a McCain supporter holding an "Obama" monkey doll, figured out that he was being videotaped, and quickly handed that doll off to some nearby kid. That's huge: this guy didn't feel safe with publicly heckling Obama at a Republican Party event.

There are "bottom line" results trickling in via Obama's Campaign warchest, with a bulk of sub-$100 contributions, but that's really only a fraction of the overall benefit.

Without Social Media in the mix to educate and debunk the myths, the majority of people would be "programmed" to vote based on the frequency of viewing paid TV and Radio Ads; and the watchdogs wouldn't have a widely-received outlet to publish any fact-checking.

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