We have passed the tipping point for social media in corporate Canada

I believe that we have reached passed a tipping point for social media in corporate Canada. Social media has gone from being something about which a small group of evangelists proselytized to something which a broad range of companies are incorporating in their communication, marketing, stakeholder relations and community outreach programs.

Canadian Institute  Conference on Social MediaThis really came home to me when I chaired the Canadian Institute’s Social Media Conference in Toronto earlier this week. The presentations at this year’s event were different from the presentations at last year’s event in one important way. Last year, the conference program was dominated by speakers who were making the case for why corporations and organizations should embrace social media. This year, every speaker on the program talked about case studies of programs that they had run.

We heard from representatives of ScotiaBank, Cognos, Dell, BMW Canada, BMO Financial Group, IBM Canada, Microsoft Canada, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, Yahoo!, Iotum, Tucows and the Art Gallery of Ontario. All have used social media in the past year. All have successes with real results that have been measured against clearly stated goals.

Canada is not alone in this. The Society for New Communications Research‘s Symposium and Awards Gala, held in Boston, the day after the Canadian Institute’s conference, handed out dozens of awards for social media programs that had demonstrated excellence in the past year. And the symposium attendees heard a lineup of companies like Coca-Cola, Dell and GM present their social media successes.

Real examples of real successes in social media by corporations, organizations, not for profits and even government.

Truly, in one year, we went from social media as something of unrealized potential to social media as an essential element of any corporate communication, marketing and community outreach program.