10 Fortune 500 companies doing social media right

Even giants with hundreds of thousands of employees can successfully flex to run solid social programs.

Throughout the last year I've highlighted several Fortune 500 companies who have a smart approach to social media. Writing about the large companies demonstrates that even giants with hundreds of thousands of employees can successfully flex to run solid social programs. I get approached by a lot of different companies for this series but I only select the ones I think are really onto something. Here are excerpts from the top 10:

Office Max: "Marketing is all about change. There’s a saying that 'if you don’t create change, change will create you.' It’s a great thought. I’m continually open to new ideas and new media and new approaches and new methodologies. At OfficeMax, we’ve embraced social media and incorporated it into our marketing strategy to reach today’s digital consumer through humor, entertainment and personalization." -- Bob Thacker, senior vice president of marketing and advertising

Newell Rubbermaid: "The more we engage with our consumers, they more we learn and the more we can expand our social media efforts. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to start small, be flexible and be willing to pull back and change if something does not work." -- Bert Dumars, vice president of e-business and interactive marketing

Cisco: "We see social media, such as blogs, as a great way to build your business and tap into the ideas and input of people using your products." -- Carlos Dominguez, senior vice president in Cisco’s Office of the Chairman of the Board and CEO

Texas Instruments: "First move is to always understand who we are trying to serve. What problem are we trying to solve? We want to create a customer support strategy, not a Twitter strategy! Once we understand the need we are trying to fill, we look at benchmarking against best practices. We have no shame in learning from what other companies are doing." -- Devashish Saxena, director of global Internet marketing

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Intel: From the infrastructure to the training for employees, to creating internal communities where employees can listen, share and respond with one another, we’re making sure the support is there for employees to participate both inside and outside the Intel walls." -- Kari Aakre, Intel’s director of consumer and social media inside the company’s Global Communications Group

Duke Energy: "We are very sensitive to the zeitgeists that drive different social media outlets. We want to make sure we offer something of value - be it information, access to a product, or customer service - that enhances that outlet. We want to make sure we are developing relationships and partnerships, and not just creating another series of one-way communications." -- Scott Pacer, director of marketing communications

Seagate: "The economic downturn has had a profound impact on every part of the business. The challenge is that companies, still need to market themselves, their brands, their products and their services. Social programs are highly cost effective for companies like Seagate to augment more traditional marketing and communications campaigns. So, given the budget tightness across most industries, this is an important time for companies to sink their teeth into social media." -- Rich Harris, senior manager, social media

EMC: "I tend to think of ROI in this case as “Risk of Ignoring.”  If you are a high tech company that prides itself on innovation, being responsive to customers and providing its employees the freedom of a start up with the brand strength of an industry leader, are you supporting that identity by avoiding social media?  I believe the real measure will be in opportunity lost." -- Polly Pearson, vice president of employment brand and strategy

DirecTV: "What we learn from customers online allows us to be resilient and in synch with what they want from a TV provider. Their implicit feedback thereby informs and strengthens our internal and external communications. It’s a dynamic push-pull that is much faster and more direct than other forms of feedback." -- Charles E. Miller, director of inbound email operations and social media strategy

FedEx: "We believe that external use of social media helps humanize the company, by telling stories of events and activities taking place around the company, focusing on the FedEx people involved.  We are working to tell these stories through the eyes of our team members as well as through the eyes of people representing charities and organizations we help around the world. " -- Matthew Ceniceros, FedEx media relations

Interested in being part of the Fortune 500 series? Drop me an email.