Texas Instruments in Dallas operates two social communities for employees and contractors (InfoLink) and Engineer-to-Engineer (E2E) for customers. E2E is Facebook for engineers - - engineers discussing technical issues and solving problems in a virtual community setting. In the past, many of the questions were support related and addressed through one-on-one conversations via email or the phone. Customer behavior and expectations are rapidly changing - - customers prefer to first turn to professionals and social networks for feedback or help with products and services.
This year, TI has seen high double-digit growth in participation in its social communities which attract millions of page views (launched in 2008, E2E has more than 100,000 users - - participation is up 46% from last year). TI sees this investment as a valuable way to communicate with employees, provide customer support, develop products and services and promote their brand.