Many companies are using social media, but few have mastered incorporating it into daily business. Engineering software provider Autodesk decided to change its corporate culture and hierarchy to make social media an engrained part of each business unit.

The company uses social media tools for marketing, advertising, product support, and product development ideas, says Dan Zucker, social media manager. Two years ago the firm created Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts to connect and collaborate with customers, and added social media monitoring and analytics tools from Visible Technologies to keep up with what customers are saying online. "We want to humanize the brand," he says. "We have evangelists who want to share who they are, what they know, and connect with others. When we make their lives easier because of our products, we hear about it from them. We also hear about it when we don't make their lives easier. Customers love to post, share, and be recognized for it." The company also benefits by identifying and responding to issues more quickly and gauging the stickiness of messaging and campaigns.