Social media are everywhere, and they are here to stay. More importantly, and despite widespread corporate concern about critical buzz, they have been proven to create commercial value across business functions: easy access to new product ideas, dramatic efficiency gains in targeted marketing, double-digit growth in sales – to name but a few opportunities. According to McKinsey's Social Media Excellence Survey however, most companies struggle to capture these benefits, at least in Germany. While over 70 percent agree that the importance of social media is growing, no more than 5 percent are entirely satisfied with their own performance. 60 percent admit that they are unable to quantify social media impact, and only one in ten has yet derived substantial P&L impact from social media. The authors have examined the defining traits of these pioneers and laid them out for aspiring companies to follow suit.