Social Media at SAS - Triangle IABC meeting Sept. 8, 2009
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Social Media at SAS - Triangle IABC meeting Sept. 8, 2009

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How SAS ( is incorporating social media into our internal and external communications, with practical tips for companies getting started. Presentation to the Triangle, NC chapter of the......

How SAS ( is incorporating social media into our internal and external communications, with practical tips for companies getting started. Presentation to the Triangle, NC chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators, Sept. 8, 2009.

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  • The Social Media Guidelines & Recommendations were created at the request of the Marketing 2.0 Council to provide guidance to employees about the best ways to participate in social media, and the things they should avoid doing. The guidelines were reviewed, modified, amended and approved by members of the Marketing 2.0 Council, the Social Media Exchange, Legal, Human Resources, Internal Communications and Information Systems.


  • 1. Social Media at SAS
    Becky Graebe
    David B. Thomas
    September 8, 2009
  • 2.
    • 11,111 employees worldwide
    • 3. 4,235 in Cary
    • 4. 2008 revenues of $2.26B
    • 5. the leader in business analytics software and services
    • 6. the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market
    • 7. the world's largest privately held software company (prepackaged software)
    • customers in 118 countries, from AA to ZürcherKantonalbank
    • 8. 45,000 business, government and university sites
    • 9. 92 of the top 100 companies on the 2009 FORTUNE Global 500® list
  • How much longer do you plan to work?
    Who will be your audience in 2029?
    What about 2039?
  • 10.
  • 11. Social Media
    Social media may be a phenomenon,but they are not a fad.
    They have already changed the way people(and companies) communicate.
  • 12. The Marketing 2.0 Council
    Formed in late 2007
    Nearly 40 members from Marketing, External Communications, Online Strategy, Legal, more
    Task forces created recommendations
    Council created overall recommendations including two new positions:
    Integrated Content Manager
    Social Media Manager
    Initiated guidelines for employee participation
  • 13. Social Media Manager: The Mission
    Working within the framework established by the Marketing 2.0 council, drive adoption of 2.0 principles company wide - domestically and globally - in a manner that supports strategic objectives, is sustainable and replicable, and creates understanding, acceptance and enthusiasm among all stakeholders.
  • 14. Long-term Goals
    Integrate 2.0 into all SAS marketing and communications activities
    Align 2.0 activities with corporate objectives
    Measure 2.0 activities to demonstrate ROI
    Implement measurement tools and refine activities based on metrics
    Mentor 2.0 experts within stakeholder organizations
    Promote a forward-looking culture to identify new opportunities
  • 15. SAS Social Media Guidelines & Recommendations
    SAS created a set of Social Media Guidelines and Recommendations, designed to answer employee questions about participating in online social media activities as a SAS employee.
    YES WE CAN.But be smart about it.
  • 16. Guiding Principles
    People are talking about SAS online whether we are there or not.
    It's good for SAS employees to participate in those conversations provided we do it in a way
    that reflects well on SAS
    is respectful of the standards of the online community
    follows the Social Media Guidelines and Recommendations, the Online Conduct Guidelines, and behavior and computer use policies.
  • 17. Guiding Principles
    We trust SAS employees to represent SAS online in a professional manner, the same way we trust them to do it in the real world.
    1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 20032004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
  • 18. Guiding Principles
    Don't talk about customers, partners or vendors.
    Don’t reveal private or proprietary information, intellectual property, pricing, or details of customer installations
    …or anything else that could harm our business or business relationships.
    The exception: You can link to content on that references customers, like success stories, press releases and videos.
  • 19. Guiding Principles
    When you participate in social media, you are speaking for yourself, not on behalf of the company. Be sure to make that clear. And know that you are responsible for your actions.
    Opinions are my own and don’t represent SAS…
  • 20. Guiding Principles
    Talk to your manager about your social media activities, what you're doing, how it relates to your job and how much time you spend doing it.
  • 21. Guiding Principles
    Open communication among employees, customers and the community at large will inevitably lead to some uncomfortable moments, but we can deal with those, and the benefits far outweigh the risk.
  • 22.
    • 17 active external blogs
    • 23. “thought leadership” strategy
    • 24. Expanding to include more employee voices
    • 25. Incorporating blog outreach into external comms and PR
  • SAS Malaysia staff “advertising” the Online Quiz Link on their Facebook status
    Around 30 staff participated in posting link on Facebook starting 13 March’09.
    • They referred a total of 554 friends via Facebook to take the quiz.
    • 26. 2,400 (34%) increase in page views for SAS website.
    • 27. -1,200 page hits on Online quiz page.
    • 28. Via their Facebook status, they became “walking interactive billboards” for SAS
    • Active Facebook and LinkedIn presences
    • 29. Developing our outreach strategy
    • 30. Individual groups using social networks for event promotion and building connections
  • Twitter – realtime search results
  • 31. Twitter – hashtags
  • 32. SAS GlobalForum 2009
    Twitter hashtag (#sgf09) saw more than 500 tweets during the event and more than 1,000 total. Majority of tweets came from non-SAS people.
  • 33.
    • active employee participation
    • 34. twitter monitoring
    • 35. Outreach and connection-building by External Communications, Marketing, Sales, R&D and more
  • Important Considerations
    Social media provides new ways of communicating, not a strategy in itself.
    Content is king.
    You need 1.0 before you can have 2.0.
    Only you know what will work for you.
  • 36. Connect with me
    Twitter: @DavidBThomas
    Photo: Re-ality,
  • 37. Web 2.0 Efforts Inside SAS
    Becky Graebe,
    SAS Internal Communications Manager
  • 38. SAS attempts to shatter the glass door
    Employees who are a natural part of social media energy in their personal lives are often expected to check their brains and their technology finesse at the door when they come to work.
    Stick to traditional methods
    Work less collaboratively
  • 39. Open up to the outside world
    The value employees gain from external social media channels can also be experienced within the company
    Idea sharing
    Resource sharing
    Constructive feedback
  • 40. The difference: common ethic required
    Step 1: Guidelines
    Time and energy invested up front = a multitude of time and energy saved later
    Without them, the employees you want to engage in 2.0 activities won’t feel comfortable enough to do so. Those who don’t bring out the best in your company will have free reign.
  • 41. Know where to be firm and where to be flexible.
    Example: Group blogs, personalized blog skins and components.
  • 42. Encourage 2.0 involvement as you promote the guidelines (Don’t make it all about the “don’ts.”)
  • 43. Top 3 ways to engage your workforce in social media
    Provide space and purpose for employees to get comfortable with
    Micro blogging
    Customized news feeds/RSS
    Give them something to talk about
    Trust them
  • 44. Internal blogging at SAS
    Any employee may blog (600)
    Searchable content, three distinct blogging communities
  • 45. Headlines displayed on global home page ensure that corporate speak doesn’t dominate the conversation
  • 46. Internal sandbox for promising external bloggers
    • Less intimidating
    • 47. Allows PR team to spot potential external bloggers
    • 48. External bloggers often launch a topic idea internally to gauge reaction
  • Micro-blogging (Twitter style)
    SAS Chatter
    Similar to Twitter but inside the firewall, so better for more company-sensitive topics
    Alternative to Yammer
    Offer internal tinyurl-type link shortener
  • 49. RSS news feeds on the home page/desktop
    • Desktop external feeds reader tab helps employees organize industry or role-related RSS feeds
  • RSS feeds used to manage internal news
    Inside News tab allows employees to subscribe to more than 100 internal news feeds, wiki updates, videos, podcasts and newsletters via internal RSS feeds
  • 50. Headlines delivered on the desktop and via e-mail
    Employees choose the news most valuable to them and the delivery method that works best
  • 51. Comments welcome
    All internal news articles and blogs include comment feature
    Not anonymous
  • 52. Comments welcome
    • Blog and comments strengthens online community when an employee dies
  • Give them something to talk about
    Compelling daily news content
    Key media highlights
    Global contributors
    Shorter headlines/descriptions work well for Twitter, Chatter
  • 53. Trust employees
    Let guidelines rule
    Expect disagreement, different opinions
    Address concerns, questions
    Respect employees, even when they’re off track
    Encourage and recognize productive 2.0 activity
  • 54. Q&A
    Becky Graebe
    Internal Communications Manager
    U5136 SAS Campus Drive
    Cary, NC 27513
    Twitter: beckygraebe
    LinkedIn: Becky Graebe
    919-531-0771 work
    919-802-4147 mobile
  • 55. Copyright © 2006, SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 56. Supplemental Materials
  • 57. What blogs are good for
    Keeping track of the thought leaders and trends in your area of business
    Opportunities to connect with thought leaders and others in the industry – and potential customers – by commenting and linking to blog posts
    Starting or contributing to a blog helps you make connections, demonstrate expertise and generate content.
  • 58. What blogs are not good for
    Blogs are not static. A dormant blog is worse than no blog at all.
    Blogs need to be promoted to get traffic. Do you have an audience and communication channels you can use?
    A corporate blog invites other people in to tell you what they think of you. How thick is your skin?
  • 59. Getting started with blogs
    Use Google Blog Search to find the most relevant blogs in your field.
    Read them and get comfortable with the discussion and the community around them.
    Comment on blog posts where you have something useful and interesting to say, and don’t feel it always has to be a sales pitch.
    Set up an RSS reader like Google Reader to help you read and follow multiple blogs easily.
  • 60. What social networks are good for
    Building relationships with customers, prospects and others in your field
    Personalizing your business life, and vice versa
    Presenting your expertise (LinkedIn Groups and Discussions, Facebook Groups)
  • 61. What social networks are not good for
    Prospecting can be tricky; LinkedIn rules prohibit you from connecting to people you don’t know.
    Some companies and government agencies block access to social networks.
    It can be hard to stand out as reputable; there are a lot of spammers and phonies out there.
    … and a lot of people you knew in high school.
  • 62. Getting started in social networks
    Create a LinkedIn profile, fill it out with relevant keywords and information and keep it up-to-date.
    Use the search function to find and join relevant groups.
    Build your network by connecting to people you already know.
    Once you’re comfortable, do the same thing on Facebook.
    Comment in groups where you have something useful and interesting to say, and don’t feel it always has to be a sales pitch.
  • 63. What Twitter is good for
    Many of the advantages of blogging in a short, quick format.
    You can support your other communications channels and activities by promoting them on Twitter.
    Hashtags allow you to gain a presence in and around events, conferences and issues.
    Twitter search can show you who’s talking about what.
    It’s still a relatively small community in many professions, allowing you to make connections.
  • 64. What Twitter is not good for
    Twitter is a tool, not a strategy.
    You have to be interesting to get followers; it’s not the place for heavy-handed sales pitches.
    It’s a firehose, and it’s getting worse. You need filtering tools to find the value (TweetDeck, Seesmic Desktop, Hootsuite).
  • 65. Getting started on Twitter
    Create an account, using your real name, and set up your profile.
    Use the search function to find people to follow in your industry.
    Get to know the standards of the community and the way people use it.
    Think about all the useful and interesting information you encounter every day.
    Start contributing.