Using Brand Advocates (Employees) for Influence
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Using Brand Advocates (Employees) for Influence



Employees play a critical role in providing authenticity and trust and scalability in this new social media era. More customers are moving online and making peer-to-peer decisions and want to connect ...

Employees play a critical role in providing authenticity and trust and scalability in this new social media era. More customers are moving online and making peer-to-peer decisions and want to connect with everyday employees. Liz Brown Bullock shares how Dell and other companies are training and activating employees to further connect with customers and prospects online. Additionally, this presentation shares how to strategically think about preparing your organization to activate employees as brand advocates.



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  • Businesses are facing a fundamental paradigm shift. With the increase of advertising clutter and lack of trust, customers are turning to their peers and like minded consumers to make product decisions. Think about the last time you made a purchase. What was the process for attaining information for that product and making that decision? I’m planning upcoming summer vacation with the family. I’m thinking about initially asking my FB friends for recommendations, then going to various travel sites to research ratings & reviews and peer feedback, along with photos. Whom do you trust better? Adverting brochure vs. friend or peer’s recommendation on your next vacation. More than ever a company’s brand is influenced by what consumers are saying about the brand We have a democratizing trend of the redistribution of influence. We gone from 2000 where is what very few people controlling the conversation, fixed, monologue to 2013 it is many and customers are co-creating our story, it’s a dialogue. Edelman Trust Barometer analyzes whom consumers trust and 2013 findings show an academic or person like you is 2X as trusted vs Chief Executive or government official. How companies market, sell and support their customers is fundamentally changing. Your employees are a key ingredient for success in this new modern world. How to train, activate, support and unleash them in this powerful space?
  • Post by GautamGhoshFavorites #1, #5, #8, #9, #10

Using Brand Advocates (Employees) for Influence Using Brand Advocates (Employees) for Influence Presentation Transcript

  • Using Brand Advocates for Influence Liz Brown Bullock CEO & Co-Founder Social Arts & Science Institute, SASI @lizbbullock LinkedIn: Liz Brown Bullock #SMSSummit 1
  • Employees are key ingredient in new social era… More than ever – a company’s brand is influenced by what consumers are saying about the brand An everyday employee is 2x trusted vs. Chief Executive (Edelman Trust Barometer, ‘13) Confidential ©2013 Social Arts & Science Institute, LLC. All Rights Reserved 90% trust recommendations from people they know. 70% trust consumer opinions posted online. 14% trust advertising (Nielsen, 2009) How companies market, sell to and support their customers is changing… What roles do employees play in this transformation? How do you activate employees?
  • Companies must fundamentally rethink how they connect with the marketplace… Challenges: • Companies are seeking “authentic” and “genuine” ways to build customer relationships. • How do you scale across customer online conversations? • How may companies and customers collaborate in useful ways (products & services)? How do you use social media authentically and engage with the marketplace to deliver results? Answer: Companies must train, activate and scale brand advocates (employees) to build long term relationships with prospects and customers. ©2013 Social Arts & Science Institute, LLC. All Rights Reserved 3
  • Companies empowering brand advocates: IBM • 500 Thought Leaders • IBM VOICES Cisco • 1.3K employees amplifying company message Sprint • 2K employees • Ninja Program Black Belt Best Buy • 3K employees • Answering customers Dell • 10K Certified employees • Engage on behalf of brand Intel • 300+ employees • “Experience Intel” • Content generation 4
  • Case study: Cisco Twitter analysis • Employees have 10xs more followers vs. corporate accounts • Only 2% of the audience overlaps with corporate accounts • Employees share 29% more URLs about the company vs. corporate accounts • Employees account URL reach is 2x vs. corporate accounts • The reach of hashtags about the company shared by employees is 24 times that of corporate Source: 5
  • Activating brand advocates can go beyond amplification… • Dell asks certified employees to do various social activities on behalf of Dell that speak to their level of interest and expertise • Goal to deepen their social expertise • Portal serves up activities, tracks, reward and identify the right employees to activate internal external Listening Thank You Social Development Events Employee Training Recruiting
  • Additional benefits: engaged & result driven employees Recent study from National Business Research Institute: • Engaged employees produce 2x as much work product in the time as unengaged employees • 40% – 80% of customer satisfaction is affected by employee attitudes NBRI Identified 6 Traits of Engaged Employees: 1. Believe in their organization 2. Have the desire to work to make things better 3. Understand the business context and the bigger picture 4. Are respectful and helpful to colleagues 5. Are willing to go the extra mile 6. Stay up to date with developments within their industry Source: customer-satisfaction-financial-performance/
  • Employee Activation Maturity Assessment To activate employees you need 5 critical competencies: Leadership, Policies & Governance, Education, Metrics & Measurement and Tools & Technology Maturity Ratings Stage 1: Hierarchy Competency Leadership Policies & Governance Education Metrics & Measurement Tools & Technology Stage 2: Emergent Stage 3: Synergistic Employees feel restricted to share Handful of employees are sharing Robust organization armed and any content about the brand, even brand content and some working collaboratively to connect on personal social media engagement with customers and with customers, prospects, platforms prospects advocates & Influencers Command & Control Consensus Collaborative No Guidelines Restrictive Inclusive No Training Ad hoc Formal Program Anecdotal Consumer tools used by individuals Activity Tracking Mix of consumer tools & enteprise tools Behaviors & Outcomes Social Functionality is integrated throughout ©2013 Social Arts & Science Institute, LLC. All Rights Reserved 8
  • Leadership Exec Support Org Leverage Executive support to build program + reward & recognize key employees • Dell’s CMO, Karen Quintos schedules private meetings to celebrate Dell’s brand advocates 1 – 2 Executives supporting social business • Do these Executives have the support to drive training and activation of key teams? Handful of Executives supporting. Most likely in Marketing, Comms orgs Tops down priority with leadership across the board supporting • • • ©2013 Social Arts & Science Institute, LLC. All Rights Reserved What are key orgs to train and activate? Do these Execs sit within these organizations? How can you leverage top Executives to launch & sustain employee advocacy 1. 2. 3. Goals: Launch Adoption Better Relationships 9
  • Policies & Governance • Yes, social policy is a must… • More importantly, you need to define employee advocate roles, plus how you will activate them ©2013 Social Arts & Science Institute, LLC. All Rights Reserved 10
  • Education: Dell’s Social Media & Community University Policy Principles Governance Training & Tools Activation programs
  • Metrics & Measurement • RISK: Dell witnessed reduction in employee incidents after training • ACTIVATION: Certified Dell employees were activated to create powerful customer driven programs Activation 9,000+ employees trained 30 courses in 55+ countries Marketing, Sales, PG, Customer Service • Awareness • • • 1,600 employees Twitter handle with Dell bio 2,000+ Brand Advocates 150+ Subject Matter Experts • • • Business Impact • • 2.2 engagements and 6.8 clicks per employee post (SME’s) Incremental 17K traffic to Dell Improved reach, earned media 12
  • Tools & Technology • Internal portal to capture key data around employee advocates • Portal served time bound activities for employees to sign up and participate • “Wall of Fame” touting strongest advocates • Log activities + Leaderboard • “Find network members” to connect with like-minded employees 13
  • Dell Super Bowl ad • Dell launched 2013 Super Bowl ad solely online and via social media • Activated Dell certified employees to share Super Bowl ad • +6.5M views on YouTube Source: 14
  • Tools & Technology: SocialChorus • • Develop Advocate strategy Identify brand’s best employee advocates based on: – – – – • Social media savvy & influence Position within company hierarchy Departments Location Make it easy for advocates: – How, why & when they should communicate – SocialChorus Platform training • Make it easy to see success: custom analysis of program performance, broken down by: – – – – – • Individual advocates # of endorsements Social channels Time period Top advocate content Continual optimization 15
  • Closing with Final Thoughts • Employees are key in building and scaling customer relationships, but they need governance, training, processes and tools. • Activating employees goes beyond content amplification. Find your needs and employee’s passion points. • Leadership is critical for adoption. Plus, leverage leaders to reward & recognize. • Define employee roles and how you will activate employees. • Ultimate goal is to authentically deepen customer relationships and be a better business. 16
  • Employee Manifesto: Gautam Ghosh 17