KC/IABC June Lunch - Sara Folkerts - Employees As Brand Ambassadors


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Turn engaged employees into your best brand ambassadors.

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  • Social networks are not new. Your customers and employees have been talking about you FOREVER. But now it’s easier for everyone to see what they think using social media. So it started here, on the street – it moved online to the newspaper’s website, then Facebook – what’s next, we don’t know!
  • We’ve had a lot of challenges measuring what employees are saying about Sprint once they are a Ninja…but we have measured success in other areas. Some include our brand and reputation results – you’ll see those charts in a little bit – and by winning awards…and the attention of our peers, media and our CEO!
  • Sprint is “the #1 most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all industries, over the last five years,” according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index
  • KC/IABC June Lunch - Sara Folkerts - Employees As Brand Ambassadors

    1. 1. Sara Folkerts, Communications Manager Sprint Nextel Turn Engaged Employees Into Your Best Brand Ambassadors IABC – Kansas City June 20, 2013
    2. 2. 2 What we’ll talk about today Building advocacy – starting from within • Why social media training for employees is critical to your PR and Social Media strategy • Employee social media training best practices • How to create a program that will meet your employee’s needs AFTER training them • What measurable objectives you can expect from your employee ambassador program Final questions and wrap-up
    3. 3. Why do this at all? Why social media training for employees is critical to your PR and Social Media strategy 3
    4. 4. Your brand is what your customers (and employees) say it is 4
    5. 5. “To succeed with empowered customers, you must empower your employees to solve customer problems.” – Empowered, Bernoff and Schadler It’s about empowerment
    6. 6. 6 Employee engagement “Employee-owners exhibit such enthusiasm for their organization that they infect customers with similar satisfaction, loyalty, and dedication.” -The Ownership Quotient by Heskett, Sasser and Wheeler Basics Honesty Transparency Trust Loyalty Advocacy
    7. 7. “People like me” are more trustworthy 7 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer
    8. 8. How to set up an employee ambassador program Employee social media training best practices 8
    9. 9. 1. You need a Social Media Policy • More guardrails, fewer rules • Encouraging, not discouraging • Get the right people together – Legal, HR • Start with a supporting statement for social media • Tell employees what the policy is about • Why does it exist? Photo courtesy theurbanmind.blogspot.com
    10. 10. Sprint embraces social media… Sprint embraces social media as a significant part of its corporate strategy and acknowledges and encourages employee participation in a wide variety of social media activities as they feel comfortable. This policy applies to any social media activities that contain postings about Sprint’s business, products employees, customers, partners, or competitors.
    11. 11. Specific to your company • You might already have a Code of Conduct – remind people of that! • How should people manage the company’s time when they are online? 11 Photo from Sprint Social Media Training for Managers
    12. 12. Specific to your industry • Publically traded company • Mergers and acquisitions • Intellectual property • Copyright • Private customer data 12 Photo courtesy Wikipedia Commons
    13. 13. 2. You need Executive Buy-in 13 Photos courtesy Getty Images and the Catholic
    14. 14. 3. You need to listen first 14 • 65% of those surveyed were being asked specific questions about PepsiCo products • More than half wanted information they could share across their social media platforms
    15. 15. 4. You need training that works for everyone 15 Screen shot of Sprint Social Media Ninjas training
    16. 16. Training should… • Be fun! • Be fast – or self-paced • Be easy – you can do it from almost anywhere • Solve an employee’s problem – Why should an employee take this training?
    17. 17. Sprint Social Media Ninjas •What the Ninja program IS: • Support group for employees engaging with customers online • Community of people who care about customers and are active in social media • Real enablement for advocates •What the Ninja program is NOT: • Spokesperson training • Certification 17
    18. 18. What makes a good ambassador? • Engaged • Specialized expertise • Personality • Team player • Permission to participate This is Chris David (aka the IT guy) in central Florida He keeps busy with his family, the outdoors and his church Ninjas news makes it really easy for David to share awesome Sprint stories with everyone
    19. 19. 6. You need to stay connected AFTER training
    20. 20. • Facebook group • Online community
    21. 21. Sharing the approved stuff
    22. 22. Sharing the approved stuff
    23. 23. • 65 US employees from four locations (Smaller groups in UK and Brazil) • Training on… > Key messages > Social media > How to become better ambassadors (e.g., sharing coupons and friends) • They engaged via blog posts, using products at family gatherings, distributing coupons, sharing approved content • Results: Increase in comfort and activity • Engaged with average of 22 people per month (goal was 3) 7. You need measureable results
    24. 24. Sprint measures… • The number of employees who have completed training • Clicks and shares on bit.ly links specific to the Ninjas program • Views on the content we share • Etc. 25 Ninjas by Organization 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 16% 18% 20% C orporate M arketing Prepaid Strategy & C orporate Develop. Legal& G overnm entAffairs Business M arketing H um an R esources Finance C onsum erM arketing C orporate C om m unications BM GC onsum er N etw ork O perations & W holesale C ustom erM anagem ent Population: 3,000 and growing!
    25. 25. The Black Belt Challenge • Self-report and track your Ninja activity • Use existing recognition tools and programs to reward that behavior • Make the rules clear and make it easy to participate! • Self-paced programs work for everyone
    26. 26. Ninjas are getting noticed 27
    27. 27. #1 most improved company – period 55 60 65 70 75 80 2008 2009 2010 2011 ACSI Results ACSI Results 28
    28. 28. 29
    29. 29. Who else is doing this? Examples from other companies 30
    30. 30. Other companies include • Coca-Cola • Dell • Sodexo
    31. 31. Employee comments Employee posts Network group pages Links to employee blogs Employee stories
    32. 32. Short-term campaigns
    33. 33. Wrap up and Questions Final thoughts and let’s discuss 35
    34. 34. 36 Lessons from Sprint Ninjas • Lesson #1: Treat employees like trusted partners in your business. • Lesson #2: Listen to your employees as much as you listen to customers. • Lesson #3: Equipping employees as ambassadors boosts commitment. • Lesson #4: Have a social media policy and make sure everyone knows what it says.
    35. 35. What will build trust in the future? 37 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer
    36. 36. Copyright applies to this document – some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-non commercial-share alike 3.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0 Questions? Sara Folkerts Phone: 913.484.5410 Email: sara.folkerts@gmail.com LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/saramiller Twitter: @saramiller More questions? I also have expertise in: • Online community management • Blogging and writing for the web • Internal social media strategy development and governance • Social media policy and training • Employee advocacy programs