Earlier this week, Sociabble and the Social Tools Summit hosted a joint webinar: How to Drive Results across Business Units through Employee Advocacy. During the webinar Marylin Montoya, VP Marketing and Partnerships at Sociabble, and Neal Schaffer, Co-Founder of the Social Tools Summit, discussed why it’s not just the marketing department that benefits from employee advocacy.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the webinar.
Unexpected Poll Results
We began the webinar with a poll in order to gage where attendees and their companies were within the social media and employee advocacy landscape. The first question was “Do you actively encourage employees at your company to communicate on social media?” 70% of webinar attendees responded yes, indicating that a large number of companies have recognized the benefits of engaging employees on social networks.
The second question was “Have employees at your company received social media training, whether they’re part of an advocacy program or not?” Surprisingly, 78% of attendees said that no, their colleagues have not received training. So by comparing the results of both poll questions, it would seem that many companies are keen for employees to communicate on social media, but that very few are actually providing employees with training that helps them to do so effectively.
How Employee Advocacy Boosts ROI across Business Units
The main focus of the webinar was how employee advocacy boosts the ROI of departments’ existing social media activity.
For Marketing, this means increasing organic reach by engaging employees to share content, and generating higher engagement and conversions as a result of the trust word of mouth generates. For Sales, it means making relevant company and third-party content readily available for sales teams to share with prospects and clients, and as such to achieve their business objectives on social media. And for HR, it means promoting job offers among qualified audiences (employees’ own professional networks), and showcasing content that provides insights into the employer brand.
We also spoke about how the flexibility and scalability of the Sociabble platform allows companies to optimize the employee advocacy experience for individual departments.
The Microsoft Case Study
During the webinar we also explored how Microsoft has launched employee advocacy on a global scale, and how all company departments are reaping the benefits. We spoke about how Microsoft has organized the Sociabble platform according to the company’s needs, creating standardized channels with a mixture of global and localized content, and organizing those channels according to specific business units. You can find out more about Microsoft’s employee advocacy initiative by reading the case study or watching this webcast on how the company started small and went big.
Tuesday’s webinar was the latest in a series of initiatives with Neal Schaffer and the Social Tools Summit team. Neal has written a great preface for our white paper, Employee Advocacy: The Next Frontier in Social Media Communication, as well as this article: The Evolution of Employee Advocacy from Marketing to Social Selling to Social Business.