Social Employees Ignite Conversation
In part two of my interview with Todd Forsythe, Vice President of Conversation Marketing at EMC we get more insights into their social business journey anchored in advocacy. In this interview, we explore their strategy to harness the influence of employees using the Jive Software community and collaboration platform.
EMC has been building Jive-powered social communities for about five years. As most things in business, revelations don’t occur overnight. As Todd and his team came to recognize the value of advocacy with external members, it also became apparent that EMC’s 48,000 employee workforce represented a huge opportunity to participate in conversation marketing.
Let’s face it, most employees that work in technical roles don’t think of themselves as marketers. And, if we’re really honest, some even feel that marketing is beneath them. There….I said it…Some people actually feel that way…So, how does a company turn its employees into brand advocates when this prevailing attitude is a common roadblock.
In EMC’s case, they started simple. First, they recognized that employees can have 10x the number of followers as the brand. Rather than ask them to flip a switch and become a marketer, they simply leveraged the Jive platform to deliver social ready content to its employees to encourage them to engage in conversation. They didn’t require employees to participate. They simply made it easy for them to engage. As their internal community has evolved, it has realized as much as 6% share of voice in online conversations.
Employee advocacy might require a changed culture. In EMC’s case, they realized that to be social externally with customers, you need to be social internally. The culture of transparency and collaboration with customers must be in place internally. An internal social culture breeds trust. It breeds advocacy and it aligns with the value of a younger workforce who expects this culture to exist. As millennials come in to the company, they have the tools at their disposal to be conversational – to engage – to be brand advocates.
Getting Started Advice
I asked Todd to offer advice for companies just getting started on their social business journey. His response is profound. He suggests that most companies try to do too much without the proper tools in place or the appropriate commitment. To hear Todd’s advice on this and my 8 minute interview with Todd, watch the full episode from my Social Business Engine show below.
Download the EMC Community Network case study (below) to get all the facts and jump start your conversation marketing strategy.