Enterprise Social Media

This archive highlights cases of the application of social media in functional areas of organizations. In addition to specific functional areas, social media can be used across the whole organization to improve collaboration and organizational performance.

In this section of the archive, we look at the work organizations are doing to integrate their social media activities throughout the enterprise. The University of Waterloo, Social Media for Business Performance Online Certificate supports the development of this archive. The certificate introduces students to a model for the creation of a Whole Enterprise Social Media Canvas – a visual representation of the integration of social media use focused on achieving performance impact.

Visit the Social Media for Business Performance Online Certificate website to learn more.

If you are looking to invest in a property in any fashion, buying a house or condo as a place for your habitat in GTA you’ll probably notice that the housing and condo market is booming like no other time and sometimes it is a matter of a chance to win a deal in bidding wars! Bidding war is correct, The Condo market is so hot as the market demand is high and surprisingly condo market creates its unique bidding process. In a nutshell, this process is so fierce that some buyers skip the inspections as one of the necessary steps prior closing the deals. Starting January 2017, this process has become more and more popular as the demand is tremendously rising. You can easily see an increase of 28% in selling prices of condo units in April this year compared to the same time frame in 2016. Selling price aside, Days on Market is another factor that causes more pressure on buyers on the other hand. It occurred to me couple times calling a real estate agent to get some information about the condo unit that just came to market a day ago and got sold immediately after. Not an easy environment for the buyers to react in a peace of mind. All the potential buyers shall act quickly to win the condo bidding battle.

In his article ao.com: setting an example in social media strategy, Chris Price states that AO.com (formerly Appliances Online) “knows more than most about the power of social media.”  The UK based company was founded in 2000 in by CEO John Roberts. According to the their website, the story goes like this:  “Following a drink with a friend, CEO John Roberts bets him a pound that he could change the way white goods [aka household appliances] are purchased via the internet. The AO business is born as DRL Limited.” Fast forward to 2016: AO.com expands into the Netherlands with the launch of AO.nl, is named Best UK Retailer of the Year 2016 by Verdict Retail, is awarded the Customer Experience Initiative of the Year at the Retail Week Awards 2016, and is ranked #1 in the Retail Week/Glassdoor Top 15 Retails to work for in 2016. And these are just the latest in a string of awards the company has received. As Andrew Kirkcaldy, who is currently the Group Brand Director at AO.com, admits to Price, “We have to think a little out of the box because white goods aren’t the sexiest of things to create content around.”  And at AO.com, thinking out of the box comes to life through an impressive social media strategy that touches virtually all areas of the business.

Sport is always changing, especially an artistic sport like synchronized swimming.  Over the last 5+ years, both Synchro Ontario and it’s member clubs have begun using social media.  At first, social media was another free and easily accessible way for synchro clubs to market their programs.  However, much like the sport, whose techniques and choreography change from year to year, so has its use of social media. John Ortiz is the head coach of KW Synchro as well as a judge in Ontario.  As a coach who started his career in the US, he noted that “In Canada, there are many things that are secret and not allowed to be shared, but what is forgotten is that development, in any means, is all about sharing: sharing knowledge and expertise, techniques, programs and structures.  It’s something we need to do more of and we need to voice the want to do more of [it].” John is right, the willingness to change is slow.  His point of view is shared by provincial judge and Kawartha-Trent Synchro master swimmer, Maria Shuwera.  “I understand the excitement and pride in competing and winning.  I also sometimes see the ‘competitiveness’ between clubs and athletes (and unfortunately sometimes parents) and worry that it sets up barriers between parties who are all passionate about the sport.”

TELUS is a Canadian communications company that was officially founded in 1990. Since then, the company has grown to become Canada’s fastest growing national telecommunications company. TELUS provides services to 8.6 million wireless subscribers, 1.7 million high-speed internet subscribers, 1.4 million residential network access lines subscribers and 1 million television subscribers. Telus also provides communication products and services, which include wireless data, Internet Protocol, voice, television, entertainment and video and it’s also the nation’s largest healthcare IT provider. The success of TELUS can be credited to their company ideology. The TELUS slogan is “The Future is Friendly” and the company incorporates this ideology into each aspect of their brand. TELUS is known for their cheeky use of ‘cute’ animals throughout their branding and marketing campaigns to emphasize their slogan; but they also take many other measures to ensure the continued success of the company and to demonstrate their loyalty in providing excellent service to their customers. TELUS is active on a number of different social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn. They also have a company blog and an online discussion forum for customers called the Neighbourhood, that allows customers to “Share thoughts, ask questions, and get answers. All in one place.”

ISCAR Tools is an industry leading producer of precision carbide metalworking tools and inserts. Iscar provides a wide range of innovative carbide inserts, carbide endmills and cutting tools to tackle most metal cutting applications. They are also globally renowned for providing top notch engineering and manufacturing solutions  for a wide variety of major industries such as automotive, aerospace and die & mold production. To reach this level of success, it takes more than just providing a quality product to the market, you need to to be well rounded in all aspects of business. More importantly, you need to be able to manage and integrate all segments of your organizational hierarchy. When it comes to social media integration on a global scale, this is no easy task.    

Social media is the fastest adopted media in human history.  Organizations are working hard to catch up and quickly realizing that a social business is a connected business. Spending on the enterprise social market is expected to increase steadily to an estimated $4.5 billion by 2016. The integration of social media across all aspects of an organization to maximize efficiencies results in a myriad of benefits including: Enhanced communications across the supply chain of day to day activities. More opportunities for collaboration amongst organizational silos. Heightened focus on the frontline provides faster customer feedback and response time. Organizations can quickly address any quality concerns and use shared data to develop products that are more aligned with customer needs. Sharing of cost minimization ideas across organizational silos. Heightened employee engagement and productivity. Enhancement of work flow along the supply chain. Inspires employees to have fun at work while doing good things. Breakdown of internal barriers.  Business are often created in silos that don’t communicate well with each other. Integration allows employees to communicate across organizational boundaries.      

Love them or hate them, The Real Housewives franchise is undeniably in your face.  The franchise which originated with producer/host/personality/media guru Andy Cohen, has been unapologetically sashaying its way into living rooms globally since 2005. Viewers are provided with the opportunity to peek behind the curtains and gates and business women from Beverly Hills, Orange County, and most recently Toronto (!). What we see is not always funny – it can be emotional, heartbreaking, or downright embarrassing. But no matter the situation, viewership continues to embrace the popular television series, which has led Bravo TV to create more and more methods for their viewers to engage and consume programming content. Bravo has taken a dynamic approach to consumer engagement, including generating dynamic social media strategies to a continually thirsty audience. Bravo’s whole enterprise social media formula is nothing more than a well-devised strategic assault on the senses – and it’s bloody genius.

Your whole enterprise social media strategy should be simple and practical.  It should complement the overall organizational goals, but it deserves its own plan and measurable objectives.  I have been through numerous planning processes where the end result is a plan and no action.  Why did that occur?  I think it happens because many planning sessions fail to start with the end in mind.  Much like a trip, the first thing to know is where you want to go. If you don’t know where you are going how will you ever know that you have arrived?  Seems pretty simple but many planning processes are started chasing the latest craze without any regard to what the business is actually trying to achieve.  Given the benefits of social media and its exponential growth in business use, it is hard not to get caught up in trying to implement social media quickly.  Why wouldn’t you want to try to reap the benefits enjoyed by so many other organizations and businesses?  Well, with some patience and planning you will be able to gather better results and more importantly avoid potential costly issues.  

Enterprise social media is truly an opportunity for an organization to separate themselves from the fray and become an industry gold standard on how to communicate.  For many communication within a company can be a no brainier.  There is however,  a chance for leadership to step up and shift the way people communicate in order to move forward.  Allstate Insurance is an excellent example.

Social media is gaining greater traction in the corporate world. Yes, you read that correctly, your employer wants you to use MORE social media in the workplace. Unfortunately, they are less interested in your mirror selfies and cat photos than they are in the implementation of strategically aligned social media applications for cost savings and business benefit. On March 13, 2017, IBM released a product offering with new capabilities for enterprise social networks. It offers a more simple collaboration across the organization and the employee ‘on-boarding’ experience. IBM Connections 6.0 now links with IBM Cloud Object Storage to provide the option of storage scalability. Other features include ‘Orient Me’, a new form of API-driven construction that pulls information by relevancy for the end user. Another feature – ‘Touchpoint’ – helps new employees get acquainted with their colleagues and facilitates a streamlined orientation process. Touchpoint also reduces the amount of time needed to set up new workspaces. IBM Connections helps employees access files and data in addition to syncing workflows. The platform also helps employees access a variety of data streams, including blogs and wikis and can be delivered via cloud, on-site or as a hybrid solution.

When you’re an airline that receives 35,000 social media inquiries per week, you need a fully engaged team to be able to pull off your commitment “to respond to every user comment or question within 60 minutes” and resolve every issue within 24 hours, but this is exactly what  KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is doing. The airline even updates their social media banners every five minutes letting customers know the approximate wait time for a response.

Today, most companies are using social media in some capacity, but very few are anywhere near achieving the full potential. People assume that social media for business purposes are primarily for marketing and recruitment. But, leading organizations like Burberry, Virgin and General Electric are recognizing the positive impact social media can have when it implemented across all departments within the organization. The term Whole Enterprise Social Media means the integrated approach to the use of social media for performance improvement. Though integrated social media systems are available, most companies are still functioning with internal department working in silos and using technology systems specified for a single business purpose. The problem is that this makes communication more difficult and processes very inefficient. For example accounting, sales and marketing are three different areas that likely have overlap of customer and vendor data. Working independently means three different departments are entering the same data, communicating in various capacities and likely not coordinating efforts very well internally.

Upon embarking on this quest for an organization to represent in this final case study, it was suggested to me that I write about my business Value Vintage Fun (VVF). VVF is a small yet significant business that I have owned and operated in essence since 1991. It all started as a casual dinner comment from a friend visiting from Tokyo who suggested that I sell my collection of Anchor Hocking Fire King coffee mugs from the 1950’s; the Japanese market would be crazy for them, especially in Fire-King Cafes!  To that end she connected me with an antique dealer in Tokyo. I used a fax machine as a method of receiving orders. My payments were sent by regular post. I sometimes think back to those days and wonder how social media may have first-handedly impacted the business back then. I have since witnessed many changes in technology and consumer attitudes on items that were once labelled old and dated to now being valued as retro and vintage.

Many churches are finding benefit from promoting their services and events online through social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  However, if we look to the education world, we may find ways that social media is being used in the classroom that can be effectively adapted into a Pastors role of teaching, including the weekly sermon and Bible study methods. Jason Tomaszewski, Associate Editor of EducationWorld.com, reminds us in his article “Social Media Has a Place in Classrooms” of the findings of Dr. Richard J. Light (Harvard School of Education) with regards to social learning theory and the learning success of college students, “People learn most effectively when they interact with other learners. According to Light, the strongest determinant of students’ success in college is their ability to form or participate in small study groups. He suggests that this is more important than their instructors’ teaching styles. Student research participants who studied in groups, even only once a week, were more engaged in their studies, were better prepared for class, and learned significantly more than students who worked on their own.” This study underlines the significant learning impact that small group type Bible studies can have, which could include those happening online.  It also addresses the lecture-style sermon delivery that is the basis for most traditional church services, which may be better absorbed if given the opportunity to be discussed among those who have listened to it.   Social media can provide such opportunities through various means available to pastors and their congregations today.

When actor Chris Hemsworth is not on screen swinging Thor’s hammer, you can usually find him in the gym crushing a weight training workout with Luke Zocchi of Zoco Body Pro. Hemsworth uses Zocchi’s expertise to get in shape for major movie roles, but Zoco Body Pro’s target market is the regular joe. Having A-list clients was enough to attract viewers to the company’s social media, but they have stayed for the incredible content. Zoco body pro has used their social media presence to create a new avenue for a business that started as a personal training, and while they still do that, their new market is global. When training local clients, Luke prefers hands on training. Some people like to be yelled at, that old-school, drill sergeant approach, but I normally train alongside the people I work with and that’s how I like to do it. This strategy is excellent for customers lucky enough to live near Zoco Body Pro, but the company has made a move on social media that will also help potential customers that can’t travel to “The Iron Temple”. They have recently launched a program called Twenty40 training that allows anyone on Earth to try the same workout regimen that has produced world famous results. This is an online venture that provides customers with step by step instructions on how to sculpt their goal physique, as well as giving nutrition tips to help fuel the new body. Zoco Body Pro uses many aspects of social media effectively to run their organization, and this new program will help spread their fitness message world wide.

There is a huge movement around the world to end pollution, poverty and corruption just to name a few. But one of the biggest goals out there for the general public is how to eliminate germs and deadly bacteria from just about anywhere from our food, homes and also ourselves. Doctors and personalities in the medical field have always stressed the importance of keeping good hygiene whether it’s our teeth or our hands. One area however, isn’t stressed enough and those are the areas where we utilize to relieve ourselves in the bathrooms. Dr Safiya Ojo, a General Practitioner recommends the use of water for cleansing rather than toilet paper after defecation. “it is better to wash with water than use toilet paper after defecation because water washes completely without a trace, whereas toilet paper might not wash completely or properly. “The paper particles can attach to the surroundings of the anus which can bring discomfort, while water washes off everything, leaving you clean and fresh.’’ ~Dr. Safiya Ojo, Nov 30, 2015 Rafik Motala who founded Istinja Bidet in 2009, found a solution to help North Americans with the growing problem of bad hygiene and increase in illnesses due to it. On a trip to New York, Rafik went into a washroom and stumbled upon a contraption that actually did most of the work for you in the cleaning process after completing ‘your business’. It was device attached to a water source and affixed to the toilet seat that would dispel fresh water for instant cleaning. Thoroughly impressed by this, he set out to look for this device and stumbled upon the manufacturing company. As he ordered a few of them, not just for himself, but for friends and family, the company struck up a deal for him to get into the business as well. He ordered five samples and when they arrived, he listed them online on various buy and sell websites and within hours, all of the bidets were sold! That gave him the idea to do this regularly and from that Istinja Bidet was launched. Istinja is an Arabic term that means cleaning away whatever has been passed from the private areas  with water, or toilet paper or both. Rafik and his team in the initial stages used word of mouth and ended up using traditional means to market this unique and unusual product. But as the years went… Read more »

Are you hungry yet? If not, take a look at the amazing recipes from The Two Purple Figs food blog. Creator and blogger, Mahy Elamin has posted hundreds to choose from, in many popular categories, over the past 18 months. Her passion for food has earned Mahy significant momentum with foodie followers. By creating useful content showcased with professional photography she has registered over 1,400 subscribers to her blog. Even more impressive is the traffic to Mahy’s website, which now attains more than 70,000 visits per month. Her content is featured on MSN food, The Huffington Post, Yummly, StumbleUpon, Yahoo Food, foodgawker, tastespotting and findingvegan. Two Purple Figs was created when Mahy merged her love of cooking with her food science degree and decided to share it simply as a blog. But, about a year ago Mahy began social media marketing efforts, which resonated with a much larger audience. The Two Purple Figs blog has since become an actual business.

Going Social is a business with a team of professional social media marketers who focus on creating strategic marketing plans for small to medium businesses. The group consists of a social media analyst, account managers, community managers, LinkedIn marketing expert, and graphic designers. Their goal is to “socially” create a reputation for businesses. They offer social media marketing campaign planning, community management, campaign reporting, social media consulting, as well as training and seminars.

Kate Spade New York has embraced the world of social media to welcome customers and let the “voice” of the brand speak. Fans of the brand can friend, follow or like, or Kate Spade on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, or check into their stores on FourSquare and even occasionally download music from a Spotify promotion. Search for Kate Spade New York on any social media platform, and it’s easy to see what’s important to the brand: patterns, colors, fun food, and classic New York moments. For Kate Spade NY social media is the new way of marketing. Most of the tweets, Tumblr posts, Facebook updates, and pins aren’t even of products you can buy on KateSpade.com. But the non-promotional updates help build customer loyalty and understand the message the brand wants to convey. For affordable luxury brand like Kate Spade, the future of social media lies in corporation putting more and more resources behind marketing the new digital way. Reaching customers through social media isn’t a side project for their marketing teams anymore, it’s the new way of selling a product. “Social media has been such a great tool for luxury brands, it helps the customer feel like they are a part of the brand. Social media just helps tell the story so many different ways.” Kyle Andrew, the SVP of marketing for Kate Spade (via facebook message)

Facebook is often considered as personal communication platform which is used to connect to old friends, classmates, or post individual updates, and even today many companies still ban the use of Facebook in office. However Mark Zuckerberg and his company want you to give a second thought about Facebook at work, and aiming to get Facebook Workplace as  prime enterprise social media tool which brings added value to businesses.

In recent years the essential oil industry has really taken off. New companies have jumped on the band wagon with great fervor and consumers can now find essential oils at shopping malls and big box stores. In such a booming industry, doTERRA International, a Utah based direct sales essential oil and wellness company, has set itself apart from the competition in large part due to its integrated use of social media to educate and engage consumers about the company, its sourcing practices, product development and philanthropic work. From a grass roots company founded in 2008, it has now surpassed the billion dollar sales mark and expanded its global reach to over 3 million customers spanning 100 countries in less than ten years. While their accomplishments are directly related to developing and sustaining their own product supply chain, it is safe to say the company’s efforts in social media aimed at bringing the supply chain to life, ongoing customer engagement and collaboration, as well as the continual education made available have all had a significant impact on their success.