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.

In today’s time and age, social media has become embedded in the daily workings of not only corporate organisations but also that of the government authorities.  Governments around the world are looking to innovate and find ways to engage with tech savvy audience of today. As in the words of Hugh Elliot, former Director of Communications, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, “Diplomacy is about understanding and exercising power.  Power is about presence.  Today, to be known, you must be digital.” Hugh Elliot’s words are a clear manifestation of how governments today think of social media. UK government understands that digital technology and social media spaces have an enormous potential to engage, do business and provide services. Foreign and Commonwealth Organisation is an important part of the Whitehall and thus pioneered digital transformation within the organisation. Quick Facts about Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Commonly known as Foreign Office, it is the UK government’s department responsible for protecting and promoting British interests worldwide. Their network consists of 22 Central Foreign Office social media accounts, 268 Embassies, High Commissions, Consulates in 168 countries with pretty active social media accounts.  Collectively they have over 7 million followers on their more than 700 official social media profiles across the world, on channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with their most popular content reaching hundreds of thousands of people. “Today it’s (digital communications) absolutely central to the work of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It’s a key tool in our diplomatic arsenal and skilful digital communications is increasingly non-negotiable for modern diplomacy. Those who do it best will set the agenda and ultimately effect change. Jack Pearson, Senior Digital Communications Manager. Foreign and Commonwealth Office has a vision to see digital embedded in every element of foreign policy, leading to more effective, more open FCO that can take full advantage of the networked world. Customer Services: FCO has a vision to provide its services digitally by default, allowing them to deliver more effective and responsive services. Thus maximising the resource available for those in need of assistance. Online platforms offered that cost effective solution for them. As per Rob Eason, Managing Director, Global Digital Technology at FCO Services, We are looking at Big Data and big data analytics as methods of improving our insight into how our global network runs. The analysis we hope to get will allow us to optimise the performance of our overseas… Read more »

There are various ways in which organizations may utilize social media as a tool to help various areas of their company perform better in today’s business climate. Although many organizations already use social media within certain facets of the workplace, social media may also be applied across the whole organization to create more effective business plans throughout the entire company. For example, rather than simply focusing on using social media for only marketing and customer engagement purposes, a company may decide to work on integrating strategies to aid employee involvement, product development/design, metrics and supply chain management, to increase the effectiveness of the organization as a whole. However, in order to make this strategy possible, businesses require the integration of enterprise social media which provides the platforms necessary for all departments within an organization to communicate and share unique department data with one another. In other words, enterprise social media works to help all departments in their collaboration and planning processes in order that social media may be successfully integrated across the whole organization. In turn, enterprise social media, if implemented carefully and strategically, has various benefits to add to a company’s business performance. One company that is reaping the rewards of enterprise social media includes major food processing company MARS, who has successfully integrated social media across it’s organization. Although the first thought that may come to mind when considering the company from a Canadian perspective is the decadent Mars nougat and caramel chocolate bar, candy confectionary isn’t the only thing MARS produces. In fact, MARS also produces gum, beverages and even pet food! Another important fact to consider about the company is its global scale, as it produces and distributes products across the world.

Social media is prevalent in today’s society, so much so that it is almost more noticeable if a company doesn’t use it opposed to if they do. Looking at companies as a whole and studying how they are integrating social media through their enterprise allows us to better understand not only the company but their communication. Norwell Dairy is the largest dairy supply company in all of North America selling and servicing approx. 1700 dairy customers in Ontario. They have four locations across Ontario with the head office being in Drayton. Norwell employs just over 120 employees and communication and a social media plan is huge for them to ensure everyone is on the same page which can be done through effectively synchronizing the use of social media across the organization. Norwell’s vision as an organization is that “By continually seeking out new and innovative products to meet the ever-changing needs of our industry, Norwell has grown into the country’s largest dairy farm design, equipment and supply company.” Norwell wants to be able to provide dairy farmers with all the daily needs required to successfully milk their cows and run a profitable operation. Being able to service customers milking equipment and provide them with the tools needed to clean and care for their equipment is very important to ensure customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. It has been said that organizations are increasingly recognizing the benefits of enterprise-wide integration in the area of information technology, as they move away from legacy systems to integrated systems (often called Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) systems. This statement is very true for Norwell, as they have moved from basic IT systems to now have two in house IT personnel and a dynamic ERP system, NAV, as well as active on Facebook and Twitter. 

Social media, when used effectively, can have far reaching benefits for organizations. Those benefits can be even further maximized when an organization links and effectively synchronizes the use of social media efforts across the entire business.

Westjet is a proudly Western Canada company, founded in 1996 by Clive Beddoe and his team. What “started with 220 employees (a.k.a. WestJetters), three Boeing 737 aircraft and five destinations in Western Canada has grown into more than 120 aircraft flying throughout a network of more than 90 destinations in Canada, USA, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and Europe. Sure, it’s our aircraft that will take you to your destination, but it is WestJet’s caring owners and award-winning corporate culture that sets us apart from the other airlines.” The company has been an absolute trendsetter in its use of social media to blur the lines between the company, its employees (also known as “owners”) and the customers. They have created the “Westjetters”. This passion and identification as a westjetter has given rise to the culture of sharing on all social media. Using twitter, facebook, youtube and instagram customers, corporate and even employees are sharing (and encouraged to do so!).

Magnet Forensics is a leading provider of digital forensics technology. Basically, if you’re a criminal and you’ve used a smartphone or a computer at any time, the police can search through your devices and find evidence, whether that be photos, videos, web history, chats, or GPS coordinates — even if you think you’ve deleted it. The company has grown quickly since its foundation in 2011, and in 2018, is looking at how to take its communication with its customers and employees to the next level.

Would you have thought for a moment that you could use an integrated social media strategy to promote local food? It is possible and the Taste of Huron (TOH) program is doing just that. Taste of Huron is a program that has been around for over 10 years. It has encountered it’s up and downs over the years, but not because of lack of interest. It is more about lack of funding and lack staff resources to dedicate to program development and administration. The program started out being managed by Huron Tourism Association (HTA) and Huron County Economic Development. Over the years the program has made some remarkable gains in the marketplace. The lack of resources and the closure of the Huron Tourism Association could have been the death of the program, but thankfully with the insight of the Huron Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) and the final board of HTA, the Taste of Huron program was not to fall through the cracks and be forgotten. “It’s not surprising that Community Futures Huron continues to invest in our local food system. It’s one of the fastest growing components of the Huron County economy, with great prospects for business and job growth”. – Paul Nichol General Manager Community Futures Huron Taste Of Huron was resurrected in 2017 through government grants and the sheer desire to make the program work. You might ask yourself why not let it end with a painless death; the simple truth is there is too much to lose. Huron County is one of the most agricultural productive counties in Ontario.  The work that has been done in the past has proven that with the proper social media tactics and a strong, event-driven, marketing plan, the brand can prosper and grow.

Some chocolate lovers are easy targets for many chocolate distributors. But how does a company successfully compete with hundreds of different chocolate bars on the market? A chocolate company may have to develop new products like new flavours to continue to increase sales. Some companies like Snickers stick to their original flavours that the world loves. The classic Snickers has continued to promote their quality chocolate bars and continues to increase sales and brand awareness. Snickers is owned by Mars and has a long history with 5 principles that they promote on their website. The 5 principles that the company follows are; Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Freedom and Efficiency. Snickers is able to effectively build their chocolate empire based on their 5 principles.

Lumberjack Sports is an online sports based company from Brantford Ontario, specializing in Baseball and Softball, in game and off field workout gear. Their focus is on exceptional quality, and providing consumers with a reliable, long lasting product. “In creating Lumberjack sports, we wanted a name and logo athletes could relate to. Lumberjack sports is not only a brand, it is a mentality. Hard work, strength and all around commitment to getting the job done, and done right, is what we have built Lumberjack sports on” says founder Nick Shailes.

General Motors operates over 100 different social media channels with more than 21 million fans, followers and subscribers. They also have a footprint in over 120 countries globally. Taking this huge scope into consideration, it is imperative that a company the size of GM operates in a highly coordinated and integrated fashion to support their customers around the world.

Theatre on The Edge, also known as ToTE, is a comedy improv troupe from Waterloo, ON. There might be many other improv groups in the region, but none that exists for 37 years like ToTE does. Established in 1991, ToTE has made audiences laugh with hilarious and uplifting improv comedy shows made up on the spot, just based on suggestions the audience provides. The ever-changing cast has been performing weekly shows in addition to special off-site gigs at corporate functions, birthday parties and anniversaries throughout Ontario. The company’s goal is to make their audience laugh, to enjoy themselves, and to ensure that nobody leaves feeling that they should have rather watched a show on Netflix.  

With well-represented brands like Axe, Dove, and Ben and Jerry’s, each of which has a strong online following, Unilever has proven itself to be a social media veteran. With so many strong sub-brands residing under the Unilever umbrella, a certain level of consistency and organization is necessary to maintain order, eliminate waste, and create a cohesive vision. Unilever uses social media for a variety of purposes across the entire organization to support several important functions.  

This blog post looks at whole enterprise social media – aka social media integrated throughout the entirety of an organization. I couldn’t think of anyone else than award-winning beauty blogger cross-cultural, cross-platform star: the 34-year-old is a millennial who instinctively knows what kind of content works on every platform, Huda Kattan. Huda Beauty is very similar to established brands such as Urban Decay and Anastasia Beverly Hills – in the sense that they all found popularity on social media. The makeup guru, who pretty much created the definition of a beauty influencer, has been on the scene since the start of her YouTube channel in 2007. It takes about two seconds of watching Huda Kattan on YouTube to understand her appeal — and watch how the beauty blogger-turned-YouTube turned Instagram star leveraged her influencer status to become one of today’s biggest online beauty sensations. #EmpireInTheMaking

Toronto’s Furniture Bank is in the business of doing good. As a social enterprise dedicated to providing gently-used furniture to women, children, refugees, and those transitioning out of homelessness and poverty, Furniture Bank has grown steadily since its inception. Over time, it has rallied a series of sponsors, donors, social agencies, and other partners to provide thousands of families in need with dignified furniture in the Greater Toronto Area. And most of this has been accomplished through marketing and outreach strategies outside the realm of social media. But as more people turn to social media and online publishers for their news, and overall exposure to products, trends, and “ways of giving”, over the past year the organization has begun to weave social media into its overall marketing strategies, particularly by creating an online-only silent auction and ramping up its social posts to promote its annual fundraiser, the Chair Affair. The incredible impact of this small change (surpassing previous fundraising targets, growing followers, and increasing brand awareness by leaps and bounds online) has set a course for the organization to follow suit with a more dedicated online strategy. With its goals of growing the organization to a national level, and reaching record-breaking fundraising targets in order to serve the most families it can, it is clear that social media lends itself very well as a marketing tool, not only in relationship to its future events, but for the organization as a whole. Below: Executive Director Dan Kershaw discusses Furniture Bank’s mission and functions.

Sun Life Financial is working towards integrating their communication across the company. Recently they have made a large step towards this by adopting the powerful internal social media tool created by Facebook. Sun Life is in the process of rolling out the use of Workplace by Facebook.

Ten trees planted for every item purchased seems like an unobtainable goal selling clothes, but Tentree has made it their mission. At Tentree, their goal is to become the most environmentally progressive brand on the planet. They don’t want to just reduce the negative impact of the apparel industry, they want to use it as a vehicle for change. Their purpose is to revitalize our environment and inspire a generation to believe that they can do the same. Their current goal is to plant 1 billion trees by 2030. (Tentree.com, 2017) TenTree’s a socially oriented company, that is already on track to have over 17 million trees planted by the end of 2017. This significant achievement showcases the level of success that the company’s current high-cost business model enjoys. As a start-up business that is already making profits in the early stages of its life, TenTree’s is a great example of social entrepreneurs that employed a premium differentiation strategy and succeeded. In addition to this, TenTree’s has accomplished putting their products onto the shelves of 300 Canadian stores; doing so indicates the level of demand for their product in the market despite the high pricing. A last example of this is the company’s ability to garner strong internet sales; proving their marketing strategy’s impact in action is a force that can be relied on throughout its future. (Ho, 2017)

The holiday season is upon us, this time of year is typically the peak selling period for many department stores. In an environment where consumers are increasing their purchases made on-line and by mobile shopping, I wondered whether in a challenged department store industry if one would have a social media strategy specifically for this peak selling season as part of their Whole Enterprise Social Media Canvas.  

Blogger, Alice Katter, says it best, “We’re all guilty of it: Snapping a photo of that pizza or ice cream we couldn’t wait to dig into, and Instagramming it. Why? Because, we’re obsessed with #foodporn. We love seeing what others eats and showing off with our own dishes.” With the boom of social media, the food and restaurant industry has forever changed. In order for any business in the food industry to succeed, their engagement on social media is paramount. The industry which once relied heavily on word of mouth, has shifted to social media being the major influencer.

IBM has always stayed ahead of the game. As one of the world’s biggest technological companies, they were forecasting the rise of social media and immediately jumped on the opportunity.  Back in 2007, they foresaw how much of an impact social media was having on the world. They launched Lotus Connections, a product that combined five social networking applications into one package. Since it was aimed at the corporate social and collaborative environment, the apps focused around tools that allowed workers to communicate with each other via blogs, profiles, and common community areas. This was the start of an enterprise-wide integration and employees would have access for more information to collaborate with. IBM LotusLive has become IBM SmartCloud for Social Business. It’s used for business grade file sharing, social networking, communities, online meetings, instant messaging, email and calendar. There is also a productivity center that employees can edit documents in real time. Keeping employees involved has helped with successful organizational strategy.

Throughout FIFA’s divisions, I believe that FIFA has created the most significant collaboration between two of its departments such as Marketing, and Communications & Public Affairs Division. Each department is in charge of developing different aspects of FIFA’s goals. FIFA’s most important goals are; creating opportunities for fan engagement, providing best experiences for fans, players and all stakeholders at events, providing up-to-date information on game time, scores, and ticket information. FIFA accomplishes this through FIFA’s web site, FIFA’s App, and all Social Media channels. Marketing at FIFA consists of many sub-divisions that include Brand & Marketing Communication, FIFA Marketing Russia, FIFA Quality Concept, Hospitality, Licensing, Marketing Alliances, Marketing Event Management, Production, Sales, Strategic Development and Ticketing. FIFA’s Marketing is committed to providing sponsors with “right packages”, promoting events to fuel fan excitement at host nations, managing premium hospitality events, creating innovative and tailor made marketing programs enhancing fan experiences, managing brand identity at FIFA and events. Communications & Public Affairs Division handles public relations, internal communications, and FIFA weekly magazine. FIFA’s digital department is in charge of FIFA.com, social media platforms, FIFA app, and video content through FIFA TV. The digital department is also in charge of the storage of data, photographs and documents. FIFA’s media department handles the communication to the media and media facility services for FIFA events. FIFA’s public affairs department handles the communication, relations and engagement with public, authorities and policymakers. FIFA has established a group to develop a comprehensive mobile and digital strategy designed to improve engagement with FIFA’s stakeholders. The work was built upon FIFA’s established platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and the FIFA app, which was downloaded 30 million times around the FIFA World Cup 2014. I wonder how many times the FIFA app will be downloaded in the 2018 World Cup in Russia? In order to watch the video, FIFA has granted permission via YouTube

What do companies do when they don’t have physical products to sell? Why they sell experiences, of course. And that’s something Deloitte’s new digital division has been squarely focused on – with impressive results – since first launching in 2010. Deloitte Digital is the cool, technology savvy teenager in the conservative Deloitte consultancy family. It’s essentially an ad agency in the traditional sense, but it has been able to bring the rest of Deloitte’s more established global organization, knowledge base and brand to bear for its multitude of clients. The key for Deloitte Digital has been the use of an arsenal of digital tools, including social media, that has allowed it to seamlessly collaborate across the broader organization. Deloitte Digital’s success in such a short period of time shows just how far an organization can go when it adopts a holistic, digitally focused, whole-enterprise approach.

Martell Home Builders is an Atlantic Canadian custom homebuilder. In the past, Martell relied heavily on realtors to keep their business moving forward. However, once they embraced social media, they were able to create a direct-to-consumer model where they were no longer reliant on a middleman to bring them business.   Martell started a content creation and blogging strategy to focus on their homebuyers’ needs. With topics such as “14 Must-Have Tools for New Homeowners” and “Home Staging Tips & Techniques,” Martell was able to grab the attention of homebuyers. Today, about 86% of all their leads come directly from consumers. Martell homes promotes their social media and blogs heavily with giving customers up to date information they can use. Facebook Page 8,513 Followers Twitter 2,041 with over 10.8k tweets. Youtube Channel with 142 subscribers  

With nearly 15,000 physicians, residents and staff, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is London’s largest employer. It’s a multi-site facility that includes University, Victoria and Children’s Hospitals plus multiple research institutes and medical centres. LHSC provides the broadest range of specialized services of any hospital in Ontario. In 2016-17, it saw 163,369 emergency room visits and admitted 52,447 patients. Over its 142-year history, LHSC has been a trail-blazer in the use of technology to advance health care. The organization developed the first artificial kidney and was the first hospital in North America to acquire a digital angiography system. It has also led in the use of digital communications as the first hospital to broadcast a surgery in real-time using RP-Vantage technology. So it make sense that LHSC would turn to technology to coordinate communications across its systems. Here’s how the organization uses the Internet of Things to improve patient care, move medicines from the pharmacy to the bedside, increase collaboration and share the expertise of its physicians with other communities.

This blog post looks at whole enterprise social media – aka social media integrated throughout the entirety of an organization. I could not think of a more fun “organization” to write about then The Lady Gang. “‘Ladygang’ is a celebrity driven podcast from the minds and mouths of Keltie Knight, Jac Vanek and Becca Tobin. Inspired by their bottomless mimosa brunches, each week a celebrity guest joins the girls for a raw, honest and hilarious look at what the life is really like under the bright lights of Hollywood. Guests will help the girl gang answer life’s burning questions from listeners in #ASKTHELADYGANG and share their own unapologetic stories about stumbing through womenhood.” (The LadyGang, 2017)

Sports brings people together. It moves and inspires people in ways that can sometimes be hard to explain. The sacrifice can never be put into words or understood unless you’ve personally gone through it yourself. But yet, regardless of your participation or not, sports can bring a nation together. It can bring us to our knees and can instil a sense of pride. The raw talent, incredible dedication and sheer passion of watching someone give it their all is a great indicator that sport is much more than the result at the end of a race or a game, it tells the story of the incredible team behind-the-scenes that helps a team or individual propel to greatness.