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.

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.

“Social Tools are not just about giving people a voice, but giving them a way to collaborate, contribute and connect”.  – John Stepper, MD Social Media and Collaboration at Deutche Bank.  The Whole Enterprise Social Media is the integrated approach to the use of social media for business performance improvement.  The use of social media in various organizational areas is beneficial however, even greater benefits are possible if we can link them together and synchronize its use across the organization. Loyalty Digital Solutions Inc. understands the importance of social media and not only using it through its different functions but also integrating it to help connect and collaborate with each other.  Loyalty Digital Solutions is a digital solutions provider, specializing in web, mobile and e-commerce platforms. They maintain, host and drive traffic to your site, all by using the latest techniques in design and development. Their digital marketing solutions focuses on building loyal customers for your business.

In a perfect Social Media business model, consumer interest is developed by conversation and as a result, product or service is being designed and realized with relevance, purposefulness and quality control. Engagement and response rather than product promotion becomes the primary manner in which a marketer interacts with a consumer. Most businesses practice may not fully understand how social media best works. In many instances, social media approaches may appear to be executed in very singular, silo-like fashion. This is understandable practice as centrally controlled social media rarely work. and consumers are very savvy players. They want to decide what works best for them. Consumers will listen to what they perceive to be an authentic conversation rather than simply digesting a controlled promotional message. With social media technology, consumers have much more power to both accept or reject content, and it is very much in the interest of an organization to facilitate such an interactive discussion rather than attempt to control the communication. So, Social Media marketing, unlike direct marketing strategies, finds its effectiveness less in directly promoting product and more in creating an interactive environment where relationships, authenticity and trust among stakeholders will ultimately drive customer loyalty and product sales. How does one create the right environment for successful social media, especially when a company is employing multiple social media platforms for a range of specific goals. There can be significant benefits to integrating social media strategies, benefits from customer engagement to product quality control or unit cost reduction. However, a number of significant questions should be addressed when developing an Integrated Social Media Strategy. Have you established the overall vision for the company? Once established, is everyone contributing to the vision? Employee participation is seen as a critical component to this strategy. Consumer engagement is likely to arise when social media discourse is deemed coherent, relevant and honest. With multiple social media platforms in play, one wants to avoid duplication, establish clarity and seek cost saving as a result. How many websites should you have? Do you make a distinction between broad and local targeting? Why is Tumblr better than Instagram in a given situation, or Facebook over Twitter? And is the process at all measurable? Understanding Media is important. Media can be defined as either traditional and social and has many faces and possibilities. Look at the appended Social Media Ecosystem Chart.   Schulz paints a complex… Read more »

Colourpop was found in the city of Los Angeles in 2014 by Seed Beauty and is a company that provides its customers with affordable and cruelty-free products. This company understands the importance of makeup trends in the ever-changing industry and keeps up with them without breaking the bank. What’s even more interesting is how they integrate their social media in specific functioning areas of their organisation and across the organisation as a whole to improve collaboration and organisational performance.

The benefits of social media across the enterprise extends beyond just helping to generate reach and create brand awareness. Marketers and businesses continue to find value in social media, however, the ROI has not fully been proven. Full adoption across the enterprise is slow and its potential has not been added up entirely. Everything from customer and employee engagement and supply chain have benefited from the use of social media. As businesses continue to pursue growth and maximize shareholder value, the question still exists: “Is social media really a benefit or an unwelcome piece in a company’s equation?” While there are plenty of examples of organizations successfully implementing social media tactics to help them better understand their customers, suppliers, or even employees, there are also challenges to having social media across the enterprise. First, social media requires structure. A proper framework is necessary to be in place in order to understand who is ultimately responsible and what the intended objectives are to using social media. Second, it can cause distractions to employees. Busy employees open, on average, 121 emails per day. Maximizing their focus and time is challenging when communications are coming from more than a few angles. The last potential challenge with having social media across the workplace is heightened CyberSecurity.

Social Media influencer, Lori Ruff (@loriruff), once said “Social media is here. It’s not going away; not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: in social media.” She couldn’t be more correct. Social Media is everywhere. Successful companies know this. Successful companies are using social media to communicate with their customers, to engage employees, to research and develop products and services, as well as to market those products and services. Tripcentral.ca is one company that knows the value of social media and is using it to the fullest extent. Tripcentral.ca started as a one store operation in Hamilton, Ontario back in 1989. It has grown to be an industry leader for online and storefront travel purchases, employing over 120 people with agents in 26 locations across Central and Eastern Canada. They use social media to interact with their customers via Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. They are the only major travel agency to leave their Facebook reviews open for public comment, with a 4.8 star approval rating and a social media staff who immediately respond to any negative comments. This feedback helps to retain customers as well as acquire new ones. Getting their customers involved also helps to generate sales by building a bond with the company itself.

This past week, I travelled to the Communitech building in Kitchener-Waterloo to interview co-founders, Jesse Lubin and Andrew Ringer, about one of Communitech’s most promising start-ups, Alaunus, currently headquartered in the Communitech Hub in the heart of the innovation district in downtown Kitchener, Ontario. Alaunus is a 3 ½ year-old startup, founded by UW computer science grad, Jesse Lubin, and Laurier BBA grad, Andrew Ringer. Alaunus has been formally involved in the Laurier Launchpad, Accelerator Centre, and Communitech’s Rev programs, and is described as an emerging leader in technology-enabled homecare solutions, and is keen to disrupt the $227.5 billion in-home health care industry. Alaunus is a next-generation practice management platform, reimagined for today’s mobile homecare Personal Service Worker (PSW) providers. Lubin, the Chief Technical Officer, has designed the technology that innovates at every step how mobile healthcare is coordinated, delivered, and managed. The proprietary software offers its (for the most part, Temp) agency client base across Ontario the abilities to operate highly efficiently, differentiate their temporary-tenured homecare PSWs (aka contingent workers), and to grow the respective agency’s customer base. Alaunus’s complete, simple, and revolutionary platform becomes the backbone of the temp agency’s back-office. Alaunus’s technology manages day-to-day client files, scheduling/rostering, and billing for the temp agency. Alaunus accurately tracks time and visit verification at the point of care, automates intelligent invoice generation and payroll, – all in one place. Patient privacy has strict compliance mandates and Alaunus adheres to them all. Alaunus is built from the ground-up with industry best-practice encryption, user management, and privacy. The official Alaunus App is “bring-your-own-device” friendly. Its platform infrastructure boasts state-of-the-art security standards, redundancy, backups, and is 100% PHIPA, HIPAA, and HITECH compliant. PSW customer feedback about its mobile app has been enthusiastic: Andrew G  I really like the phone app of Alaunus. It works very well with the desktop software. Highly recommend it.  Ben Fluter Great resource for caregivers and makes work much easier. This app makes it so much easier to get to clients, take notes, and it even states safety precautions.

Organizations of all sizes have seen immense success in the use and integration of social media. The tools, data, and many other capabilities that these platforms provide, have shown to deliver significant benefits for any organization’s overall performance. Despite all the known qualities social media platforms have to offer, the true reason these organizations see positive results is because of the proper application, structure, management, overall strategy and its effectiveness when it comes to integrating social media across the whole organization. We have seen how social media can benefit organizations in a variety of areas, but once social media has been integrated across the whole organization and working in unison, we can also see more powerful and substantial results.

Data is eating the world and search is the key to finding the data you need. The enterprise search industry is consolidating and moving to new technologies. In the next few years we’ll see nearly all search become voice, conversational, and predictive. Search will surround everything we do and the right combination of signal capture, machine learning, and rules are essential to making that work. Fortunately, much of the technology to drive this is available to us today. Monster Worldwide Inc. is a global leader in connecting people to jobs, wherever they are. For more than 20 years, Monster has helped people improve their lives with better jobs and employers find the best talent. Offers services in more than 40 countries, providing some of the most sophisticated job seeking, career and talent management, and recruitment capabilities. Monster’s global network sees 29 resumes uploaded, 7,900 jobs searched, and 2,800 jobs viewed every minute.

You’d think it’s July and travel industry would slow down in marketing spend, as travel season gets underway. However, the competition is too high and booking sites continue to battle with each other, as well with independent hotel chains and hotels. It was reported that online travel agencies now control more than half of online hotel bookings. According to Ad Age’s 200 Leading National Advertisers 2017 report  Priceline group was ranked 96, it grew ad spending by 10.3% to $461mln to promote brands like Booking.com etc.

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.