LinkedIn is the world’s largest and most disruptive professional network with over 467 million members in over 200 countries and territories. When I tell people I work at LinkedIn, one of the most popular questions I receive is whether our environment is like Google… then I get asked whether we’re hiring. (The answer to both questions, I would say, is yes.) We are a dynamic company that is fiercely proud of our culture. One of the easiest ways for us to show who we are – beyond the company that sends out connection requests – is by using our hashtag #linkedinlife. Created in early 2015, #linkedinlife has moved beyond LinkedIn into other social platforms, and is being used by employees all over the world to demonstrate the breadth of our culture and our humanity beyond the work we do.
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.
In 2013, comedian Bryan Callen, asked UFC heavyweight fighter Brendan Schaub to do a podcast with him in his garage. The two were good friends, and Bryan noticed that Brendan had a natural comedic instinct, that could crack up a whole room. While both were moderately successful in their profession, nothing could prepare them for the heights their new show would soon reach. In three short years, the podcast has grown into one of the top 10 sports podcasts on Itunes. Podcasting has allowed the pair to have a stable income, while they pursue other interests. Acting and fighting are no longer their main source of income, and they can rely on income generated from their podcast. The podcast generates revenue from ad reads on the show, with many companies relying on podcasts to generate new customers. Bryan Callen had this to say about the future of social media. What’s really cool about the whole business of internet is it makes it easier and easier to have your own autonomy. The show has produced over 200 episodes, and spun off into various other side projects. Other businesses can look at The Fighter and The Kid, as inspiration to step into the future of social media.
Rolling around on a skateboard is a right of passage for most children growing up in North America, many of them dreaming of becoming the next Tony Hawk, or Nyjah Huston. While many of these people will never attain these goals, they will still have a blast pushing around town on their boards. Skateboarding is a wonderful tool for transportation, but it has a few key limitations. The main problem is hills, and everyone who has ever stepped on a skateboard has a deep fear of the dreaded “speed wobble“. While going down a hill on a skateboard, you don’t have many options for braking and going up hills is also an issue, as it becomes a battle against gravity. Boosted Board is a company that was founded to improve some of the issues that have plagued skaters for years. Boosted Board is an electric skateboard controlled by a small handheld remote. You can adjust your speed and even brake! Skateboarders everywhere now have a solution to some of their problems. Boosted Boards has turned to social media to showcase their product to the skateboarders of the world and get everyone skateboarding again.
When you ask an old person what their biggest regret in life is, an overwhelming majority lament that they wish they had travelled more in their youth. They often cite a lack of funds, or life’s responsibilities as reason for postponing their plans. Contiki was a company that was created to address this issue. Contiki is a tour company that connects like-minded people, by offering affordable trip packages for ages 18-35. The organization’s slogan is “No Regrets” which shows that they know what note they need to strike with their customers to encourage them to book a trip. Contiki uses social media effectively to encourage their customers to tell their story, and by doing so, market the service to all of their friends. While not the only marketing technique they use, this is one of the many ways Contiki keeps their customers engaged.
Started in Australia, Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign won a great success in 80 countries from 2011 to 2013. This multi-national campaign selects common first names, puts them on the label and aims to have people go out and find a bottle with their name on it, then share it with their friends. In Coke’s China market, when first hit difficulties in 2013, the campaign became probably the most inventive twist in the end. Co-creation with social media played an essential role in this success.
I will admit that until very recently I was not familiar with the brand Chobani. You see, despite being the number one Greek yogurt in the United States, Chobani’s line of all-natural, non-GMO products aren’t currently available in Canada. However, when I started researching companies using social media as a means to engage their customers I kept seeing the Chobani name come up, so I decided to explore this brand and its strategy a little deeper. And now I’m thinking it might be time for a road trip south to see what all the fuss is about. Founded just over 10 years ago by Kurdish-American businessman Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani has quickly risen to the forefront of the yogurt industry capitalizing on the market shift towards the creamier Greek-style of yogurt. In a 2013 interview Ulukaya stated that at the time of Chobani’s product launch in 2007 “Greek yogurt market share in the United States was less than 1 percent. And today it is almost 60 percent.” Becoming the top brand in that marketplace is quite the accomplishment, and proves that the company is doing something right not only with its product but its marketing strategy as well.
Wow, I can’t believe this is my first blog ever! So readers, please be gentle. We all know that happiness has a ripple effect. When we are happy we want everyone to be happy. According to Forbes, “There’s plenty of hard evidence that shows that happy employees lead directly to better performance and higher profits. Last year revenues increased by an average of 22.2 percent for the 2014 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these same companies added new employees at a rate that was five times higher than the national average.” I am super excited about the topic of: Employee Engagement. Heck, why wouldn’t I be? I am an employee after all. What does it take to engage an employee like myself? I pondered this question as I spun through the great wide web. I was amazed at the lengths some companies have gone through to keep their employees connected and happy in this digital era of ours. This trend is increasingly apparent in the Hi-Tech sector. I chose to write about Shopify because they are a passionate company with a culture that contributes to employee engagement. They were also recognized as one of the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ for 2013.  For those who still haven’t heard about this kickass company here is some background for you folks. From its humble beginnings in 2004 and the ingenious minds of 3 young entrepreneurs looking to sell snowboards online (Snowdevil) came the birth of Shopify. A leading cloud based solutions provider that targets companies of all sizes. Its unique platform allows business to add value to their storefronts with a variety of tools including a third party market place. There are over 200,000 companies using Shopify based in 150 countries. Shopify has offices in Toronto, Waterloo, and is headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. A powerhouse in the market place Shopify Inc’s (SHOP.N) (SH.TO) shares rose as much as 69 percent in their U.S. debut, valuing the company at about $2.14 billion.  At Shopify happiness is built into their very culture, they have designed and implemented every detail to ensure it flows through out the whole organization. Check out Daniel Weinand, Co-founder and Chief Cultural Officer (Yeah, you read that right!), giving us a peek at their Ottawa office and describing some of their many perks. Still not convinced then please view the YouTube video Life at Shopify
Organization Name: The Ritz-Carlton Industry: hotel Web References: brandwatch.com, www.svmsolutions.com, http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/LetUsStay/Default.htm, www.google.com, www.travelandleisure The Ritz-Carlton – this luxury brand wants to stay with you According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites. And according to Social Media Examiner, 97% of marketers… Read more »
Title of Post: Let there be shoes – How Zappos is changing the social media game with employee involvement Organization: Zappos.com Industry: Online retail CEO: Tony Hsieh Web references: Zappos, Social Media Examiner, simply-communicate, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram When it comes to employee engagement, Zappos is doing it right! Consistently topping the leader boards with employee retention their practices are often… Read more »
Title of Post: Hyatt gets Social Media right by making it Personal Organization: Hyatt.com Industry: Hospitality Web References: Hyatt Thrive, Harvard Business Review, Gallup, Wikepedia, Triplepundit, The Gallup organization reported that in 2014 over 68% of US employees toil day in and day out unengaged and/or actively disengaged in their workplace. That’s part of the modern world you yawn; but that could… Read more »
Organisation Name: soleRebels Industry: Footwear manufacturing and distribution Name of contact if available: Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Founder, CEO and Managing Director About soleRebels: In 2004, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu began a footwear company based upon the creativity and skills of local Ethiopian artisans using sustainable production materials and methods. SoleRebels artisans create hand-crafted footwear while earning three to five times more… Read more »
Organization Name: Starbucks Corporation (Starbucks Coffee) Industry: Coffeehouse Name of contact if available: Howard Schultz, CEO Web references: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2010/06/14/starbucks-and-the-4-keys-to-social-media-engagement/ Who Are They? Basically you’d have to be living under a rock if you have not heard of Starbucks. But sadly if you have, Starbucks Corporation, more commonly known as Starbucks Coffee, is an American coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington… Read more »
Title of Post: Unbottling Coca-Cola’s Employee Engagement Strategies Organization Name: Coca-Cola Industry: Beverage Name of Contact: N/A Web references: www.coca-colacompany.com Who they are: The Coca-Cola Company is an American multinational beverage corporation and manufacturer, retailer and marketer of non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups. The company is ranked as one of the worlds top ten private employers with over 700,000 system employees in more… Read more »
Organization Name: Hyundai Industry: Automotive Name of Contact: Ted Troughton, National Manager for Market Representation for Hyundai Canada In 1988 I bought a two year old Hyundai Pony. At that time they were referred to as “throw away cars”, you know, you drive it for 3-4 years and, well, you throw it away. Oh my, how things have changed! You ask the… Read more »
Organization Name: Red Lobster Industry: Restaurant Web References: Red Lobster’s Facebook Page We live in a world where we’re all connected and information is exchanged faster than I could have typed this sentence. Social media is the new way of interacting and organizations need to be part of this world to stay relevant and build relationships by engaging with their customers…. Read more »
Organization name: AT&T Inc. Industry: Communications Who they are: AT&T is one of world’s largest communications companies. Operating globally under the AT&T brand AT&T offers one of the world’s most advanced and powerful global backbone networks, carrying 67.0 petabytes of data traffic on an average business day to nearly every continent and country. AT&T offers voice coverage in more than… Read more »
Organization Name: TD Bank Financial Group Industry: Retail Banking Name of contact if available: Mathieu Nesbitt, Mobile Mortgage Specialist Web references for TD: Twitter, facebook, website Description of how social media is used for business performance: TD is among the five largest banks in Canada, offering anywhere, anytime banking solutions through branch, telephone and internet banking. It has been the recipient, eight years in… Read more »
Industry: Contract Food and Support Services Name of contact: Leslie Wilson, VP Marketing More than ever before, people care passionately about their food: its origin, ingredients, preparation and serving. Tomorrow’s leaders in the culinary industry need to be more than gifted chefs. They need to be ready to lead their teams, organizations and companies in advancements in culinary direction, new… Read more »
Company: Lululemon Athletica Industry: Athletic Apparel for men and woman Contact: Lesia Dallimore – Brand Experience Manager Imagine being part of a something more than just a company or more than a community. Being part of a lifestyle is what this one retailer strives to achieve. Ask any Lululemon customer and they will tell you that you aren’t just buying… Read more »
Organization Name: Southwest Airlines Industry: Airline/Transportation Name of Contact: N/A Web references: Blog ; YouTube; Twitter; flickr; Pinterest; Instagram ; RSS Feed As organizations strive to increase brand recognition with their stakeholders they often forget one of their biggest assets – their employees! Well, Southwest Airlines hasn’t forgot. Starting in 2006, Southwest Airlines launched their social media blog campaign, “Nuts… Read more »
Industry: Contract Food and Support Services Name of contact: Leslie Wilson, VP Media Marketing It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. Warren Buffett Never has this famous quote been more relevant than today when social media can have a huge impact on an employer’s reputation. Because employee engagement depends on strong, effective communications,… Read more »
In a world where social media has become commonplace, marketing campaigns need to do more than just grab your attention – they need to connect with the consumer. Social media allows companies to encourage dialogue with their consumers, engaging them and helping build a strong brand. In his article Brand Building: Connecting with Consumers Through Social Media, Jose Costa argues… Read more »
Buying Social media marketing isn’t always strictly about selling products. In fact, according to Lisa Mahapatra in her article Social Media Marketing: How Do Top Brands Use Social Platforms?, very few consumers are introduced to top brands through Facebook (only 0.25 per cent over the last four years). Jay Baer agrees. In his keynote speech for the 2013 MarketingSherpa Email… Read more »
IBM is proving that allowing employee engagement in corporate social media is not only valuable, it’s profitable for everyone. They’re active in social media for the right reasons: IBM is an organization whose business is already built upon interaction with their employees, so why not give them a voice? Enters IBM Voices. “IBM.com/voices is an aggregation of a couple hundred… Read more »