How do you unite a rapidly growing company that has offices all over the world? How do you integrate the work of employees in disciplines that range from architecture to geomatics to wastewater engineering? How do you inspire people who’ve come to your organization through acquisition to buy into your vision? These were some of the challenges facing Stantec in 2011. In consultation with employees, Stantec built a new strategic framework around the concept of community and launched it in 2013. “We have evolved our brand to better reflect who we are and what our clients and employees believe about us,” says Stantec president and chief executive officer, Bob Gomes in a news release. “Our new positioning—focusing on community, creativity, and client relationships—differentiates us in our many market sectors. At Stantec, we design with community in mind: we help our clients meet the needs of the communities we collectively serve.” Four years later, that concept of community pervades all areas of the organization, on its website, in its employee publications and its marketing materials. And social media plays an important role in bringing the strategy to life. Here are three examples of how Stantec uses social networking and collaborative tools to build a sense of community across disciplines and time zones.
“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.
So what is the future for social media? Well, it seems daunting to try to predict the future even more so if you consider the exponential growth of technological innovation so I am going to try to look at the year ahead. In the article “5 Trends That Will Transform Social Media in 2017” it is suggested that 66% of adults globally, log on to Facebook every day. It is clear that social media use continues to advance and using it to advance your business is also critically important. Other things to pay attention to: Not only is social media usage continuing to increase it is doing so across all demographics. Employees are going to increasingly be encouraged to share business updates. People want real-time “real-time” updates. Increasingly there will be an expectation from consumers for even quicker responses to their inquiries. Decisions will be increasingly driven by analytics. Social analytic tools continue to get more powerful and can provide valuable information even to beginning users of social media. On this point, it is important to reflect on the data that is driving decisions. In the article” Are We Mining Data Instead of Answering Questions”, it is suggested that the biggest challenge in the big data world is understanding that data analysis is not the same as answering questions. There are nuances in social data that compliment pure data in understanding what the data is saying. For example counting the number of likes of a particular post is interesting but if the individual responds with a like and also says “because there were easy to follow lessons” that provides added value. Social video content is important and will only get more important going forward. I would add to this list in that I think there is a lot more opportunity to use social media for collaboration particularly between businesses and between organizations. Consumers want to have the full range of services available to them conveniently and are expecting organizations and businesses to be working together to provide that service to them. In the article “From Social Networks to Collaboration Networks: The Next Evolution of Social Media for Business”, the author argues that the biggest opportunity for Social Networks is the opportunity for collaboration. These collaborative networks breed co-creation, and most importantly the culture of collaboration. “The new generation of Millennials and Generation C (connected, computerized and community oriented) have… Read more »
Watsi is a non-profit crowdsourcing platform that enables anyone to fund life-changing medical procedures for patients in developing countries who might not otherwise have access to healthcare. At the time this case study was written, 22,102 Watsi donors had funded healthcare for 11,559 patients in 25 countries. Patients waiting to be fully funded included Vehn, a farmer from Cambodia who needs a hip replacement, Olga, a single mother from Guatemala who needs treatment for diabetes, and Dah Htoo, a 2 year old boy from Burma who needs surgery to repair burn damage. When Watsi founder Chase Adam was a Peace Corps volunteer, he was traveling through a small town in Costa Rica when a woman boarded the bus. Her son required medical treatment she could not afford; she showed his medical records and asked passengers for money to help pay for his treatment. The town was called Watsi and the idea of developing a platform to crowdsource funding for vital health care in developing countries was born. Soon after the platform launched, the idea gained traction on Hacker News, and eventually led to Watsi being the first non-profit startup funded and accelerated by Y Combinator.
Background Parmalat is one of the largest food companies in Canada with $2.2 billion annual revenues. The company is a marketer of such popular retail brands as Black Diamond cheese, Ficello Cheese Strings, Astro Yogurt, Lactancia Milk & Butter and Balderson cheese. The company has a large and diverse work force of 2,900 people, operating a large corporate office in Toronto, 2 major sales offices in Calgary and Montreal and 16 manufacturing plants across Canada. Challenge Given the scale and complexity of its work force, Parmalat Canada has been searching for effective ways of promoting company’s values and increasing employee engagement across many branches with their unique geography, organizational culture and regional dynamics. This challenge is especially magnified by the company’s work force composition – only about 30% of work force is full-time employees working in main offices or plants, whereas 70% of workers are part-time hourly workers at various plants. The HR Department has turned to Social Media to increase employees engagement. The idea was to encourage company’s employees to share new ideas on improve various aspects of company’s operations ranging from work processes, life balance, health & safety and even new product ideas. Social Media Solution The choice of social media tools that will allow for maximum participation in the initiative was difficult one. The company’s digital culture has been defined by work force average age (40+), and a long practice of using IBM Lotus Notes as a major source of all inter-company communication. As such, the HR department has opted for finding new ways of using existing technologies, expanding their ability to function as social media tool as opposed to creating new social spaces on Intranet or developing dedicated digital applications modeled after popular applications like Facebook, My Space etc. Towards that end, the corporate Lotus Notes was re-designed to give birth to a large digital project called “Parmalat’s New Ideas” that allowed employees to integrate social media functions with their regular activities on the Intranet. The new platform provided capabilities to share and discuss ideas on various topics and select the best ideas by employees voting (15 votes required to put the idea for the Senior Management consideration). Real Life Roll-out/Early Wins In 2015, the Communication Manager, Ambra Sultzbaugh , led the roll-out of this initiative to employees in a series of in-person meetings across different regions. Since then, the program has significantly exceeded initial expectations… Read more »
When you’re a global company with employees stationed around the world it’s easy to assume employees in one country know little to nothing about employees or happenings in other offices, but at Unitron, it’s quite the opposite. According to their global LinkedIn profile, it’s “a great thing to be a part of a culture that thrives on making the unexpected happen, and where team members’ work together to go the extra mile for customers.” The “company that designs and manufactures really great hearing instruments” has more than 20 offices around the world with their corporate headquarters located in Kitchener, Ontario.
According to Intercom, “The way businesses talk to people online is broken. Intercom is fixing it. Intercom is the first to bring messaging products for sales, marketing & customer service to one platform, helping businesses avoid the stiff, spammy status quo and have real conversations that build real connections.” Intercom describes its platform as “simple, personal, and fun for everyone”, and a growing number of customers obviously agree. According to Alex Konrad, staff writer for venture capital, startups and enterprise tech at Forbes, “Intercom is now adding 600 paid customers and $1 million in new revenue every 10 days.”
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.
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.
Alibaba, the largest online business company, does not manufacture or stock products on its own; Uber, the largest transportation network company globally, actually owns no vehicles; Airbnb, leading hotel and travel company, does not own any real estate. One thing they have in common is that they all create evolutionary ideas to disrupt and reform competitive landscape. Owning no inventory nor product doesn’t stop Alibaba being the supply chain management guru. In fact, in April 2016 Alibaba Group has officially surpassed Walmart and become the world’s largest retailer. This set the milestone when the world’s largest retail market shifted from offline to online. “We used 13 years to demonstrate the power of a different business model compared with brick-and-mortar retailers,” the Alibaba Group said. A key success factor for Alibaba is to delivery comprehensive while tailored digital supply chain process to customers.
Social front end product development is a concept that is gaining traction in the business world. Why? Because it yields off the charts results! Front-end product development involves using social media to gain valuable insights on what customers want. But, it’s not just about social listening, it’s about engaging clients directly in the creation and development of a product or service.
Okay a show of hands… who doesn’t like chocolate? Anybody??? Didn’t think so. Perhaps one of the most loved foods in the world, chocolate comes in so many forms it’s virtually impossible to find someone that doesn’t like chocolate in at least one form. I don’t actually have any data to back that up, just my own theory that you’d have an easier time finding a unicorn or a Sasquatch. Perhaps I’m letting my own love of chocolate cloud my judgment but I can’t be that far off considering that the average Canadian consumes 5.5 kilograms or roughly 12 pounds of chocolate each year. Ferrero SpA is the fourth largest manufacturer of chocolate and confectionery products in the world, behind only Mars, Mondelēz International (makers of Cadbury, Oreo and many other brands) and Nestlé. The Italian manufacturer is probably most recognized as the makers of the famous Ferrero Rocher chocolates but are also responsible for bringing us Tic Tac, Kinder and Nutella. Ferrero is responsible for using about one quarter of the world’s hazelnut supply and have almost single-highhandedly caused the hazelnut industry to soar.
It seems like not that long ago that my previous employer instated a company-wide ban on social media websites and blocked us from accessing any of them from our company computers. It also seems like it wasn’t that long after that they lifted the ban and rolled out the enterprise social network Yammer and encouraged its use. So why the about-face? How did social media go from being a workplace pariah to an invaluable business tool? For companies like my previous employer—and many others that deal in consumer products—one of the key benefits to an enterprise social network is collaboration. Collaboration breeds innovation and innovation is key to success when new ideas and products are your business.
Organisation name: Man Crates. Website: http://www.mancrates.com/gifts-for-men Industry: Curated and themed masculine gift boxes. Brag-worthy Gifts for Guys, Crowbar Included. With only the $1000 he was allowed by his wife, Jonathan Beekman created the business that is today known as Man Crates. Man Crates offers customers the ability to purchase and ship themed gifts contained in unique and memorable packaging; and contents… Read more »
Company: Dairy Queen Canada Industry: QSR, Food and Beverage Contact: Tom Marranca, Equipment Manager Web References: Dairy Queen on Wiki, DQ selects Instill for Promotion Managment Solution; Itrade Network I had an open discussion with Tom Marranca, Equipment Manager, for CDQ, a co-op owned by franchisees to support franchisees under the Dairy Queen umbrella. Tom has worked with DQ for over… Read more »
Organization Name : Tesco PLC Industry : Retail Web References : Tesco.com, uk.reuters.com, Tescoplc.com, theguardian.com, tescosuppliernetwork.com, supplychain247.com About Tesco Tesco is a British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer based in Cheshunt UK. Founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen as simple grocery stalls, this retail powerhouse now operates over 7800 retail storefronts and dot come sites under various banners in… Read more »
Organization Name: Deloitte Australia, a member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Industry: Professional services (accounting, auditing, taxes) Name of contact: Cindy Hook, CEO Web references: Deloitte Australia website: About Deloitte Australia, Careers, Culture and Behaviours Deloitte Australia Facebook page Forrester – Ted Schadler’s Blog: Winners of the 2011 Forrester Groundswell Awards (Management Division) ReadWrite.com – Deloitte’s Yammer Time Social Media at… Read more »
Organisation Name: Motorola Solutions Industry: Technology Name of contact if available: Greg Brown- Chairman and CEO Web References: twitter.com/motosolutions, motorolasolutions.com, facebook.com/motosolutions, linkedin.com/motosolutions, youtube.com/motosolutions, instagram.com/motosolutions Company Overview: Motorola was started in 1928 by two brothers, Paul and Joseph Galvin. Their first product was a battery eliminator which was a converter that allowed battery powered radios to be charged on household electricity…. Read more »
Organization Name: think with Google Name of Contacts: Brian Solis, Altimeter Group – @briansolis @thinkwithgoogle Industry: Digital Marketing Web references: Think with Google Past, Present, and Future of Social Media Social media has been a tool that has been unknowingly immersed in our everyday interactions from as early as the invention of the early stages of postal services originating in 500 B.C. When… Read more »
Organization Name: Tesco Industry: Retail, grocery Name of Contact if Available: N/A Web References: TESCO, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Grocer, Talking Retail Description of How Social Media is Used for Business Performance Founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen, Tesco has grown to become the fifth largest retailer in the world based on revenue. The Britain-based multinational grocery and merchandise retailer… Read more »
Organization Name: Threadless Industry: Retail, e-commerce Name of Contact if Available: Kyle Geib – Marketing Coordinator, Threadless Web References: Threadless, Inc., Forbes, Wikipedia, Wired Description of How Social Media is Used for Business Performance Crowdsourcing 101 If I said the word crowdsourcing to you in the early 2000s, you’d have no idea what I was talking about and you’d probably look at… Read more »
Organization Name: Gerard Cosmetics Industry: Health & Beauty Name of Contact: Jennifer Gerard, President & CEO, Whitening Lightning and Gerard Cosmetics Web References: Gerard Cosmetics, Jaclyn Hill Description of How Social Media is Used for Business Performance: Founded in 2014, Gerard Cosmetics is a luxurious, accessible and endlessly chic beauty brand created in an effort to provide a solution to… Read more »
Airbnb Is More than Just a Company; It’s a Family. Organization Name: Airbnb Industry: Social Networking Service Name of contact if available: Brian Chesky, CEO and Founder, Airbnb Nathan Blecharczyk, CTO & Co-Founder, Airbnb Joe Gebbia, CPO & Co-Founder , Airbnb Natalie Harrison, Head of International PR, Airbnb Stewart Butterfield, CEO and Co-Founder, Slack Web references: https://www.airbnb.ca/, https://slack.com/ https://www.youtube.com/user/Airbnb, wsj.com, Company Overview: What initially began… Read more »