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 225 countries, data roaming in more than 210 countries with 3G in more than 170 countries. AT&T U-verse TV provides clients with an alternative to cable televisions.
Company Contact: Lee Diaz, Senior Manager of Emerging Communications
Web references: www.att.com
Description of how social media is used for business performance:
For the past 5 years AT&T has been building an internal network of employees that work together as social brand advocates or ambassadors ‘to help personalize the brand and reach new audiences’, AT&T’s Senior Manager of Emerging Communications, Lee Diaz, explains in a BlogWell series entitled How Big Brands Use Social Media earlier this year.
The program, called ‘Social Circle’, was first established in 2009 in an effort to increase employee involvement in promoting the brand by reaching out to staff members that were already active on social networks.
In support of developing the social advocacy program Daiz sites that: 92% of customers worldwide tend to trust reviews from friends or families; only 8% of employees are followed by people that also follow your brand, and that 77% of consumers are more likely to buy when they hear about a product or service from someone they trust.
Since the program was first established results have been good. Successes include: a ROI recorded as an Estimated Media Value of over $1 MIL; 1533 members who have created over 20,235 tweets, posts or other socially shared information; and audience engagement is over 409, 589 as of February 2014.
Lessons for others:
Looking to build an ‘Employee Social Advocacy Program’ for your company? Here is a list of suggested tips based on AT&T’s success.
- Start, initially, with your company’s most socially activity employees.
- Establish a set of criteria in order to belong to the group.
- Create a social media training and resource centre to attract social media newbies. Some of AT&T’s most loyal employee ambassadors were not involved in social media prior to becoming ‘Social Circle” members.
- Create an information hub that is easy to access, manage and share information. AT&T uses Social Chorus.
- Make it easy, have a marketing expert create of tweets or posts that employees can grab, post and modify easily.
- Create a program hashtag so that information and posts can be simple to find or tracked.
- Develop an internal social platform, such as IBM Connections, to cultivate a sense of community and encourage members to discuss and develop ideas.
- Make if fun! Create an awards, badging or recognition program; run a contest – such as the 10 days of Sharing in December.
- Be sure to develop solid and clear, legal, human resources and social media standards so that employees feel supported.
Watch AT&T: The AT&T social circle: Activating employees as social advocates — presented by Lee Diaz
How to launch a social ambassador campaign
Employee Activism: The Next Frontier of Employee Engagement
Employee Advocates: The hottest thing in corporate communication today
Video: How to Activate Your Employees to Help Carry the Message?
Jane Dawkins, Marketing Communications Officer, University of Guelph
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