Organization Name: Lenovo
As a $46 billion global Fortune 500 company and the world’s largest personal computer manufacturer, it is no surprise that Lenovo’s employees are both numerous and scattered across the globe.
Lenovo currently has approximately 60,000 employees across 60 countries with it’s 2 main headquarters in Beijing, China and Morrisville, North Carolina, USA.
The strategic challenges of attempting to engage such a diverse and scattered workforce is perfectly suited to the digital employee engagement realm.
Lenovo’s solution was to create an internal social network, Lenovo Social Champions.
“While research has shown that the more employees share about a company on social media the more engaged they are with their employer, external social media like Facebook can feel far too noisy.”
Lenovo Social Champions leverages their “Never Stand Still” campaign. Bringing this identity to both an external Champions site and as an internal identity to build a buzz and create hype.
From the Lenovo Champions website:
Lenovo Champions is a place where we celebrate this spirit and reward you for getting involved. We’ll share new ideas and innovations from Lenovo and beyond, and throw in surprises, exclusive giveaways and VIP offers. You’ll get points in exchange for various actions – such as sharing a post, uploading some content or entering a competition. And we’ve got various plans to give something back to our top sharing users – shout-outs, exclusives and maybe even something bigger…
Although a Chinese company, English is Lonovo’s official language. Lenovo’s CEO, Yang Yuanqing, initially did not understand English well, but relocated his family to Morrisville in order to improve his language skills and soak up American culture. This decision is crucial for allowing employees spanning the globe to speak to each other on a singular social network.
According to the Altimeter Group article, Employee Engagement: Strengthening Employee Relationships In The Digital Era there are 3 types of digital employee engagement initiatives.
Lenovo clearly targeted Employee Advocacy. Employee Advocacy describes the publicity that employees can create for their employers by being engaged and promoting them through a variety of online tools.
Employee advocacy taps into the power of your employee resources that you have already invested in and are already invested in your success.
Studies show that people implicitly trust a company’s employees over the company’s brand message. If you can engage your employees to foster a culture of advocacy – it can be very beneficial to your brand.
“Your employees are your front door, your back door and the window to your brand”, says Pam Moore of Social Zoom Factor Podcast.
These benefits are discussed in detail below:
So how can you move towards this culture?
Tribal Impact suggests 5 ways to foster a culture of advocacy.
Using Voicestorm technology by marketing tech company Dynamic Signal Inc., Lenovo Social Champions are encouraged to both post internally and share to external social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. This is accomplished by linking these outlets directly to their Champions profile.
But simply providing content and linkage between external and internal social media networks is not enough. Incentive and continued engagement is required.
Dynamic Signal had this to say about Increasing Employee Advocacy.
Employee Advocacy only works when employees are engaged. And to do so, you have to provide incentive: Why should they take time from their busy days – and nights – to post something favorable about the company?
Lenovo Champions does this by providing constant content updates and incentives, contests, give-aways and a leaderboard to track the most engaged and involved employees.
Users are rewarded with points in exchange for various actions – such as sharing, uploading content or entering competitions. These points allow access to tiers, with the highest (Gold and Platinum) providing exclusive access to Lenovo programs and events.
Lessons for others:
Lenovo’s approach appears to be working. According to a LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Case Study , Lenovo saw a lift of 17% in brand favourability.
Strother remarked, “The results have really been very encouraging so far. We’re getting post-level engagement rates of about four times compared to display averages, which is great for us“.
Although Lenovo’s approach may not be feasible for small companies, larger brands can use Lenovo’s Social Champions as a case study of how to engage their employees into Brand Advocates.
Submitted by: David Pearson
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