There are various ways in which organizations may utilize social media as a tool to help various areas of their company perform better in today’s business climate. Although many organizations already use social media within certain facets of the workplace, social media may also be applied across the whole organization to create more effective business plans throughout the entire company.
For example, rather than simply focusing on using social media for only marketing and customer engagement purposes, a company may decide to work on integrating strategies to aid employee involvement, product development/design, metrics and supply chain management, to increase the effectiveness of the organization as a whole. However, in order to make this strategy possible, businesses require the integration of enterprise social media which provides the platforms necessary for all departments within an organization to communicate and share unique department data with one another. In other words, enterprise social media works to help all departments in their collaboration and planning processes in order that social media may be successfully integrated across the whole organization.
In turn, enterprise social media, if implemented carefully and strategically, has various benefits to add to a company’s business performance. One company that is reaping the rewards of enterprise social media includes major food processing company MARS, who has successfully integrated social media across it’s organization. Although the first thought that may come to mind when considering the company from a Canadian perspective is the decadent Mars nougat and caramel chocolate bar, candy confectionary isn’t the only thing MARS produces. In fact, MARS also produces gum, beverages and even pet food! Another important fact to consider about the company is its global scale, as it produces and distributes products across the world.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that MARS has turned to a whole enterprise social media strategy to aid its global workforce and consumers. Through utilizing unique social media strategies for different sectors across the organization, MARS is able to cross barriers in its global workforce to increase its business performance. Furthermore, MARS uses the enterprise social networking service, Yammer, so the organization may connect on a deeper level with its over 80,000 employees, or as MARS likes to call them “associates.” As Mars’ Digital Collaboration Senior Manager Mark Parkinson explains, Yammer has “been an incredibly successful tool for collaboration. Connections between departments are now strong, whereas pre-Yammer, they were little more than threads.” Furthermore, Yammer creates a space where employees may engage with one another and form a closer community culture. However, in order to further reinforce the successful role Yammer plays in MARS employee engagement, the company turned to social media metrics and analytics to showcase its benefits.
The specific enterprise social media MARS utilized to up their employee engagement was Swoop Analytics. Swoop analytics is a platform that analyzes enterprise social networks like Yammer and workplace by Facebook. Through integrating Swoop analytics to the enterprise, MARS is now able to prove the significance of Yammer within the company and how it contributes to its success. For example, as Swoop Analytics explains…
“Mars relies on SWOOP Analytics to provide data to every employee from the forklift operator in The Netherlands to the senior manager in Argentina.”
To explain further, social media analytics provides MARS with the community metrics the company requires to further a successful community. For example, when employees use the Swoop Dashboard feature, they may view their own personal engagement behaviour, along with their closest connections to other fellow employees, their most popular posts and ways they may develop their forms of communication on the platform. All in all, social media metrics provided by Swoop analytics provides MARS and their employees with the data required to continue to improve employee engagement, and in turn business performance.
As mentioned prior, MARS makes sure to utilize social media across its whole enterprise. However, this is made possible through the integration of enterprise social networks Yammer and Swoop analytics. Examples of integration of social media across all areas of the company include the way MARS increased levels of customer engagement within its petcare line, through a new digital strategy and the utilization of ERPS. The company also used social sentiment to win over millennial consumers through the ‘hungerithim’ campaign which relied Twitter analytics to track overall customer sentiment on the social media platform. For product development and design MARS brand M&M’s turned to its 2.5 million Facebook fans for their input on the combination of colours to be used for the brand’s milk chocolate and peanut butter variety. Finally, to keep their marketing in line with the rest of their enterprise wide social media strategy MARS used strategic content marketing, in the form of celebrity chefs promoting Uncle Ben’s rice, which was placed on social media platforms in order to market and engage with health-conscious consumers.
The examples discussed above, which showcase how MARS utilizes social media across all aspects of its company are important to demonstrate the aftermath of effective integration of whole enterprise social media. Furthermore, what makes these social media strategies/campaigns possible is the proper integration of enterprise social media, specifically Yammer and swoop analytics which allows the whole company to communicate and collaborate on various social media campaigns through enterprise applications. As the enterprise networks continue to grow and function within the MARS corporation, so does the amount of information that is shared and the higher chances that the right people are connecting within the company. All in all, these enterprise networks provide the proper climate for employees or “associates” to collaborate and integrate social media across the global span of MARS.
Lessons for Others
MARS serves as a prime role model for other companies whilst considering how to integrate whole enterprise social media within their own business. MARS proves that the connections formed through enterprise social network Yammer, along with the metrics provided by other enterprise network Swoop Analytics, provide companies with the tools needed to break the barriers between different departments while allowing all employees to collaborate and utilize social media across the organization.
Industry: Food Processing, Pet Food Processing, Confectionary Processing
Name of Organization Contact: Grant F. Reid
Authored by: Danielle Brubaker
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.
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