Enterprise Social Media

This archive highlights cases of the application of social media in functional areas of organizations. In addition to specific functional areas, social media can be used across the whole organization to improve collaboration and organizational performance.

In this section of the archive, we look at the work organizations are doing to integrate their social media activities throughout the enterprise. The University of Waterloo, Social Media for Business Performance Online Certificate supports the development of this archive. The certificate introduces students to a model for the creation of a Whole Enterprise Social Media Canvas – a visual representation of the integration of social media use focused on achieving performance impact.

Visit the Social Media for Business Performance Online Certificate website to learn more.

Magnet Forensics is a leading provider of digital forensics technology. Basically, if you’re a criminal and you’ve used a smartphone or a computer at any time, the police can search through your devices and find evidence, whether that be photos, videos, web history, chats, or GPS coordinates — even if you think you’ve deleted it. The company has grown quickly since its foundation in 2011, and in 2018, is looking at how to take its communication with its customers and employees to the next level.

Would you have thought for a moment that you could use an integrated social media strategy to promote local food? It is possible and the Taste of Huron (TOH) program is doing just that. Taste of Huron is a program that has been around for over 10 years. It has encountered it’s up and downs over the years, but not because of lack of interest. It is more about lack of funding and lack staff resources to dedicate to program development and administration. The program started out being managed by Huron Tourism Association (HTA) and Huron County Economic Development. Over the years the program has made some remarkable gains in the marketplace. The lack of resources and the closure of the Huron Tourism Association could have been the death of the program, but thankfully with the insight of the Huron Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) and the final board of HTA, the Taste of Huron program was not to fall through the cracks and be forgotten. “It’s not surprising that Community Futures Huron continues to invest in our local food system. It’s one of the fastest growing components of the Huron County economy, with great prospects for business and job growth”. – Paul Nichol General Manager Community Futures Huron Taste Of Huron was resurrected in 2017 through government grants and the sheer desire to make the program work. You might ask yourself why not let it end with a painless death; the simple truth is there is too much to lose. Huron County is one of the most agricultural productive counties in Ontario.  The work that has been done in the past has proven that with the proper social media tactics and a strong, event-driven, marketing plan, the brand can prosper and grow.

Some chocolate lovers are easy targets for many chocolate distributors. But how does a company successfully compete with hundreds of different chocolate bars on the market? A chocolate company may have to develop new products like new flavours to continue to increase sales. Some companies like Snickers stick to their original flavours that the world loves. The classic Snickers has continued to promote their quality chocolate bars and continues to increase sales and brand awareness. Snickers is owned by Mars and has a long history with 5 principles that they promote on their website. The 5 principles that the company follows are; Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Freedom and Efficiency. Snickers is able to effectively build their chocolate empire based on their 5 principles.

Lumberjack Sports is an online sports based company from Brantford Ontario, specializing in Baseball and Softball, in game and off field workout gear. Their focus is on exceptional quality, and providing consumers with a reliable, long lasting product. “In creating Lumberjack sports, we wanted a name and logo athletes could relate to. Lumberjack sports is not only a brand, it is a mentality. Hard work, strength and all around commitment to getting the job done, and done right, is what we have built Lumberjack sports on” says founder Nick Shailes.

General Motors operates over 100 different social media channels with more than 21 million fans, followers and subscribers. They also have a footprint in over 120 countries globally. Taking this huge scope into consideration, it is imperative that a company the size of GM operates in a highly coordinated and integrated fashion to support their customers around the world.

Theatre on The Edge, also known as ToTE, is a comedy improv troupe from Waterloo, ON. There might be many other improv groups in the region, but none that exists for 37 years like ToTE does. Established in 1991, ToTE has made audiences laugh with hilarious and uplifting improv comedy shows made up on the spot, just based on suggestions the audience provides. The ever-changing cast has been performing weekly shows in addition to special off-site gigs at corporate functions, birthday parties and anniversaries throughout Ontario. The company’s goal is to make their audience laugh, to enjoy themselves, and to ensure that nobody leaves feeling that they should have rather watched a show on Netflix.  

With well-represented brands like Axe, Dove, and Ben and Jerry’s, each of which has a strong online following, Unilever has proven itself to be a social media veteran. With so many strong sub-brands residing under the Unilever umbrella, a certain level of consistency and organization is necessary to maintain order, eliminate waste, and create a cohesive vision. Unilever uses social media for a variety of purposes across the entire organization to support several important functions.  

This blog post looks at whole enterprise social media – aka social media integrated throughout the entirety of an organization. I couldn’t think of anyone else than award-winning beauty blogger cross-cultural, cross-platform star: the 34-year-old is a millennial who instinctively knows what kind of content works on every platform, Huda Kattan. Huda Beauty is very similar to established brands such as Urban Decay and Anastasia Beverly Hills – in the sense that they all found popularity on social media. The makeup guru, who pretty much created the definition of a beauty influencer, has been on the scene since the start of her YouTube channel in 2007. It takes about two seconds of watching Huda Kattan on YouTube to understand her appeal — and watch how the beauty blogger-turned-YouTube turned Instagram star leveraged her influencer status to become one of today’s biggest online beauty sensations. #EmpireInTheMaking

Toronto’s Furniture Bank is in the business of doing good. As a social enterprise dedicated to providing gently-used furniture to women, children, refugees, and those transitioning out of homelessness and poverty, Furniture Bank has grown steadily since its inception. Over time, it has rallied a series of sponsors, donors, social agencies, and other partners to provide thousands of families in need with dignified furniture in the Greater Toronto Area. And most of this has been accomplished through marketing and outreach strategies outside the realm of social media. But as more people turn to social media and online publishers for their news, and overall exposure to products, trends, and “ways of giving”, over the past year the organization has begun to weave social media into its overall marketing strategies, particularly by creating an online-only silent auction and ramping up its social posts to promote its annual fundraiser, the Chair Affair. The incredible impact of this small change (surpassing previous fundraising targets, growing followers, and increasing brand awareness by leaps and bounds online) has set a course for the organization to follow suit with a more dedicated online strategy. With its goals of growing the organization to a national level, and reaching record-breaking fundraising targets in order to serve the most families it can, it is clear that social media lends itself very well as a marketing tool, not only in relationship to its future events, but for the organization as a whole. Below: Executive Director Dan Kershaw discusses Furniture Bank’s mission and functions.

Sun Life Financial is working towards integrating their communication across the company. Recently they have made a large step towards this by adopting the powerful internal social media tool created by Facebook. Sun Life is in the process of rolling out the use of Workplace by Facebook.

Ten trees planted for every item purchased seems like an unobtainable goal selling clothes, but Tentree has made it their mission. At Tentree, their goal is to become the most environmentally progressive brand on the planet. They don’t want to just reduce the negative impact of the apparel industry, they want to use it as a vehicle for change. Their purpose is to revitalize our environment and inspire a generation to believe that they can do the same. Their current goal is to plant 1 billion trees by 2030. (Tentree.com, 2017) TenTree’s a socially oriented company, that is already on track to have over 17 million trees planted by the end of 2017. This significant achievement showcases the level of success that the company’s current high-cost business model enjoys. As a start-up business that is already making profits in the early stages of its life, TenTree’s is a great example of social entrepreneurs that employed a premium differentiation strategy and succeeded. In addition to this, TenTree’s has accomplished putting their products onto the shelves of 300 Canadian stores; doing so indicates the level of demand for their product in the market despite the high pricing. A last example of this is the company’s ability to garner strong internet sales; proving their marketing strategy’s impact in action is a force that can be relied on throughout its future. (Ho, 2017)

The holiday season is upon us, this time of year is typically the peak selling period for many department stores. In an environment where consumers are increasing their purchases made on-line and by mobile shopping, I wondered whether in a challenged department store industry if one would have a social media strategy specifically for this peak selling season as part of their Whole Enterprise Social Media Canvas.  

Blogger, Alice Katter, says it best, “We’re all guilty of it: Snapping a photo of that pizza or ice cream we couldn’t wait to dig into, and Instagramming it. Why? Because, we’re obsessed with #foodporn. We love seeing what others eats and showing off with our own dishes.” With the boom of social media, the food and restaurant industry has forever changed. In order for any business in the food industry to succeed, their engagement on social media is paramount. The industry which once relied heavily on word of mouth, has shifted to social media being the major influencer.

IBM has always stayed ahead of the game. As one of the world’s biggest technological companies, they were forecasting the rise of social media and immediately jumped on the opportunity.  Back in 2007, they foresaw how much of an impact social media was having on the world. They launched Lotus Connections, a product that combined five social networking applications into one package. Since it was aimed at the corporate social and collaborative environment, the apps focused around tools that allowed workers to communicate with each other via blogs, profiles, and common community areas. This was the start of an enterprise-wide integration and employees would have access for more information to collaborate with. IBM LotusLive has become IBM SmartCloud for Social Business. It’s used for business grade file sharing, social networking, communities, online meetings, instant messaging, email and calendar. There is also a productivity center that employees can edit documents in real time. Keeping employees involved has helped with successful organizational strategy.

Throughout FIFA’s divisions, I believe that FIFA has created the most significant collaboration between two of its departments such as Marketing, and Communications & Public Affairs Division. Each department is in charge of developing different aspects of FIFA’s goals. FIFA’s most important goals are; creating opportunities for fan engagement, providing best experiences for fans, players and all stakeholders at events, providing up-to-date information on game time, scores, and ticket information. FIFA accomplishes this through FIFA’s web site, FIFA’s App, and all Social Media channels. Marketing at FIFA consists of many sub-divisions that include Brand & Marketing Communication, FIFA Marketing Russia, FIFA Quality Concept, Hospitality, Licensing, Marketing Alliances, Marketing Event Management, Production, Sales, Strategic Development and Ticketing. FIFA’s Marketing is committed to providing sponsors with “right packages”, promoting events to fuel fan excitement at host nations, managing premium hospitality events, creating innovative and tailor made marketing programs enhancing fan experiences, managing brand identity at FIFA and events. Communications & Public Affairs Division handles public relations, internal communications, and FIFA weekly magazine. FIFA’s digital department is in charge of FIFA.com, social media platforms, FIFA app, and video content through FIFA TV. The digital department is also in charge of the storage of data, photographs and documents. FIFA’s media department handles the communication to the media and media facility services for FIFA events. FIFA’s public affairs department handles the communication, relations and engagement with public, authorities and policymakers. FIFA has established a group to develop a comprehensive mobile and digital strategy designed to improve engagement with FIFA’s stakeholders. The work was built upon FIFA’s established platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and the FIFA app, which was downloaded 30 million times around the FIFA World Cup 2014. I wonder how many times the FIFA app will be downloaded in the 2018 World Cup in Russia? In order to watch the video, FIFA has granted permission via YouTube

What do companies do when they don’t have physical products to sell? Why they sell experiences, of course. And that’s something Deloitte’s new digital division has been squarely focused on – with impressive results – since first launching in 2010. Deloitte Digital is the cool, technology savvy teenager in the conservative Deloitte consultancy family. It’s essentially an ad agency in the traditional sense, but it has been able to bring the rest of Deloitte’s more established global organization, knowledge base and brand to bear for its multitude of clients. The key for Deloitte Digital has been the use of an arsenal of digital tools, including social media, that has allowed it to seamlessly collaborate across the broader organization. Deloitte Digital’s success in such a short period of time shows just how far an organization can go when it adopts a holistic, digitally focused, whole-enterprise approach.

Martell Home Builders is an Atlantic Canadian custom homebuilder. In the past, Martell relied heavily on realtors to keep their business moving forward. However, once they embraced social media, they were able to create a direct-to-consumer model where they were no longer reliant on a middleman to bring them business.   Martell started a content creation and blogging strategy to focus on their homebuyers’ needs. With topics such as “14 Must-Have Tools for New Homeowners” and “Home Staging Tips & Techniques,” Martell was able to grab the attention of homebuyers. Today, about 86% of all their leads come directly from consumers. Martell homes promotes their social media and blogs heavily with giving customers up to date information they can use. Facebook Page 8,513 Followers Twitter 2,041 with over 10.8k tweets. Youtube Channel with 142 subscribers  

With nearly 15,000 physicians, residents and staff, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is London’s largest employer. It’s a multi-site facility that includes University, Victoria and Children’s Hospitals plus multiple research institutes and medical centres. LHSC provides the broadest range of specialized services of any hospital in Ontario. In 2016-17, it saw 163,369 emergency room visits and admitted 52,447 patients. Over its 142-year history, LHSC has been a trail-blazer in the use of technology to advance health care. The organization developed the first artificial kidney and was the first hospital in North America to acquire a digital angiography system. It has also led in the use of digital communications as the first hospital to broadcast a surgery in real-time using RP-Vantage technology. So it make sense that LHSC would turn to technology to coordinate communications across its systems. Here’s how the organization uses the Internet of Things to improve patient care, move medicines from the pharmacy to the bedside, increase collaboration and share the expertise of its physicians with other communities.

This blog post looks at whole enterprise social media – aka social media integrated throughout the entirety of an organization. I could not think of a more fun “organization” to write about then The Lady Gang. “‘Ladygang’ is a celebrity driven podcast from the minds and mouths of Keltie Knight, Jac Vanek and Becca Tobin. Inspired by their bottomless mimosa brunches, each week a celebrity guest joins the girls for a raw, honest and hilarious look at what the life is really like under the bright lights of Hollywood. Guests will help the girl gang answer life’s burning questions from listeners in #ASKTHELADYGANG and share their own unapologetic stories about stumbing through womenhood.” (The LadyGang, 2017)

Sports brings people together. It moves and inspires people in ways that can sometimes be hard to explain. The sacrifice can never be put into words or understood unless you’ve personally gone through it yourself. But yet, regardless of your participation or not, sports can bring a nation together. It can bring us to our knees and can instil a sense of pride. The raw talent, incredible dedication and sheer passion of watching someone give it their all is a great indicator that sport is much more than the result at the end of a race or a game, it tells the story of the incredible team behind-the-scenes that helps a team or individual propel to greatness.

“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.

In a perfect Social Media business model, consumer interest is developed by conversation and as a result, product or service is being designed and realized with relevance, purposefulness and quality control. Engagement and response rather than product promotion becomes the primary manner in which a marketer interacts with a consumer. Most businesses practice may not fully understand how social media best works. In many instances, social media approaches may appear to be executed in very singular, silo-like fashion. This is understandable practice as centrally controlled social media rarely work. and consumers are very savvy players. They want to decide what works best for them. Consumers will listen to what they perceive to be an authentic conversation rather than simply digesting a controlled promotional message. With social media technology, consumers have much more power to both accept or reject content, and it is very much in the interest of an organization to facilitate such an interactive discussion rather than attempt to control the communication. So, Social Media marketing, unlike direct marketing strategies, finds its effectiveness less in directly promoting product and more in creating an interactive environment where relationships, authenticity and trust among stakeholders will ultimately drive customer loyalty and product sales. How does one create the right environment for successful social media, especially when a company is employing multiple social media platforms for a range of specific goals. There can be significant benefits to integrating social media strategies, benefits from customer engagement to product quality control or unit cost reduction. However, a number of significant questions should be addressed when developing an Integrated Social Media Strategy. Have you established the overall vision for the company? Once established, is everyone contributing to the vision? Employee participation is seen as a critical component to this strategy. Consumer engagement is likely to arise when social media discourse is deemed coherent, relevant and honest. With multiple social media platforms in play, one wants to avoid duplication, establish clarity and seek cost saving as a result. How many websites should you have? Do you make a distinction between broad and local targeting? Why is Tumblr better than Instagram in a given situation, or Facebook over Twitter? And is the process at all measurable? Understanding Media is important. Media can be defined as either traditional and social and has many faces and possibilities. Look at the appended Social Media Ecosystem Chart.   Schulz paints a complex… Read more »

Colourpop was found in the city of Los Angeles in 2014 by Seed Beauty and is a company that provides its customers with affordable and cruelty-free products. This company understands the importance of makeup trends in the ever-changing industry and keeps up with them without breaking the bank. What’s even more interesting is how they integrate their social media in specific functioning areas of their organisation and across the organisation as a whole to improve collaboration and organisational performance.

The benefits of social media across the enterprise extends beyond just helping to generate reach and create brand awareness. Marketers and businesses continue to find value in social media, however, the ROI has not fully been proven. Full adoption across the enterprise is slow and its potential has not been added up entirely. Everything from customer and employee engagement and supply chain have benefited from the use of social media. As businesses continue to pursue growth and maximize shareholder value, the question still exists: “Is social media really a benefit or an unwelcome piece in a company’s equation?” While there are plenty of examples of organizations successfully implementing social media tactics to help them better understand their customers, suppliers, or even employees, there are also challenges to having social media across the enterprise. First, social media requires structure. A proper framework is necessary to be in place in order to understand who is ultimately responsible and what the intended objectives are to using social media. Second, it can cause distractions to employees. Busy employees open, on average, 121 emails per day. Maximizing their focus and time is challenging when communications are coming from more than a few angles. The last potential challenge with having social media across the workplace is heightened CyberSecurity.

Social Media influencer, Lori Ruff (@loriruff), once said “Social media is here. It’s not going away; not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: in social media.” She couldn’t be more correct. Social Media is everywhere. Successful companies know this. Successful companies are using social media to communicate with their customers, to engage employees, to research and develop products and services, as well as to market those products and services. Tripcentral.ca is one company that knows the value of social media and is using it to the fullest extent. Tripcentral.ca started as a one store operation in Hamilton, Ontario back in 1989. It has grown to be an industry leader for online and storefront travel purchases, employing over 120 people with agents in 26 locations across Central and Eastern Canada. They use social media to interact with their customers via Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. They are the only major travel agency to leave their Facebook reviews open for public comment, with a 4.8 star approval rating and a social media staff who immediately respond to any negative comments. This feedback helps to retain customers as well as acquire new ones. Getting their customers involved also helps to generate sales by building a bond with the company itself.