On March 15, 2016 Lynda.com, a division of LinkedIn released the video course: “Social Employees: The New Marketing Channel,” Both my co-author, Mark Burgess, and myself designed this 22-part course to help businesses move from the why to the how in their employee advocacy efforts. The course will cover a lot of ground, from the value of branding from the inside out to setting up a social employee (@socialemployee) pilot program. We’re excited to share our latest project with you and hope you will join us for the course!
In the Social Employee Revolution, how do you move from the why to the how? Once your employees are on board, what comes next?
First, you need to know when it’s time to move forward.
This can be a tricky thing to determine. In The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, 2013), we explain Cisco’s brilliantly simple answer to this question: let your employees tell you. In taking its workforce into the social age, Cisco leadership invested considerably in generating employee buy-in. Going social wasn’t just about doing something different, after all. It was about believing in something different.
To measure this, Cisco leadership created the WWHW Wheel. This tool acted as a barometer of sorts, tracking employees across the what, why, how, and when of strategic planning. If employees were asking what-based questions, they were still trying to understand the basic framework of the plan. Why-based questions meant they understood the plan and now wanted to understand the reasoning of it, and so on. As soon as employees started asking how-based questions, leadership knew they had the buy-in that they craved—and that it was time to roll up their sleeves and get down to business.
So once you have buy-in, what’s the best way forward? What are the key ingredients every organization needs to actually put their money where their mouth is and create a thriving social employee culture?
The truth is that there is no single way to go social. In our research, we’ve seen a variety of different approaches. But common among all of them has been a test phase, or pilot program. This is branding from the inside out, learning what social means internally before applying it externally.
What you should know before watching this course video.
Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
In The Social Employee, we go behind the scenes with several leading brands—such as IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo—pulling the lid off the inspiring social business success stories that have propelled these companies into the 21st century. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
“Great brands have always started on the inside, but why are companies taking so long to leverage the great opportunities offered by internal social media? . . . The Social Employee lifts the lid on this potential and provides guidance for businesses everywhere.” —JEZ FRAMPTON, Global Chairman and CEO, Interbrand
The Social Employee offers an unparalleled behind-the-scenes look at the social business success stories of some of the biggest brand names in the business world, including IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
The brands that leverage their employee base in order to engage customers and prospects through social media are the ones destined to win the marketing wars. This book not only details the astronomical rise of the social employee, but also outlines the innovative methods that leading companies have employed to foster cultures of enthusiastic and engaged workers.
AFTERWORD by Kevin Randall, Vice President of Brand Strategy & Research at Movéo Integrated Branding, and journalist for The New York Times, The Economist and Vanity Fair.