Here’s the fourth of this week’s ideas for measurable online social engagement strategies. I’ll collect these into a single post for easy viewing tomorrow.
In many ways, I think this is the most important idea of them all.
Idea 4: Empower Employees…and manage them.
Employees are consumers. Employees are people. Employees have networks both professional and personal. And you never know when that will help … or hurt … your corporate goals. Employees engaged online — through blogs, private forums, social networks like Facebook or Twitter, or industry forums — are ambassodors of the brand. They are problem solvers. They are recruisters. They are sharers of the promotions you want to “go viral”.
The Knowledge@Wharton blog offers some great case studies in a recent post — Del Monte Pet Foods chats with consumers about problems and ideas to shape new products. HP has 50 bloggers engaged in product communities every day. E&Y uses Facebook for recruiting. As Joe Kraus of Google is quoted in that post:
“What all organizations need to prepare for, said Kraus, is a completely social web, where “your users will simply expect to be part of the conversation.”
What communications needs to provide is policy that guides engagement but does not constrict. Or, to put it another way, to encourage employees who want to help the company, while offering reasonable advice on how to do so without hurting the company, or their own livelihood. Charline Li offers an informative listing of corporate policies that are great examples of how very different companies come at the challenges and opportunities of online social engagement. Worth a read…and a whole new post that I’ll save for next time.
Measure by improved search engine positioning, increased media attention, greater website traffic and sales leads.