In recognizing that our employees are on the front lines of our brand’s voice, we identified a business need to build internal brand advocacy and leverage our sizable workforce to extend the reach of our marketing messages. However, before we could do that, we needed our employees to be educated in social media. We needed a blueprint and an infrastructure to support this need. That’s where SocialU was born. SocialU is our internal social media education, training, and enablement program designed to empower employees to be active in social media, both internally and externally. In empowering them to be advocates of the brand, they also learn how social media helps contribute to bottom line success and how to develop and establish their personal brands, which inherently transcends beyond their job roles at CA Technologies. They are encouraged to have a voice, to hone their skill sets, and ultimately to become thought leaders and subject matter experts both digitally and offline. We recognize that “people buy from people", even with us being a B2B, Fortune 500 company. As an organization it is important, now more than ever, to understand how social media impacts all aspects of our business. Our employees have become a key carrier of our brand’s voice. In realizing that it is business critical to sync the internal with the external, SocialU, our internal social media education program was born. SocialU addresses specific business needs, namely, building internal brand advocacy and leveraging our sizeable workforce to extend the reach and lifespan of our content. SocialU is the blueprint for bridging the internal with the external, resulting in a more connected way of doing business. We feel this program is a winner because large companies often struggle with internal enablement, getting executive buy-in and support for an internal social media education effort. It can be difficult to pull something together, and do it right, with the limited resources that social media teams have at their disposal. Despite these challenges, our small but driven social media team pulled together and rolled-out a comprehensive internal training initiative for a company with roughly 100 offices in 40 countries and 13,600 employees. As a global company that is made up of several different business units supporting a diverse portfolio of products, SocialU became a program that harnessed that energy and pulled everyone together for a common goal, demonstrating that we are truly an innovative and collaborative enterprise. SocialU connects our employees by making them stakeholders in a joint effort to humanize the brand. It ties in and directly supports our social advocacy and social amplification program. Our employees are educated from the perspective that if you are a potential customer, the message sounds different when you hear it from a branded account versus a person. Hearing the message from employees makes the message tangible. The goal is to mobilize our employees to help extend the reach of our brand while helping them establish their personal brands. The program brings together various parts of the organization: attendees have ranged from sales and marketing, to engineering, accounting, and executive leadership. And it is inherently social – encouraging employees to ask questions during the sessions as well as empowering them to take the conversation to our internal social network. Going back to bridging the internal with the external, as much education we do to train employees on external social media platforms, we also encourage them to discuss and collaborate internally as well. SocialU consists of monthly live online sessions covering best practices, industry trends, and social media know-how. Hosted by the social media team, our guest speakers have included internal experts from our communication and thought leadership teams, as well as external guest speakers from the social platforms themselves such as Twitter, YouTube, Google and LinkedIn. With over 350 people in attendance, these sessions receive a lot of buzz as they typically directly align with other initiatives in the company. One example is having a Twitter 101 session that talks about how to live tweet from an event before our employees head off to big industry events. These live sessions are recorded and have been opened up externally, on YouTube, in an effort to display transparency. We also house these videos internally on our SocialU Hub – an internal site that includes resources for a general 101 audience to our marketing managers who are looking for help on how to submit content or how to get started with their social media campaign. Currently in development are social media training modules for new and existing employees as well as a CA Technologies Social Media Playbook.
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