Any time we (Lenovo’s Global Social Media Center of Excellence) activate our employees on social media, we refuse to incentivize employees acting as brand robots: to mindlessly share Lenovo content, spamming their social networks with irrelevant posts.
Instead, education and skill-building are the bedrock of our employee social media strategy. To help employees build a marketable social media skill in whatever pursuit they choose – whether that’s lurking online to research topics important to their role or establishing their personal brand among their preferred networks.
So when our event marketers approached us asking for creative ways to drive registration for Lenovo’s largest event, Tech World, we looked to our employees (with a strategic eye).
How could we mobilize employees to help increase Tech World attendees, and simultaneously coach them on the value of engaging on social media rather than posting for postings sake?
Thus, the idea for an employee contest was born. Thanks to Lenovo’s partnership with Formula 1, we secured a prize so enticing that it even created excitement among non-race fans: two tickets for an employee and guest to attend a Formula 1 Grand Prix, including travel, accommodation and a daily stipend of $300 per person, per day. An experience valued at $15,000 USD.
To marry the goal of increased event registration while emphasizing useful social media tactics, we leaned on our employee advocacy tool, Lenovo Extend.
Lenovo Extend is globally available employee platform that houses Lenovo-related social media posts that employees can share to their social media accounts. For example, when Tech World registration opened, a corresponding Lenovo Extend post became available that included a social-ready graphic, a hyperlink to the event website, a suggested post and all the necessary hashtags.
Extend also makes it easy to like or reshare posts that are published by the flagship Lenovo brand handles (think @Lenovo on Twitter or our LinkedIn Company page). For example, an employee doesn’t have to go to twitter.com/lenovo to like a brand tweet – instead they could take the same action from Lenovo Extend and the like would be reflected natively on Twitter. This was a relatively new feature at the time of Tech World, and the contest was a great opportunity to let employees know it existed.
With this in mind, we created a contest prompting employees to use Extend to like and re-share a brand post promoting Tech World registration. The purpose was two-fold:
A SharePoint microsite was created outlining the contest details and step-by-step gifs to explain. We circulated it in all internal communications and any employee event promotion.
In the end, engagements on the one brand post associated with the contest nearly outmatched all total employee activity around Tech World from the previous year. The post was re-shared 852 times and received 722 likes. It became the most-popular post in the history of Lenovo Extend.
By the end of the event, employee activation around Tech World – combined with the contest – yielded the following results:
Employee reactions were overwhelmingly positive based on the excited comments to the contest SharePoint site. Lenovo Extend sign-ups also increased 27% over the course of the contest.
Following Tech World, the demand for similar contests using Lenovo Extend has been so high that we have had to create governance documentation in coordination with our Legal, Brand and Internal Communications teams.
Since part of our employee social media mantra is "fewer, better posts," we feel that this contest hit that sweet spot.
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