Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) believes Information Technology has the power to change the world and help solve the world's toughest challenges, both social and environmental. From implementing fair and ethical labor practices across global supply chains, to a large-scale wind energy purchasing agreement in Texas, sustainability and social responsibility are part of the company's DNA and truly embedded into its business strategy.
HPE is constantly innovating and creating efficiencies that help not just its customers, but also the world. So how do we share that knowledge and help accelerate efficiency and opportunity for all? How do we unlock the power of technology to create a better, more inclusive world for everyone? And how do we reach the important business decision-makers on social media and educate them on the importance of sustainable business?
Through our strategy and content, we aimed to influence our core audiences of business elites, IT decision-makers, and industry influencers – as well as employees, partners and the general public – to recognize the importance of embedding sustainability into core business strategies. We also wanted those audiences to see Living Progress as transforming the IT industry in a way that drove efficiencies for not just customers, but the world at large.
As HPE was developing innovative technology that helped reduce its carbon footprint five years earlier than originally anticipated, we developed an "always-on" social media strategy to advance the message of accelerating efficiency, opportunity and fairness. This strategy incorporated a paid, earned, shared and owned approach to its content, focusing on reaching IT decision-makers and business leaders, inciting them to conduct their business in a more sustainable and ethical fashion.
After its split with HP in 2015, HPE introduced a new brand promise and a renewed vision in Living Progress. Through our social content, we wanted to demonstrate the real progress and expectations HPE was making and setting for itself within the community that lives and breathes this space everyday. We wanted to be part of the conversation with key opinion leaders of sustainability and potential customers compelled by sustainability in their purchase decision-making.
Through our "newsroom of the future" approach, our proprietary approach to real-time social listening and engagement, the team often huddled into a room to conduct consistent in-depth social listening relating to their social good interests, allowing Living Progress to uncover and participate in online trends and key conversations quickly. These trends focused on positive core themes such as sustainability, diversity and inclusion, economic inclusion, and bridging the digital divide. This also allowed HPE Living Progress to engage with influencers in real-time, building brand awareness and relationships with key organizations and decision-makers on core social platforms.
Whenever HPE participated in an important industry or sustainability conference – such as Climate Week NYC, which is attended by our primary audience of IT Decision Makers – the brand's Twitter handle, @HPE_LivingProg, would live-tweet and cover it in real-time. Through engaging content (photos, videos, Boomerangs, GIFs, polls, etc.), HPE Living Progress shared highlights from the events with its audience, sparking social conversation.
One such example of Living Progress' ability to take online relationships offline was the activation of an influencer program to support the culmination of our Living Progress Challenge (LPC) campaign. Through these influencers, we aimed to amplify the reach and visibility of Living Progress efforts to make the world a better place through technology by those most influential in the social impact space. For this campaign, Living Progress crowdsourced answers to the question "What software applications and digital services would you create to improve people's lives?" to the global community. After getting hundreds of responses, only four would be named winners at the LPC Finals event in Brooklyn, New York. To announce the winners, we enlisted 15 influencers we had established online relationships with to attend the event and share the day's activities with their social followers.
In order to gain further visibility, HPE Living Progress worked closely with the HPE corporate teams to ensure program-related content was shared on the corporate channels, including HPE's Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn pages.
Using a mixture of paid, organic, planned and agile content, @HPE_LivingProg increased awareness of Living Progress efforts among the sustainability community, as well as improving engagement among both those who already followed us and those who didn't. Throughout 2016, content shared on the Twitter handle received a total of 261M impressions and 14K social actions, 3.8K tagged posts, and 5.6K branded hashtag mentions. More specifically, HPE Living Progress was able to form online relationships with influencers and our target audiences, netting 4.3K followers in 2016.
Stemming from the LPC Finals event and influencer program, Living Progress received a total of 1,142 mentions from 443 unique authors—97 percent of whose posts used our #livingprogress hashtag. Through our paid promotion of event-related social content, we received more than 156K impressions and 2.1K engagements with a 1.35% engagement rate.
Overall, our strategy to connect and establish relationships with like-minded sustainability and social impact leaders on social media to spark conversation proved successful. These relationships bubbled over into social conversation, but also helped increase awareness (ex: Twitter followers attending our Living Progress Exchanges at sustainability conferences like VERGE Santa Clara, which is attended by our primary audience of IT decision-makers).
This strategy has been deemed so successful that the Living Progress channel will soon be merging with the HPE corporate social channels and Living Progress-related content becoming a mainstay.
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