Social business is what many companies, brands, and leaders are striving to become in 2015. But what does it mean to truly be a social business? On the newest episode of the SMACtalk Live podcast we wanted to discuss this topic in-depth. There was no better leader to join us as a co-host than the Program Director of Social Business Market Making at IBM, Amber Armstrong.
On previous episodes of SMACtalk, Daniel and I have discussed why we believe IBM is without question the leader in social business. After Daniel and I attended multiple IBM events including the #NewWayToWork futurist event in New York, we also believe that they are establishing themselves as the leaders in influencer marketing and employee advocacy.
In this episode you’ll hear Amber discuss IBM’s social business strategy and explain why they focused on linking paid, owned and earned media while leveraging employee advocacy and influencers to build a true social business internally and externally.
Although many of the examples and use cases shared are focused around IBM programs, the insights and lessons that Amber shares are invaluable. Amber’s thoughts on building an employee advocacy program, identifying influencers, as well as her focus on building employee personal brands, are strategies that can be leveraged and implemented by every small to enterprise sized business that wants to become a true social business.
This won’t be the last time we discuss social business on the show and it won’t be the last time we have Amber on the show as a co-host. Be sure to check the Millennial CEO calendar as the SMACtalk Live Podcast team will be taking the broadcast live to future IBM and technology industry events.
Also as mentioned on SMACtalk, Co-Host and BroadSuite founder Daniel Newman has a new book that was just released called “Evolve: Marketing (^as we know it)” is Doomed. Daniel teamed up with Digital Strategist and CEO at ArCompany Hessie Jones to share how Marketers must evolve, because marketing, as we know it, is doomed. This book is a must read for the SMACtalk audience. Embracing change is a consistent theme throughout every SMACtalk episode and a must for modern business professionals.
Want to say Thank You again to Amber for co-hosting SMACtalk!
Connect with Amber on Twitter & Linkedin. Click here to find out more about what she and the IBM Social Business team is doing. Don’t forget to put your name on the list to be one of the first to test drive IBM’s new email conversation engine IBMverse!
Podcast Show Notes:
Daniel and Brian are embracing the “M’ in the SMACtalk as Daniel is recording today’s episode on the go as we recorded this episode on the Martin Luther King day holiday.
On Episode 8 of SMACtalk Amber Armstrong joins as Cohost to help us answer the question “What does it mean to be a social business?” On the show we discuss Employee Advocacy, Personal Branding and Thought Leadership strategy while also talking about influencers role in brands becoming a social business.
Employee Advocacy, Personal Branding & Thought Leadership
Extending conversations to digital audience and importance of engagement and then leveraging data and analytics!
“You can’t be a modern marketer, without being on social daily!” – Amber Armstrong
- How she links Paid, Owned & Earned media while leveraging employee advocacy and influencers to be a true social business both internally and externally.
- How IBM embraces social conversations off domain to share IBM content, influencer content and employee content providing value and driving conversations with the goal of driving them back to owned channels.
- When building Employee Advocacy program at IBM they started small and Amber explains how they leveraged conferences to integrate employee thought leaders with external influencers.
- The value of starting small and finding quick wins to prove its value which allowed them to grow the employee advocacy and influencer programs rapidly.
- That as a manager and leader at IBM she supports and empowers her team to become thought leaders. Sandy Carter was discussed as a great example of an industry thought leader and Brian shares his thoughts and engagement with Sandy as she is truly an amazing example of an engaged and connected social executive.
- How they work with IBM executives who are naturally social and how they leverage the same Dynamic Signal employee advocacy platform as all other employees and become a leaders by example in the social space for other executives and employees.
- Inisghts into why executives at IBM have an internal social engagement score and how it encourage executives to be social and lead by example.
Key Take Away:
Employee advocacy must encourage and promote engagement, including education of employees and empowering leadership to lead by example. Without education and focus on engagement, employee advocacy can come across as spammy and automated that provides no value and alienates the community.
Social Business Influencer strategy
Amber shares her strategy on how IBM created influencer relationships that were targeted and focused on finding thought leaders that were connected with the community. The debut of IBMverse was part of the influencer collaboration event which has allowed IBM to understand and gather feedback from their influencers while also including them in the entire release and go to market strategy of IBMverse to make sure the relationship is a two-way street.
We discuss the importance of:
- Understanding what Content is working, what are the popular hashtags while taking an analytical approach that will soon be amplified thanks to the IBM and Twitter partnership that was announced last month.
- How you link Social Business to customer creation and sales.
- Why It’s about reaching new audiences.
- Establishing thought leadership with employee advocacy and connecting those employees with industry thought leaders.
- Connecting live events with digital audiences, influencers and employees.
- Influencers being included in the event, providing a white glove service and giving them exclusive access to executives and products so they convey the message to the millennial community while also providing feedback.
- IBM engaging and building a social community by leveraging twitter chats weekly and live at events.
- Using Analytics to understand the conversations happening around the conference and event hashtags and allowing social employees and influencers
The Future of Work is something we love discussing here on SMACtalk as becoming a social business requires a change in philosophy that integrates these strategies we discussed on this episode along with the S.M.A.C. technologies to create new employee and customer experiences!