Last month, we shared the Social Transformation Report which analyzed the results of our survey of 2,162 marketers conducted with Altimeter Group. The report delivers insights about the true value organizations realize from their social media efforts. In modern organizations, we noted three key trends:

  • Social media deepens relationships
  • Social media increases the efficiency of other business activities
  • Social media encourages wider organizational change

That all sounds great, you say, but what do these trends actually look like in real life? In this blog post, we examine how several Hootsuite customers capture more value from social media in each of these three areas.

Download the full Social Transformation Report to find out how 2,162 marketers are using social media in their organizations in the wake of COVID-19.

1. How to deepen relationships with social listening and employee advocacy

Our study found that social plays a leading role in developing and deepening relationships. However, while 75% of organizations surveyed focus on connecting with customers, mature organizations are almost twice as likely to also connect with communities, employees, and partners on social media. How are they doing this? Through Hootsuite’s social listening, social engagement, social analytics, and employee advocacy tools.

At Avidia Bank, a mutual community bank headquartered in Hudson, Massachusetts, the social media team sees social as an opportunity to understand customers better.

“Social opens up that communication channel and it becomes a conversation,” explained Janel Maysonet, CMO at Avidia Bank. “It’s all about knowing the customer.”

Avidia Bank connects with customers through engaging content.

The social media team at Avidia monitors social channels for mentions or reviews and responds within one business day. It also addresses any trends or issues that are flagged by its customer service team. For example, if there are any complaints about fraud or phishing attacks on Avidia customers, the social team communicates promptly.

Fraud risks discovered via customer services, sales, or on social media are communicated.

Actively listening to conversations and sentiment for each stakeholder (customers, employees, partners, investors, and the community) is an essential element of any effective social media strategy. Social listening tools can help organizations get the full picture of an audience’s sentiment, discover what they are searching for or reading about, and understand how they feel about your brand or competitors.

The Avidia team is also launching a new customer relationship management (CRM) system that will enable them to quickly contact customers and follow up when they spot a negative review or critical post on social media.

SODEXO connects with community and employees with Hootsuite Amplify

SODEXO, a global food services and facilities management company, addresses multiple stakeholders with a single social media strategy.

“We take a 360-degree approach to our communications,” explained Kim Beddard-Fontaine, SVP of digital and employee communications at SODEXO. “There isn’t a wall between internal and external.”

To do this, SODEXO’s communications team employs the perfect blend of content, employee advocacy, and social advertising strategies.

The company recently ran a highly targeted social campaign to reach C-level executives at a single organization with social posts about SODEXO’s corporate social responsibility commitment. To extend the reach of the campaign, the team promoted it with paid social posts. At the same time, employees with connections to executives at the prospect shared campaign content via Hootsuite Amplify to their personal social media networks. SODEXO confirmed that several of the prospect’s executives read and engaged with the post, which eventually played a significant role in winning the contract.

SODEXO deepens relationships with employees through its advocacy program and also by frequently sharing content about them. It reaps the reward of lots of engagement and increased reach and traffic to their website in return.

SODEXO’s employees actively engage and share content on social media.

2. How to drive operational efficiency with social

Our research found that social media can drive operational efficiencies and contribute to key business results in areas like employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and brand health.

Our research found that employees who view posts about their colleagues and their company feel a stronger connection to their organization, with 28% reporting increased employee engagement.

The employee advocacy program at Ochsner Health System has 300 brand ambassadors and a 40% adoption rate.

The organization creates engaging content that highlights the great work of its employees and partners. Recently, Ochsner created a “COVID Hero Diaries” series to call out the brave workers on the front line.

Ochsner’s COVID Hero Diaries campaign on Instagram.

“These are stories that they’re proud of,” explained Alexandra Gaudin, senior digital content specialist at Ochsner Health. “The stories resonate with our brand ambassadors, who are proud to work for a company that is doing that initiative.”

Ochsner shares employee and team success stories on Facebook.

The company has some employee-only channels too, including this Instagram account dedicated to sharing new job postings, interview tips, and updates about promotions, etc.

Download the full Social Transformation Report to find out how 2,162 marketers are using social media in their organizations in the wake of COVID-19.

Get the report now

Ochsner also has an employee-focused channel on Instagram.

In addition to boosting employee engagement and satisfaction, social media boosts the efficacy of other marketing campaigns by amplifying the impact of digital channels like websites and email marketing. It can also help reduce customer acquisition costs.

72% of respondents agreed that social media helps them improve the efficiency of other media.

78% agreed that social media empowered them to reach prospective customers more efficiently than other media

Source: Hootsuite and Altimeter Group, The Social Transformation Report

Social analytics for better targeting and personalization

Social media’s vast audiences, advanced targeting capabilities, and cost-effectiveness combine to make it a highly effective channel for reaching new and existing customers.

Mapfre, a global insurance company, leverages the advantages of social analytics to understand what people are thinking about. This, in turn, helps them to better target and personalize their marketing campaigns. In fact, in some countries, social media is the only media Mapfre buys because it is so inexpensive and effective at targeting the right audiences.

Mapfre uses social analytics from Hootsuite to create compelling content that resonates with its audiences.

3. How social can drive cultural transformation

For years, Altimeter’s research has noted that digital transformation projects fail because there is too much emphasis on technology and not enough support for the cultural transformation that must take place within the organization.

Because social media is a technology that is so familiar to most people, it can act as a powerful catalyst for greater digital transformation in an organization. It helps drive the cultural change required to make technology adoption a success. In fact, 66% of respondents in our survey agreed that their social media programs have helped prepare their organization for broader digital transformation.

The transformative power of social media begins with its widespread adoption across the organization. While it usually starts in marketing or communications departments, many mature practitioners have seen other departments use social media.

How execs can lead cultural transformation

For years, many executives dismissed social as a business tool. Our latest research found that the value of social media in driving real business objectives is being noticed at the executive level.

Hootsuite’s employee advocacy tool, Hootsuite Amplify, can play a significant role in helping executives understand the value of social media and support them as they begin participating in social media themselves.

The social team at Georgia State University created a program for the president and deans on Hootsuite Amplify. Seeing the engagement with their peers, the leadership team experienced greater ownership and involvement in the process. Soon, they were bringing the social team into more meetings for consultations about the strategic use of social media.

Terry Coniglio, director of content strategy at Georgia State University, recalled, “The intangible thing that you can’t measure is the trust that has been built with our department.”

Scaling digital transformation requires the broad adoption of digital practices so that employees can build the digital muscle required to succeed. Making social media accessible to everyone from salespeople to executives will increase their participation as digital citizens and help create a digital culture shift.

Where is your organization on the Social Transformation scale? Take our Social Maturity Test to find out.

Social Transformation with Hootsuite

Our research found that increasing your organization’s social maturity leads to broader business impacts from social. Avidia Bank, SODEXO, Mapfre, Ochsner Health System, and Georgia State University are just some of the organizations reaping the benefits.

The top five reasons organizations like these work with Hootsuite include ease of use, reliability, breadth of features and tools, fast deployment and time to value, and, of course, our stellar industry reputation. We pride ourselves on being not just a leading social media platform but a partner in our customers’ social and digital transformation.

“Hootsuite has always been a partner,” said Terry Coniglio, director of content strategy at Georgia State University. “Whenever I have a problem, I know I can pick up the phone. I feel like I’ve always had a team who understands our situation, our goals, and what we’re trying to do.”

Read the full Social Transformation Report to learn how Hootsuite can become your trusted partner in digital transformation.