Last month we published the Social Transformation Report, which analyzed the results of our survey of 2,162 marketers conducted with the Altimeter Group. The report provides insights into the real value companies are getting from their social media endeavors. In modern organizations, we have identified three major trends:

  • Social media deepens relationships
  • Social media increases the efficiency of other business activities
  • Social media promotes broader organizational change

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

Download the full report on social transformation to find out how 2,162 marketers are using social media in their organizations after COVID-19.

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

Our study found that the social plays a leading role in developing and deepening relationships. While 75% of companies surveyed focus on connecting with customers, mature companies are almost twice as likely to connect with communities, employees and partners through social media as well. How do you do that? Through Hootsuite’s tools for social listening, social engagement, social analysis and employee advocacy.

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

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

Avidia Bank connects with customers through appealing content.

Avidia’s social media team monitors social channels for mentions or ratings and responds within one business day. It also addresses any trends or issues reported by the customer service team. For example, if there are complaints about fraud or phishing attacks on Avidia customers, the social team will communicate immediately.

Fraud risks discovered through customer service, sales or social media are communicated.

Active listening to conversations and sentiments for each stakeholder (customers, employees, partners, investors, and the community) is an essential element of any effective social media strategy. Using social listening tools, companies can get a complete picture of an audience’s mood, what they are looking for or reading, and how they feel about your brand or your competitors.

The Avidia team is also introducing a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that enables them to quickly contact and track customers when they discover a negative review or critical post on social media.

SODEXO connects with the community and employees with Hootsuite Amplify

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

“We take a 360-degree approach to our communication,” said Kim Beddard-Fontaine, SVP for digital communication and employee communication at SODEXO. “There is no wall between inside and outside.”

To this end, SODEXO’s communications team uses the perfect blend of content, employee advocacy and social promotion strategies.

The company recently ran a targeted social campaign to reach C-level executives in a single organization with social contributions on SODEXO’s commitment to corporate social responsibility. To increase the reach of the campaign, the team promoted it with paid social contributions. At the same time, employees with connections to the prospect’s executives shared campaign content through Hootsuite Amplify on their personal social networks. SODEXO confirmed that several executives from the prospect read and deal with the vacancy, which ultimately played an important role in the award of the contract.

SODEXO deepens relationships with employees through its advocacy program and through the frequent exchange of content about them. It reaps the rewards for a lot of commitment and increased reach and traffic to your website in return.

SODEXO employees are actively involved and share content on social media.

2. How to use social media to increase operational efficiency

Our research has shown that social media can increase operational efficiency and contribute to important business results in areas such as employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and brand health.

Our research found that employees who view posts about their peers and their company have a stronger connection with their organization. 28% report increased employee engagement.

The employee development program at Ochsner Health System includes 300 brand ambassadors and an adoption rate of 40%.

The organization creates engaging content that highlights the great work done by its employees and partners. Ochsner recently created a series of “COVID Hero Diaries” to call out the courageous workers at the front.

Ochsner’s COVID Hero Diaries campaign on Instagram.

“These are stories they are proud of,” explained Alexandra Gaudin, Senior Specialist for Digital Content at Ochsner Health. “The stories resonate with our brand ambassadors, who are proud to work for a company that takes this initiative.”

Ochsner shares the success stories of employees and teams on Facebook.

The company also has a few employee-only channels including this Instagram account which is used to share new job postings, interview tips, and updates on promotions, etc.

Ochsner also has an employee-oriented channel on Instagram.

Social media not only increases employee engagement and satisfaction, it also increases the efficiency of other marketing campaigns by increasing the impact of digital channels such as websites and email marketing. This can also help reduce customer acquisition costs.

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

78% agreed that social media enabled them to reach potential customers more efficiently than other media

Source: Hootsuite and Altimeter Group, The Social Transformation Report

Social analytics for better targeting and personalization

The broad audience, advanced targeting capabilities, and cost effectiveness of social media make it a highly effective channel to reach new and existing customers.

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

Mapfre uses Hootsuite social analytics to create compelling content that engages audiences.

3. How socially can promote cultural transformation

Altimeter’s research has determined for years that digital transformation projects fail because too much emphasis is placed on technology and the cultural transformation that needs to take place within the company is not adequately supported.

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

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

How leaders can lead cultural transformation

Many executives dismissed social media as a business tool for years. Our latest research has shown that the value of social media for achieving real business goals is being perceived at the executive level.

Hootsuite Amplify, Hootsuite’s employee advocacy tool, can play an important role in helping executives understand the value of social media and empowering them to participate in social media themselves.

Georgia State University’s social team created a program for the president and is the dean for Hootsuite Amplify. When the leadership team saw the commitment of their colleagues, they experienced greater ownership and involvement in the process. Soon they brought the social team to further meetings to discuss strategic use of social media.

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

Scaling out digital transformation requires the widespread adoption of digital practices so that employees can build the digital muscles necessary for success. By making social media available to everyone from salespeople to executives, it increases their participation as digital citizens and creates a digital culture shift.

Social transformation with Hootsuite

Our research has shown that increasing your company’s social maturity translates into wider business impacts from social networking. Avidia Bank, SODEXO, Mapfre, the Ochsner Health System, and Georgia State University are just a few of the organizations that are benefiting from the benefits.

The top five reasons companies like this partner with Hootsuite are ease of use, reliability, breadth of features and tools, fast deployment and time to value, and of course our excellent reputation in the industry. We pride ourselves on being not only a leading social media platform, but also a partner in the social and digital transformation of our customers.

“Hootsuite has always been a partner,” said Terry Coniglio, director of content strategy at Georgia State University. “When I have a problem, I know I can pick up the phone. I feel like I’ve always had a team that 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.