With more than $59 billion in sales in 2015 and 100,000 employees, Dell is one of the most powerful voices in tech today. Working with both consumer and business customers around the world, the company’s employees have amassed a wealth of industry knowledge that it regularly shares through its social media channels and content hubs like Direct2Dell, Dell’s 10-year-old corporate blog—one of the longest running in the tech industry.
Social media has been a core part of Dell’s marketing operations for years. Dell was one of the earliest to market with sentiment analysis and social media monitoring technology, for instance.
In 2011, when Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn were still brand new, media hubs like Business Insider were already calling Dell one of the world’s most social companies.
The IT hardware and cloud services leader realized that it could spark more impactful conversations, reach a wider audience, and become a stronger influencer on social media by adding employee advocacy to its marketing mix by tapping into the collective knowledge of its workforce.
“We have some really dedicated, fantastic employees with highly recognized subject matter expertise and industry experience who love working for Dell,” says Amy Heiss, Marketing Director for Social Media at Dell. “We wanted to harness that energy, excitement, and leadership in many areas of technology and to help our employees share as much information as they wanted, as easily as possible.”
Dell knew that it needed a structured, centralized program to make this social media vision a reality.
A sustainable, employee-driven social media program
Step 1 in Dell’s process was to launch a formal social media program for its workforce in which individual employees can complete 4 hours of social media training to participate.
Step 2 was to implement a tool that could support Dell’s overarching plan. Amy Heiss and her team knew that it would be inefficient and costly to manage the initiative through email blasts and spreadsheets. They decided to find an employee advocacy solution, instead.
Dell sought out a tool that empowered employees, first and foremost. The social media team knew that company success would come from individual success: employees would only want to share content that they found personally valuable. Rather than forcing employees to share corporate communications, Heiss aimed to build an experience in which team members could discover, curate, and share interesting content.
“One of the big tenets of our social media and community training is that we want people to post 80 percent about topics that are informative, helpful and relevant to customers or are personally interesting to our employees, and only 20 percent about the company,” says Heiss.
A social media solution that Dell’s workforce utilizes and loves
Heiss knew that a human and individualized approach to employee advocacy would drive success on social. It’s this strategic vantage point led them to EveryoneSocial.
“One of the things we wanted in an employee advocacy platform was a tool that could bring in information, articles, and content that people were personally interested in, and not just a tool that would help them push Dell content,” says Heiss. “EveryoneSocial was the only tool that had that ability, and we were very impressed with that.”
Dell has been using EveryoneSocial since 2013.
“Our employees end up growing their following because they’re posting content that’s fresh, interesting, and relevant,” says Heiss. “It goes in an upward spiral. They’re posting great content, and getting more followers, so they want to post more content and to stay informed. It’s a win-win.”
Currently more than 10,000 Dell employees use EveryoneSocial to share content regularly. In a recent Sales and Social pilot conducted with Dell’s North America team, participants who used EveryoneSocial outperformed those who did not. EveryoneSocial’s content analytics tools allow Dell to track these performance gains back to the company’s employee advocacy program.
“Our employee advocacy program makes our employees feel more connected to Dell’s strategy. It also connects them closer to our customers which is great for our business.”
A program that keeps evolving
Heiss and her program manager, Nia Copeland, have been overseeing a slow and steady adoption process with EveryoneSocial, ensuring that all participants receive some level of training. This slow and steady onboarding process has resulted in high engagement rates: thousands of employees are active on EveryoneSocial each month. Over the last 12 months, Dell has driven more than 150,000 shares within EveryoneSocial that have yielded 45,000 clicks to Dell’s website. In total, the reach has exceeded an audience of 1.2M.
In mid-2015, Dell reached a tipping point in which many more employees began requesting access to Dell’s social media program. Each month, approximately 100 employees are requesting access to and signing up for Dell’s social media and community training program.
Along the way, Copeland has been working closely with EveryoneSocial’s customer success team to ensure continued growth of the program.
“They’ve been so great about making things happen and checking in with us, making sure things are going well, wanting to know where they can do better, where our pain points are and trying to take care of those things for us,” says Copeland. “I’ve been so incredibly impressed with the level of customer service that we get from them, that I would recommend EveryoneSocial to any other company that’s needing an employee advocacy tool.”