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Going ‘Social’: Beyond the marketing department

When it comes to going ‘Social’ in Enterprise, my feeling is its centre of gravity is still mostly in the Marketing & Sales departments. Why is social media not embraced in a stronger way by other departments? We have taken on the challenge to change this here at my division – SAP Services – and are succeeding. Year-to-date the numbers are up big times.

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Talking to my peers in the services industry, I have always been struck by the fact how little ‘social’ is embraced by Services executives. That is no different for us at SAP Services.

Some adoption is taking place:  First, as our employee structure changes to include more Millennials and secondly, as we continue to have more exposure to countries where ‘social’ is more pervasive like the US or parts of Asia.  But in my opinion, the social embrace is still too slow.

At the beginning of the year, we established a baseline to gauge classic metrics like impressions, activity, reach, engagement. The first measurements were – stunningly low.

So we initiated a department-wide Service challenge to improve our ‘social’ footprint structurally, within 12 months, and with very limited investment. Here was our basic architecture:

All that, yet our numbers were still low in January. We realized our assets at hand had not yet been fully leveraged.So, to improve that baseline, we defined the approach to drive impressions, by increasing activity, to broaden the reach, and get engagement. We took some simple actions:

  • We provided new training and guidelines
  • We pushed a calendar of scheduled tweets to be re-posted
  • We performed light search engine optimization
  • We leveraged campaigns around assets to drive impressions
  • We encouraged more active blogging on corporate platforms

I now share a ‘social media impact’ dashboard on a quarterly basis with the Services managers. The idea is to remind everybody that this is a topic of interest at the top of the organisation and it should be embraced by them too.

All in all no rocket-science, but it pays off. We are getting significant traction. Above is our dashboard for Q3 (I only omitted the bits of internal proprietary information, so as to be able to share it with here you).

So far, we are very pleased with the results. They are largely due to the increase of activity on better assets. That percolated into more impressions, more absolute engagement, and broadening of the reach.

Last year we focused more on producing curated quality assets, expecting it would drive the whole chain. This year we focus on traffic/volume. For Q4, we launched some special projects (documentary films, case studies, summits) around our high value assets which we will certainly leverage to create extra year-end ‘social buzz’.

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