26 Dec. 2011 | Comments (0)
Are you exploring how to create a social media strategy for your company? Are you looking for a company to benchmark? One you might consider looking at first is Intel Corporation.
We have been following the journey taken by Bryan Rhoads, Senior Digital Strategist at Intel whose job title is our pick
for one of this year's coolest. Rhoads starts by explaining the Intel journey:
"It all started in the early 2000's with grassroots employee participation. One employee in particular, Josh Bancroft, started to build out our social infrastructure in 2004. The result was the creation of Intelpedia, a team based wiki collaboration site launched in November of 2005. Today, Intelpedia contains over 15,000 articles from Intel employees defining, collaborating and documenting their part of the Intel workplace."
Over time, Intel created a comprehensive set of social media policies simply called the Intel Social Media Guidelines. These guidelines are now available in over 35 languages designed to help everyone use social media in a respectful and responsible way.
(And if you want to really explore what cross section of these social media guidelines look like across companies and industries, you can refer to the Social Media Governance website, with over 105 Social Media policy documents from a wide variety of companies — all available for free at Social Media Governance Database.)
According to Rhoads, however, it is important to recognize that merely having social media policies in place at an organization does not necessarily mean an organization's employees will understand them or incorporate them into their daily jobs. Instead, he believes, as we do, that employees must be trained in how to use social media to drive business results. It is the training and policies combined that provide a framework for employees to increase their participation in social media. With this framework in place, a comfort level evolves between employee participation and management's concerns. Both find satisfaction that everyone is on the same page and that the expectations and responsibilities of social media participation are clearer.
To better foster and manage social media, Intel's next step was the creation of the Social Media Center of Excellence, a cross functional body of experts in Legal, Marketing, PR, and Web Communications, who come together to create guidelines, processes, strategies, and skill-building courses for how Intel employees can responsibly and respectfully use such social media tools as blogs, wikis, Twitter, Foursquare, and social networks around the world.
In June 2008, Intel added the Digital IQ training program on how to use these social media tools to increase innovation, communication and collaboration at work. The company has created a series of over 60 online courses, organized as an online university granting Intel employees a certification in Digital IQ. Says Rhoads, "We created Digital IQ to raise all boats and to up-level our sales and marketing employees' skills and understandings of this dynamic digital marketing world. While the target audience was our Sales & Marketing organization, the program is open to all global employees who wish to expand their understandings of digital and emerging media."
The Digital IQ courses cover such areas as:
- Tweet Like You Mean It: The Right Way To Tweet Your Brand
- The Importance of Brand Identity in Social Media
- WOM (Word Of Mouth) The Anatomy of Buzz
- Social Media Measurement
- Viral Marketing
- Mobile Marketing: Wide Reach of a Small Screen
- China's Social Media Landscape
Intel employees select a unique certification path based upon their job role. Then they plan a curriculum path of both required and elective courses leading to a certification in their Digital IQ. Since its inception in 2008, more than 20,000 Intel employees have completed Digital IQ training. Intel went one step further by creating a Masters Course called Digital IQ 500 which licenses Intel employees to practice social media on behalf of the company.
As you plan your social media strategy, first ask yourself: what are the sweet spots in your business where social media can have the most impact? For Intel, it is focusing on the entire population of sales and marketing population who can go through Digital IQ training and then move on to participating and collaborating on the social web. For a company with a large population of new hires, this could mean creating an internal corporate social network to build greater speed in collaboration, innovation and problem-solving.
How are you:
- Building a community among your global employee base?
- Engaging employees and customers to more easily collaborate with each other?
- Moving from a marketing campaign to having a conversation with your customers?
- Training your employees to be active participants in using social media to build your brand?
We look forward to hearing from you.
This blog first appeared on Harvard Business Review on 2/03/2010.