In this series of profiles, we'll be putting the spotlight on some of the wonderful speakers who will be featured at The Social Shake-Up this June.
Russ is Co-Founder and CEO of Dynamic Signal, a Silicon Valley software company that provides VoiceStorm, a marketing platform that helps top brands partner with and leverage the social reach and influence of their employees, fans and customers to achieve their branding, marketing and commerce goals. A digital media industry veteran, Russ has more than 15 years' experience in the online marketing world, and he'll be sharing his wisdom with our conference attendees as a panelist for The Inside Job: How to Align Your Digital Initiatives with the C-Suite Agenda. He was kind enough to answer a few questions for us this week.
Employee advocacy has been a hot topic in social business for some time now. Why do you think more and more brands are seeing the necessity for employee advocacy these days?
Employee advocacy helps marketers solve real business problems. First, it's a more authentic social media approach than paid and owned programs, which can be expensive and don't provide great results. Also, people trust their social contacts more than official marketing campaigns. Companies are realizing this obvious truth - that in a fragmented digital world, employee social networks combined actually have more reach than the marketing department. That's why those with employee advocacy programs see an increase in revenue, lead generation, speed of recruiting, brand awareness and event attendance. The employee advocacy skeptics from the past are becoming converts in 2015.
Some may think that employee advocacy only makes sense for big companies -- if you can't scale, the thinking goes, what's the point? Do you think there's a place for employee advocacy for small businesses, especially those whose employees might not have very big social followings?
Absolutely. We are already seeing success with mid-sized companies. These are organizations with less time and resources than big companies, but they still see the value of extending their social media strategies. We took our experience with enterprise clients and tailored it to a self-service solution that's just right for their needs. It's by far the easiest way for smaller companies to start a program.
Can you share an employee advocacy success story with us?
One that's top-of-mind is our ongoing work with IBM. They were one of the first companies to build a social media strategy, and they're constantly doing innovative things to expand their employee advocacy programs. What started as a pilot for event amplification has grown into multiple programs across divisions and regions. For example, thousands of employees participated in the launch of Verse, their new email solution. In the first two weeks of the campaign, 55,000 people registered to use Verse. As you can clearly see, IBM understands that socially engaged employees play a big role in driving brand awareness and revenue. We've helped VMware get similar results.
Finally, tell us a little about your panel, "The Inside Job: How to Align Your Digital Initiatives with the C-Suite Agenda."
Dynamic Signal works with the C-Suite everyday across many verticals. Financial services, retail, technology, entertainment, healthcare, you name it. We're always coming up with new technology innovations to help them align their digital strategies with what they care about most - increasing revenue, cutting costs, growing market share, and generally becoming full fledged digital businesses.
88% of companies are going through digital marketing transformations, trying to adapt to the digital customer mindset. But it's a long, complex process. I'll be sharing some of the lessons and best practices that help our clients get quick wins, that help them create momentum. Most importantly, I'll be talking about how companies can kickstart that transformation with their best advocates - their employees.
Our thanks to Russ for taking the time to answer these questions. Don't miss out on seeing him and a host of other experts from leading brands, up close and personal, this June - register for The Social Shake-Up today.