I had the priviledge of interviewing David Graham and Andre Hugo from Deloitte in how they use social media to achieve strategic objectives. The interview revealed some fascinating insight into how social media can be used in a business to business context to promote business, reduce recruitment cost, innovate products, manage intellectual capital and build brand eminence.
I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did.
What was the catalyst that caught your attention and started your journey in marketing Deloitte with Social Media?
Within Deloitte of Tomorrow (Internal Innovation Program) we identified Digital as a trend about 3 years ago. Deloitte Digital is a service line that converts Deloitte intellectual property in applications and sells these applications as software as a service. The best example of this is the Deloitte Leadership Academy http://www.deloitte.la/welcome/. As part of the market testing and commercialisation of the Deloitte Digital business case a number of our clients and executives started asking for our advice on how to deal with “Social media”, we looked at the landscape and quickly determined that we needed to have our house view before advising our clients on their approach.
As a result we developed a strategy to address the 5 strategic objectives identified below:
- Reduce the cost of recruitment
- Reduce the time to develop Innovative solutions and new service offerings for DOT
- Increase the storage of intellectual knowledge capital within a central tool
- Reduce the cost of training
- Increase our Brand and Eminence in the market
As a result we agreed to embrace 9 social media platforms to address the above objectives. Key was determining where these platforms would complement our overarching strategy. As you can see Brand and Eminence was only one of the objectives.
We know, from you presentation at the Social Media World Forum (#SMWF), that you use Linkedin, twitter and email marketing. Are you involved in Facebook, if so, has this worked.
We are involved in Facebook which is mainly used from a engagement perspective for Graduate recruitment and our Alumni community. The platform is very effective for our Graduate recruitment team but is not the only mechanism that we use, it needs to be linked to other platforms if you want to maximise your return on investment.
What are your thoughts on Facebook as a business 2 business tool?
From a B2B perspective our recent survey on ITweb highlighted that Facebook is used for informal engagement and graduate recruitment. Based on our audience segmentation we use different tools like Twitter, LinkedIn, Blog and various mobile applications to drive B2B engagement. With Paypal and other mobile payment solutions available in RSA we see Facebook more for B2C engagement.
Deloitte uses a customer communications preference facility that allows it customers to choose how Deloitte communicates to them. Is this an actively used facility by your clients? What are the top communication preferences for Deloitte customers at the moment?
I have provided the results of a recent poll conducted amongst subscribers to our newsletter and blog, connections on LinkedIn and followers on Twitter:
How does Deloitte use social media to enhance its CRM programs?
Social media is one of the mechanisms that allows an organisation to listen or engage in customer conversations around your brand and service delivery. Externally we use Linkedin, Twitter, our blog feedback and ORM tools to listen to what is being said about our service and brand. We then link these tools into our internal social media tools i.e. wiki’s and yammer to drive engagement from our staff in terms of customer solutions or issue resolution. To date we have used these very effectively to win work, raise eminence and highlight service delivery issues. That said if you are only monitoring social media channels you will be missing a large proportion of the conversation, the social platforms that are out there are only one facet of the landscape, face to face, e-mail, traditional media (TV, print and radio) and good old fashioned research are your other key elements of the solution that need to be in place to effectively manage a holistic CRM program.
Social Media experts often talk about complete transparency and honesty. How have you found marketing a corporate organisation in such an environment and would you agree with the experts. Are corporate organisations able to be as transparent and honest as the experts would deem necessary?
From a corporate brand perspective we have been able to be transparent. People are always looking for the next big news story and want the “insider scoop” realistically all corporations are bound by governance and client confidentially clauses and therefore certain information will not be communicated via the digital channels, this approach is no different to traditional media approaches. That said social media allows you to experience the brand through the various platforms allowing you as a 3rd party to gain greater insight into an organisations culture before you actually meet the organization in real life, why because the social media channels are real time and broadcast to wide audience as and when the news happens, no delays.