Melcrum Social Media Conference for Internal Communications – Day Two

June, 30 – BY ALISON PIGNON – The standard of the content, presentations and debate on the second day of Melcrum’s Social Media conference for Internal Communications was very high overall. I was madly scribbling notes all the way through. Meanwhile, others were tweeting madly to share the gems they were picking up, with a prize being given to the person who tweeted the most throughout the day.

The conference was opened by international keynote speaker Euan Semple, with his entertaining mixture of dry Scottish wit and insightful observations. These included the need for organisations, and particularly leaders, to think less in terms of justifying ROI when it comes to social media and more in terms of justifying COI, i.e. Cost of Inaction – that is, not allowing it to happen.

The first case study was from a high profile professional services firm who is using social media to successfully encourage innovation and sharing of ideas by employees through an ‘Idea Zone’ on their internal website. It also turns out that this organisation has the largest Yammer community worldwide with 3,000 employee members. Their governance approach includes a social media steering committee and also a social media response team.

Next we heard from Robin Crumby, Managing Director of Melcrum who flew in from the UK to speak. He took us through some of the key findings of Melcrum’s 2010 global research into social media adoption internally by large corporations. It was interesting to hear that half of the 2,600 respondents (19% from the Asia-Pacific region) feel that the business case for social media is clear while the other half feel it is not clear. It seems the business world is still completely divided on this point. The research revealed what communicators believe to be the three most effective uses of social media internally:

  1. Getting employees to talk, share information and collaborate
  2. Building communities
  3. Connecting to and learning from Generation Y employees.

After lunch, Lizzy Geremia, Brand Strategy Manager at NAB talked us through a very interesting case study on the use of online event technology to engage employees in the Personal Banking part of the business in the new brand promise. Using an easy to navigate and visually interesting online conference platform, employees were able to listen and watch a recording of the business head talking in an auditorium about the brand promise and then wander through to other booths to listen to other leaders’ ‘talking heads’. Employees were able to put questions to leaders via chat functionality, as well as talk to each other, and also provide online feedback. The results were great with the event reaching nearly 50% of the population and 95% of those who completed the feedback saying they had a better understanding of NAB’s brand focus as a result.

A final highlight of the day was the case study presented by a large banking, insurance and investing services organisation. I particularly liked how they measured the levels of employee engagement with social media tools and were able to group them into champions, advisors, members or just ‘missing’. The organisation identified the need to be more collaborative and grouped their communication tools under four groupings:

Connect – online portal

Share – video channel for employees to use

Discuss – Yammer and Microsoft Office Communicator

Innovate – Magazine

A lively panel debate closed what has been an interesting and engaging conference. Perhaps the next one will take place in a virtual setting?