Read the Original Article at http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=240001012
Dachis Group is introducing an addition to its line of social media monitoring services, this time targeting organizations that encourage mass social participation by employees.
Employee Insight service is the latest in a family of services revolving around its Social Business Index, which also includes a brand advocate monitoring service for identifying the customers and fans who help spread a brand's messages on their own initiative. This time, Dachis is focusing on broad-based employee involvement in social media, of the sort practiced by organizations like IBM and Best Buy.
[ How do you get social in gear? Read How To Design A Social Business. ]
Encouraging broad involvement in social media is a trend, but it's still practiced by only a minority of companies, Dachis Group Chief Technology Officer Erik Huddleston said in an interview. "Most companies have a prohibition about it, but that doesn't stop it from happening," he said.
For example, while talking with marketers at Kohl's department stores during the holiday shopping season, he complimented them on the work they were doing with their advocacy program--which puzzled the Kohl's employees, because they didn't have any such program in place. Upon further investigation, Huddleston determined that many of the posts he was seeing were from hourly store employees who were just proud of where they worked and were talking up the retailer and its products on their own initiative. "I think it's something whose time has come," Huddleston said.
Of course, such spontaneous social media expression can cut both ways. At about the same time, Target employees were broadcasting their unhappiness about Black Friday working hours.
However, rather than focusing on the negatives, Huddleston argued it's more productive to encourage employees to help spread brand messages and then give them tools that allow them to do so. There are other tools on the market more focused on compliance and enforcement of social media policies, he said. "We're more focused on the positive side."
Even the largest brands have only a handful of professional community managers, he said, so the only practical way for them to engage with their customer bases is by mobilizing their employees more broadly and providing guidelines for appropriate use of social media.
The Employee Insight tool applies machine learning technique to identify employee accounts, but an organization can also import lists of social media users or invite them to create an account. When employees' email addresses are imported into the tool, it sends them messages prompting them to supply their relevant social media identities. However, monitoring is at the level of public posts rather than private social media content.
Social media managers can then scan a listing of employees and their social media accounts, scored by the frequency and reach of their postings, or drill down for more detail on individuals. A messaging system built into the application can be used to distribute suggested messages to be shared, as well as best practices information. Identified employees with their own accounts get access to an employee portal that lets them see the effect of their social media efforts and measure themselves against other employees on a leaderboard. If permitted by the administrator, users can also invite other users to sign up for the application.
Pricing is based on the number of employees whose accounts will be monitored and ranges from "thousands to tens of thousands of dollars," Huddleston said. Dachis is also offering deals where the analytics service is bundled with consulting, he said.
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