Hewlett Packard Enterprise Software Services had a secret weapon lurking in its midst. Deployed strategically, it could open the door to an untapped pipeline of new business. And it was hidden in plain sight.
What was it? The company’s own people. But, as we’ve written about before, employees are often an untapped resource.
HPE consultants spent their days helping enterprise customers around the globe address the complex challenges that come with digital transformation. They developed valuable insights along the way into the struggles and successes top firms faced related to topics like cloud, security, and IT service management.
- Increase its prominence online
- Burnish its reputation as a thought leader
- Open the door to new business opportunities
Custom-tailored influencer training
Having experts share their insights on individual social channels seemed like a natural next step. But they quickly ran into several hurdles:
- Many of them had little or no experience with social media
- They lacked relevant content to post
- They were pressed for time due to heavy travel schedules
To help overcome these issues, we developed an influencer program tailored to each participating consultant’s technology focus and comfort level with social media. We coached them on Twitter and LinkedIn best practices, recommended tools to facilitate regular posting, and provided relevant thought-leadership content to post. We taught them the skills they needed to promote their online presence over the long term, encouraging them to connect and converse online with industry peers.
We also created multiple long-form blog posts based on periodic interviews with the experts. The blog posts provided a more in-depth forum for them to share in-the-trenches stories about digital transformation and offered further evidence of their expertise.
To assess the effectiveness of the program, we regularly measured and analyzed each consultant’s performance on social media and assessed their overall online profiles, both quantitatively and qualitatively. That means we measured more than just the number of followers on Twitter—it was the quality of their followers, too.
We also identified what the employees were doing well and where they could improve. Based on these metrics, we provided ongoing coaching tips to help the experts become more prominent HPE thought leaders.
Where everybody knows your name
By empowering the consultants to engage strategically online, we helped HPE demonstrate its ability to solve customers’ complex business challenges—a great example of “show, don’t tell.” Our influencer training and support delivered tangible results, in some cases boosting follower counts by over 12%.
“I went into a completely new audience where nobody should have known me, and everybody knew me,” says one HPE consultant who took part in the influencer marketing program. “I can’t say enough positive things about [the program]. I think it’s one of the best things we’ve done.”
Although flattered by the recognition, the expert also understood what it meant to the company’s bottom line: an increased opportunity to drive revenue. And that’s something worth sharing.