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Companies That Get Social Get Noticed

Every company wants their teams to succeed for obvious reasons. And yet many well-intentioned organizations sabotage new employees by failing to help them get the most out of their social media influence. One employee said of his supervisor: “He said, we give you a pen and a desk. You do the rest.” Getting a pen and desk is the easy part. Knowing how to cut through the noise and into public consciousness is quite another. As one of the top three non-financial motivators, 76% of employees want opportunities for career growth.[i] Knowing how to respond to the crises so common in modern business requires a well-thought out approach to social media.

KLM

KLM Social Media Team

KLM is a company that had a record of social media success, but that success was tested during crisis. During the Icelandic volcano eruption of 2010 the company was inundated with social requests. They had to add a temporary staff of 150 to manage their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Companies that value individual growth and advancement are quick to help their team members navigate social media; especially the business networking sites. LinkedIn alone has 433 million members, with two people signing up every second. [ii] Twitter has 100 million active users, each with an average of 208 followers.[iii] And Facebook has, in some ways, become the center of internet activity and, increasingly, the number one consumer tracker. Failing to integrate social media into a work strategy is increasingly a recipe for ineffectiveness.

GM

GM’s One Stop Shop Features Marketing, Communications and Service in One Building

One of the companies that woke up to the need for a faster social media response is General Motors. In April, 2013, led by Social Media COE, Dr. Rebecca Harris, GM co-located their Marketing, Communications and Service teams into one building in Detroit.[iv]

One corporate manager that took it a step further to create “rock stars” in the workplace is Henry Gonzales with SecurityNational Mortgage Company. A west coast Regional Manager, Gonzales is a proponent of this new 2.0 strategy. Gonzales is hard wired to be an overachiever when it comes to helping his sales people perform.  As proof of this, he hired a private online brand and marketing company to create a customized online brand for each of his individual loan officers.

henry gonzales

DRMC’s Henry Gonzales

Gonzales is on the leading edge of brand, reputation and social media management.  It may be faster to navigate southern California’s freeways than Gonzales’ LinkedIn profile. He has a rich history of business and governmental leadership backed up by the endorsements and friendships of dozens of influential Californians. His ability to make friends and close deals may help explain how—in less than two years—he has created a force to be reckoned with in the volatile, frenetic mortgage industry.

Originally recruited by a Division Manager, Gonzales was given a deceptively simple task: build California. That effort included recruiting “cream of the crop” team members and owning the mortgage scene from Santa Barbara to central California in the north, all the way to San Diego in the south.

According to Gonzales: “We are national, but we believe California is the key to our success. And that success is all about connecting our team members online and offline and creating a real-world impression that keeps us converting by staying top of conversation.”

California, ground zero for all things celebrity and buzz-worthy, is now home to a top level team of loan officers hand picked by Gonzales who identifies them as the underlying asset of the company. “Our secret sauce is the people we work with. They are our value. I tell prospective loan officers: ‘You bring a book of business and I will double or triple it.’ And social is key to this process.”

Another hot market is the greater Seattle area, and Gonzales friend and fellow (Northwest) Regional Manager, Todd Bruess, agrees social is a winning strategy: “Henry (Gonzales) is on to something. Look, it’s all about people. If that is a meaningless cliché, you’re in trouble. The passion and energy team members bring to the job—not to mention longevity—is key to long-term success. But if that passion and experience is not expressed online, a world of opportunity is lost.”

Coupling a focus towards online reputation with the philosophy of being integrated in the community has played out in Gonzales life as his community involvement history shows. Whether it is being past President of the Kiwanis Club, board member of various organizations, or current announcer of the Hacienda Heights Parade, Gonzales is all in.

Gonzales’ people-building approach bleeds through as he constantly makes a nod to others: I am always looking for the person with a spark in their eyes, a passionate heart, and the follow through to match. Then I want to fast track that person to getting their own branch, region, or territory.  I want to be surrounded by people better than me. I also want to see that our team members are understanding and responding to the zeitgeist of our industry. That’s where social comes in. For SNMC, their investment in social development is paying off in sales numbers that can be retweeted and taken to the bank.

 

[i] 5 Surprising Employee Development Statistics You Don’t Know. (2014, July 30). Retrieved June 2, 2016, from http://blog.clearcompany.com/5-surprising-employee-development-statistics-you-dont-know

[ii] Smith, C. (2016, June 2). 125 Amazing LinkedIn Statistics. Retrieved June 2, 2016, from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-a-few-important-linkedin-stats/

[iii] Smith, C. (2016, June 2). Retrieved June 2, 2016, from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/march-2013-by-the-numbers-a-few-amazing-twitter-stats/

[iv] Three Great Examples of Integrated Social Media Strategies. (n.d.). Retrieved June 2, 2016, from http://oursocialtimes.com/3-great-examples-of-integrated-social-media-strategies/