As companies work to craft ways to extend their visibility in the social space, they are turning more and more to their own staff. The notion of employees as brand evangelists is not new and of course is not limited to social channels. I wrote about this 2 years ago.
In the marketing profession, companies, like IBM, are investing in retraining staff to engage with customers and prospects in the social space. As Ed Abrams, IBM midmarkets vice president discusses in this post, IBM has been training the marketing team to use social technology to not just fuel demand but to gain insights from dialogues occurring on social channels. “We have changed our marketing and communication team,” Abrams said. “We had to learn how and where to most effectively leverage all this social media capability. For example, we had people who were direct mail specialists but now are specialists in how best to use Twitter. It’s the evolution of marketing.”
Nike too decided it was time to have their own employees run with social campaigns and made headlines last week with its decision to bring social media in-house. It’s expected more companies will follow suit.
It will be interesting to watch how the agency relationship adapts to the increased confidence companies have with social technologies and their desire to own the conversation.