Pumping Up the Volume on Employee Advocacy at O2
O2 is no stranger to amplifying voices.
The well-known UK telecommunication provider has a corporate brand that’s closely tied to the music scene. It sponsors The O2 in London, which is the world’s busiest entertainment arena, as well as about 20 other music venues across the country.
So, it’s only fitting that the company has been raising brand awareness over the past six years through the authentic voices of employees on social media with its O2 Amp platform. That chorus has helped spread the word of how O2 connects customers with technology solutions along with sharing cool things happening at the company.
“We have a great heritage in music,” said Kristian Lorenzon, Head of Social Media & Culture. “That’s in our DNA. O2 Amp is a nice play on words as an amplifier in music and what it means for advocacy. This platform amplifies our message.”
But even the best programs need a refresh. Lorenzon explained how O2 Amp has gone to the next level over the last year in a recent Dynamic Signal webinar, “How O2 Pumped Up the Volume on Employee Advocacy.” He discussed a shift in focus to engage retail and frontline employees in a more structured way with the kind of content they might want to share.
“The biggest piece of feedback we’ve gotten is that the platform now is easier to use and navigate,” he said.
When, in early 2019, the company simplified how it targets content for employees in the B2C and B2B markets, O2 Amp immediately saw an additional 770 people registered on the platform.
Other success indicators include:
- 180 percent increase in active users
- 70 percent jump in post views
- Double-digit growth in shares, clicks, and reactions
“We positioned O2 Amp in a way that it’s helping contribute to the business and tell the wider corporate narrative,” Lorenzon said. “We’re giving people a voice externally and enabling them to become brand advocates.”
O2 is a London-based subsidiary of the Spanish global giant Telefónica that has 7,000 employees and 500 retail stores. The name comes from the chemical symbol for the oxygen molecule. The idea, of course, is that O2 wireless technology is essential for modern life. The 27 million UK users of the network certainly feel that way.
The company was an early adopter of cultivating employees as social media advocates. O2 understood the value of putting information into the palms of employees’ hands and empowering them to share it with the world.
And they did share.
About 1,500 employees quickly signed up for the voluntary program in O2 Amp’s early months. They suddenly had access to approved content that captured the fun image of O2 while also supporting company media campaigns and marketing activities.
“If we had a big new product launch or campaign, everyone across the business was encouraged to share the content,” Lorenzon said.
Over time, O2 Amp had grown increasingly complex with a multitude of different content streams. O2 decided the best way to get additional volume from employee voices was to make the platform more user-friendly.
Instead of targeting content for smaller categories such as Marketing, Operations, and Human Resources, O2 streamlined all of those nooks and crannies into two main content feeds relevant to employee roles.
- B2C content focused on the consumer market, which is popular with O2’s marketing people and brand advocates
- B2B content aimed at a wide range of organizations from small enterprises to public-sector companies
“We have better visibility into the content because it’s not so specialized or getting stuck into little categories where it’s not seen,” Lorenzon explained. “We’re having more success from that as we’ve simplified.”
With the changes, the number of registered users has grown to more than 2,000 over the last year. The mobile app feature is especially well-liked by retail employees because they’re always on the go as they assist store customers. About 60 percent are using the O2 Amp mobile app.
Earned Media Value is the No. 1 priority. Lorenzon said the platform has consistently created between 150,000 and 200,00 pounds annually through the clicks and impressions generated on social media.
It’s also a way for employees to see they’re having a tangible effect on the business. For instance, an essential business measurement at O2 is the Net Promoter Score (NPS) – which gauges the loyalty of the firm’s customer relationships.
“For many people, that’s probably not something they feel is part of their normal role,” Lorenzon added. “But this is a tool that lets them have an impact on that. We’ve shown that this is a good platform to help drive employee NPS because it gets people engaged in a positive manner, which hopefully drives advocacy and promotes our Employer Brand.”
Another benefit is internal activity.
Discussion views and post likes have increased by more than 100 percent over the past year. That indicates employees are more familiar and comfortable with O2 Amp, said Muneet Dohil, Senior Customer Success Manager at Dynamic Signal.
“The team at O2 recognized that a streamlined approach could make for a cleaner member experience as well as clear battle lines for the community managers,” Dohil said. “The result in the optimized hub has been incredibly positive, with increased engagement figures across all content categories and separate views for both employees and external partners.”
O2 Amp engagement also contributes to a company culture built on three pillars – Open, Bold, Trusted. The transparency of the platform offers a window into what makes O2 a special place and why the company is willing to try new things that always put customers first.
“We’re giving our people the means to do something with this information,” Lorenzon said. “Making it accessible and easy to share is really beneficial – and powerful.”