Bounteous has a great story to tell. It starts with the name.
When Chicago-based HS2 Solutions acquired three companies and rebranded in late 2018, Bounteous was a perfect choice because it means “generously given” or “plentiful.” That captures how the fast-growing digital experience agency is a fountain of insights, creativity, and technical ability for clients.
The company also knew who the best people were to tell the story of an organization recently named to Ad Age’s Best Places to Work 2020 list:
It’s why Bounteous implemented “The Well,” an employee communication and engagement platform powered by Dynamic Signal. The Well harnesses the authentic voices of employees, arms them with content that makes them persuasive company ambassadors to augment the company’s brand and makes it easily shareable.
“We know that getting out news about Bounteous is an important way of amplifying our blog content and thought leadership,” said Marketing Manager Sarah Baker. “We want to publicize events and highlight our training sessions across the country. Our employees have great networks who would find our content valuable, and we want to motivate them to share. Getting employees involved and seeing a halo effect from their social channels just seemed obvious to us.”
It’s also remarkably successful.
- Of the company’s 406 employees, 372 have registered for The Well – 92 percent
- 81 percent currently are active users
- A campaign to increase visits to the company website Careers page generated more than 142,000 social media impressions and a 100 percent increase in site traffic month-over-month
“The Well is a great way to bring people together,” added Marketing Content Specialist Hallie Stahl. “We’ve worked hard not to make it just another place where people have to go in and find information. We’ve made it a place for everybody and where they can easily share the information that we broadcast to them.”
Here’s how Bounteous does it.
Explaining Why It’s Important
Research has shown that Employee Advocacy matters. The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer determined that more than half the general public finds employees are credible when forming opinions about brands. FleishmanHillard says that consumers see regular employees as three times more trustworthy than the CEO.
In a company training webinar, Baker and Stahl showed how, together, employees could use The Well as a digital bullhorn to promote their personal brand and Bounteous on social media at the same time.
“We wanted to show everyone the impact they could have by reaching such a large number of colleagues on LinkedIn, for instance,” Stahl said.
They also created resources with tips to make people feel more confident talking about Bounteous on social media.
“We have different generations in the workforce from Gen Z on up,” Baker added. “We have our public speakers who are comfortable with Twitter. Then we have people who only get on Facebook once or twice a week to share information with their family and friends. We needed to appeal to everyone.”
The Well overflowed (so to speak) with information that would make them want to visit. That included content specific to the platform.
“We wanted to make it the watering hole to get all the information that you needed about the rebrand, Baker said. “The Well was the place to get exclusive rebrand merchandise. Our rebranding video was in there, too.”
Employees also could find client news, media mentions of Bounteous, and awards won by the organization. One platform channel was created just for employees to share what they’re reading, and another for regional happenings around the company. The latter was especially important as employees from four companies in six offices across the United States and Canada were coming together for knowledge sharing.
A platform leaderboard tracking content shares added a touch of friendly competitiveness.
“Just the bragging rights alone got people interested,” Baker said.
And let’s not forget the prizes. As part of the launch, Bounteous awarded $500 flight vouchers to three employees who registered for The Well, participated by sharing content, and had the highest points on the leaderboard by the end of the designated period.
Add it all together, and a remarkable 70 percent of the company registered during the rollout.
Hiring Blitz Campaign
Eight months into the program, maintaining the momentum created during the successful rollout became a focus. So, to increase platform engagement and draw attention to the company’s growth, Stahl oversaw a “Hiring Blitz” contest.
The goal was for employees to share a series of posts that linked to the Careers page on the Bounteous website. Participation was measured on a weighted system of the number of shares, clicks, and leads generated.
“We emphasized that we wanted everyone to share them in a meaningful way and not just rapid-fire,” Stahl said. “It was more about how people were engaging with that post. We looked at that as a way to encourage thoughtful sharing.”
Prizes went to a person from each office, one from the remote workforce, and one randomly selected winner – so everyone had a chance to win, including those with smaller social followings.
The results? There was a 100 percent increase in Careers page views. Engagement numbers on The Well also spiked with a 67 percent increase in active users and a 46 percent jump in sharing.
“We’re proud of our share rate,” Stahl said. “It showed us that people are paying attention. That’s important because we know it’s hard with client work and multiple communications platforms when it can feel like they have so much else to do every day.”
While the ultimate goal of The Well is about making employees great ambassadors for the brand, there’s another essential objective, Baker and Stahl said.
Employees feel heard and part of something larger than themselves.
“That’s why The Well is a place where people can always find information of value,” Stahl added.
- Launch with clear instructions and goals. “We had a strategy of telling people exactly why we’re doing this,” Stahl said. “We constantly said, ‘It’s cool. Go do it!’ Explaining the value of why we’re doing something really helps.”
- Don’t set it and forget it. The platform just doesn’t run itself. “You have to put the time, effort, and creative energy into making it successful,” Baker said. “It’s like everything else in life. You get out of it what you put into it.”
- Engagement numbers will fluctuate. “You have to understand that this isn’t central to someone’s job,” Stahl said. “Interest probably will drop off at times. You will need to keep finding ways for people to stay interested and keep coming back.”
- Capture a sense of fun. Bounteous kept the Hiring Blitz contest top-of-mind with tactics that tapped into the company culture. Those included leveraging the company Slack music channel to spell out “We’re Hiring,” a Pinterest board of employee “shoe-fies” for candidates to visualize how to walk a mile in their shoes, and Well-exclusive office tour videos to extend a virtual welcome. “We’re always looking for ways to highlight our spirit and give people a glimpse of what it’s like at Bounteous,” Stahl said.
- Giveaways work. “Having some giant prizes at our launch didn’t hurt,” Stahl added.