Gallo employee engagement via mobile app Social Chorus

Engage Employees as Brand Advocates on Their Mobile Devices

If you want to reach employees nowadays, then engage them on their mobile devices. We know that companies are scrambling to adopt strategies that will capture customers on their smart phones, so why not treat your employees like customers and reach out to them on their smart phones, too?

Sharing Content

A number of recent studies show that mobile has surpassed desktops and laptops as the preferred source of sending and receiving information. Research also shows that the majority of your workforce wants to receive company information via mobile app.

The key is to provide employees with content they can share. Make it short and punchy and definitely include images, which generate more views and clicks.

Gallo Winery learned that engaged employees are eager to serve as “brand advocates” for the company and are more likely to share content via their mobile devices.

Karen Mizell, senior manager of sales communications at E. & J. Gallo Winery, in a webinar sponsored by Social Chorus, described how Gallo launched its highly successful employee brand advocate program that empowers employees to share content to their social networks.

Getting Fantastic Results

In its own research, Social Chorus discovered that 55% of employees in companies don’t share information about the brand because they are afraid they’ll get in trouble and another 44% of employees don’t know what they can share.

They also get signals from unenlightened leadership that they don’t see the value, so why bother?

Gallo took another approach. They already knew that employees were getting questions from their friends about what wine to drink. As wine is a highly regulated industry, Gallo launched its brand ambassador program by training its employees so they would know what they could share.

Gallo feeds its army of advocates with new wine and cocktail recipes, job postings, and its sterling record as one of the best places to work for LGBT equality.

In less than six months Gallo achieved the following results: 

  • 1.3 million impressions
  • Facebook: 900 employee shares lead to 9,000+ audience engagements
  • Instagram: 200 employee shares lead to 4,700+ audience engagements

Create a Customer Experience for Employees

Treating your employees like customers means fulfilling their expectations. The majority of your workforce wants to receive company information via mobile app. We expect that of Millennials but look at the preceding generations:

  • 82% of Millennials
  • 76% of Gen X
  • 54% of Baby Boomers

You can learn more about Social Chorus research and the Gallo presentation in the following slide presentation. Maybe it’s time to launch your own brand ambassadors program if you haven’t already. Your employees are eager and waiting to spread the word about your company and its products and services — on their mobile devices.

What are you waiting for?

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Comments

  1. I find it interesting that the majority of the workforce wants to receive company information via mobile app. I have been retired from the business world for only three years, but three years ago I don’t think that would have been the case. I wouldn’t have wanted it then, but today, if I were still in the work force, I think I’d be part of that majority. But it would matter what kind of information and how it was distributed. I think companies need to make it very clear what information employees can and can’t share.

    • Donna — you’ve hit on the most important point: companies need to keep employees informed and, sadly, most aren’t very good at that.

  2. Jeannette this is terrific. The fact that Gallo’s management recognized their employees are already engaged on mobile makes me think this could help many companies. I mean it’s not just wine companies that could benefit from this! But of course they’d also have to have an online presence. So maybe they see it, maybe they don’t. What I love about this is Gallo is tapping into what their employees are comfortable with in a win-win situation. Great post.

    • Patricia — for some reason your comment just popped up. Agree that Gallo and their employees are on the same page. They are all moving in the same direction which is to make the company even more successful.

  3. Very interesting topic. It’s certainly not just the wine industry losing out. I worked for a high-end Garden Design and build company who saw no value in leveraging the social network, that I had built for my own business. So they lost out and I almost never posted about the exciting work I was doing with them.
    I’m curious if their app is able to recommend wines on demand or if it’s more a simple marketing push tool?

    • Rosalind — I think Gallo’s intent is to leverage their employees use of social media as a marketing tool but also as a means of educating consumers about wine.

  4. While I don’t actually have any employees this strategy makes perfect sense to me. In fact I’ve been meaning to get myself more focused on all things “mobile” after I realized how many of my readers are accessing my site on digital devices. Thank heavens I thought to make sure my theme was responsive when I set up the new site! But I know there are other ways to address this important area so this is really good information. Thanks!

    • Marquita — my website is formatted for mobile, too, but I don’t often access my site from from my own mobile device. When I do I sometimes find that things have gotten a little quirky. If I’m using mobile more often to search and buy things then I’m sure others are too.

  5. Jeannette, the way you described the Gallo Wineries way of doing things makes so much sense. They are making the most of the ‘sharing’ by sending info everyone wants – recipes, what wines to choose, etc. This is so different from the up to now standard way of doing things that I can certainly understand businesses that haven’t gotten it yet. This is a whole new way of doing business and in the mobile market today those that haven’t jumped on the bandwagon are certainly missing out.

    • Lenie — mobile is the future, no doubt. when I accidentally leave my iPhone home I feel like I’ve lost an arm. I’m so dependent on the device. Don’t know if that’s good or bad.

  6. Having recently gotten my first smartphone, I admit knowing very little about sharing on my mobile device or how to create an app. On my facebook fan pages, I am able to view how my post appears both on a desktop and on a mobile device. My posts always contain graphics which show up well on mobile devices and can be shared from there. I suppose learning to create apps or have them done for me, might be beneficial, but I still need greater understanding of how it could benefit my exposure as a coach and as a writer. Thanks for your informative post.

    • Michele — there are millions of apps out there so I don’t think you need to worry about creating your own. Based on your comment, it appears that your posts are are doing just fine on mobile viewing.

  7. Abolutely, Jeannette. Making your employees brand ambassadors is essential in today’s world. They need to project the “right” image of your company on social media, with friends and whenever they talk to others about your company and its products/services. If not, they can actually cause problems by revealing, say, confidential information.

    • Catarina — Gallo did it right. As the company is in a highly regulated industry, they first trained their employees in what they could say before unleashing them on social media as the winery’s brand ambassadors.

  8. Those are definitely insightful statistics and widely supported. Since I’m working on my laptop all day, I tend to have an aversion for sharing such things from my SmartPhone. I guess I see the phone as being more for play time, and my laptop being ore for sharing time related to my freelancing and blogging. If I don’t draw lines between the two, everything sort of bleeds together.

    • Jeri — I agree that nowadays our personal and business lives tend to blend together.You’re wise to separate the two whenever you can.

  9. Interesting about companies using mobile to access employees! I can’t imagine my husband getting his information in this way (he works for a major American company). He barely uses a mobile phone at all – the only one in our family of five who does not yet own a smart phone. But his position is not in marketing. I think they tread very carefully when it comes to social media – one employee posts one incorrect thing, and it can be a disaster. Most of his work involves spreadsheets and analysis. Seems email still works for in-house communications of that sort.

    • Leora — You’re talking about a different generation now. Millennials are married to their smart phones, so companies need to adjust their communications strategies. It’s just the way it is!

  10. What an excellent post and overall strategy Jeannette!

    And it makes perfect sense! And I absolutely love where one of
    the surveyed uncovered the fact that some in upper management,
    mistakenly believe the other employees simply have no interest in
    promoting the companies content!

    Makes you wonder how many untold millions or hundreds of millions,
    that type of erroneous thinking, has and definitely will continue to cost
    corporate America and other major corporations around the world!!

    Great post! I really enjoyed it and the excellent slide presentation as well!

    • Mark — if only companies would trust their employees to do the right thing. Give them the messages and they will sing the company’s praises. But they also have to be honest to gain the trust and commitment of their brand advocates.

  11. Interesting concept and one that I agree with. It’s so important to keep employees updated and engaged. Using mobile technology to communicate is a growth area and one businesses need to adopt with the ever-growing number of smart phones and mobile devices being used.