Just as Facebook, Twitter, and other social media transformed the way people network in their personal lives, similar transformational changes are rolling into their professional lives. The idea of working in a social business that interconnects employees, customers, and partners is gaining traction.
Jive Software, which sells collaborative, social technology, is positioning itself as a leader in the social business movement. "We want people to know that now they can collaborate and be productive at work using the social technologies that enhance their personal lives," says John F. Rizzo, Jive CMO. Its new digital branding campaign, launched July 16, literally takes a sledgehammer to the workplace status quo.
Naturally, a key part of the campaign is social media, including paid ads on LinkedIn and Facebook and branded content on Instagram. The social program drives people to a Jive microsite that offers a free trial of the company's software.
But you need buzz to get the social media ball rolling. To that end Jive is running digital video on multiple billboards in New York's Times Square. Created by ad agency Pereira & O'Dell, the billboards create the illusion of frustrated office workers tossing papers and taking a jackhammer to their traditional workplace. A longer version of the video on YouTube shows the office staff rearranging their workspace after they've destroyed their cubicles. The star in both versions is the "Jive Office Hero," an average-looking manager who initiates the destruction. Jonathan Woytek, creative director at Pereira & O'Dell, says the intent of the video was not to create something that would go viral to 10 million people, but to provide "a larger context for characters to develop. We want to tap the emotions of everyday life for office workers" who see "an everyman middle manager interested in drastic change" as a hero.
The fictional manager in the video serves as the social persona of the brand, says Deirdre Walsh, Jive senior social media manager. He posts comments on his Twitter account @JiveOfficeHero and on his Facebook page under the name "Jive Office Hero." Later this summer, the brand plans to identify and promote real-life office heroes, people who push their organizations to become more collaborative.
Jive is also using the brand tag #officehero on Instagram. As part of the campaign the company is using Instagram to share random, sometimes comical pictures of its employees and Jive offices. Later it will host a contest for people to share photos of their own office antics.
On LinkedIn, the company is taking a more serious approach. Banner ads on the site try to tap into people's work-related discontent. The company also studies and contributes to conversations about social business issues in its own LinkedIn group and other industry-specific LinkedIn groups.
Jive's research showed that each social channel satisfies a distinct purpose for the brand. "We found that the audiences don't overlap," says Walsh. LinkedIn, for instance, is a forum for in-depth strategic conversations, while Twitter is good for spur-of-the-moment product news and a good place to reach influencers. Facebook, on the other hand, is used for affirmations, banter, and fun takes on office life. Google+ is the surprise player. "It has turned out to be the place for techie product information, it is more technical than any other channel," Walsh says.
Jive also brings its social DNA into the metrics it's using to evaluate the campaign. To determine increases in brand awareness and loyalty, it is measuring the number of retweets, video views, comments, clicks, likes, and social sharing, says Walsh. Positive sentiment scores are being examined to figure out if the brand's positioning is on track.
Interestingly, the main target for the campaign is not the senior executives with whom Jive has built relationships in the past. Instead it is the larger pool of middle management. Indeed, frustrated middle managers who are under increasing pressure to produce more with less can be social business' sweet spot, say insiders. Rizzo agrees. "Our new products enable work groups to easily deploy social networks for their team without a lengthy deployment [process]," he says. Hence the free trial offer. "This approach allows us to reach a broader set of users," he says.
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Joan Voight is a Contributing Editor to ClickZ. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, she has covered online and offline media, marketing and advertising since the mid-1990s for several business publications. She spent nine years at Adweek magazine, where she was San Francisco bureau chief, national senior writer and contributing reporter.
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