Walgreens’ internal social network boosts staffer engagement

After thorough planning and revisions, Walgreens’ social community connects employees to one another—and to information that solves problems and helps them work more effectively.

For companies like Verizon, McGraw-Hill, and TD Bank Group, social media isn’t just for inbound marketing or customer service. It also helps them accomplish amazing things as enterprises—and more companies are joining their ranks.

At Walgreens, social communities help employees collaborate on big issues, explain certain operations, and refine their customer service. It takes a lot to run these internal social communities, and that’s where Walgreens Online Community Manager Chris Catania and his team step in.

In his presentation at SocialMedia.org‘s BlogWell conference in New York, Catania explained Walgreens’ internal social program and explored how it’s connecting employees to one another and to the company.

Here are some key takeaways from his presentation:

  • Strive for proactive, not reactive, community management: Catania says the company planned its approach by listening to what employees wanted from internal social communities. Then it created a playbook, rolled out a pilot group to test it, and continued to refine the strategy.
  • Remember the 90-9-1 rule: Catania based the company’s community management on the idea that 1 percent of users create content, 9 percent contribute feedback, and 90 percent just watch. Walgreens’ community strategy is to move more employees from the 90 percent category to becoming contributors.
  • It’s hard for everyone to see the big picture: To help make the business case for an internal social media program, Catania suggests telling the compelling stories behind it and connecting those to company goals. For example, a finance team member was able to solve a problem—one that would usually take a week to fix—in just two days with the help of the community. Success stories such as these help Catania explain why these communities are important.

A version of this article first appeared on SmartBlog on Social Media.

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