Bluewolf uses employee gamification to increase social sharing

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Consultancy Bluewolf Inc. helps match information technology to business goals, focusing on the customer life cycle. Earlier this year, it began using social media technology to do the same at its own company. The new strategy, launched in January, is based on the premise that Bluewolf's more than 350 employees—from sales to customer service to human resources—know its services best. And yet as early as last December, only a handful of those employees were helping spread the company's message. The marketing team, which consists of 20 people—including 12 in corporate marketing—was doing the bulk of its social media promotion. Something had to be done, said Corinne Sklar, VP-marketing. “I have hundreds of employees who are solving customer issues every day. We had to try to unlock and promote that knowledge, to promote new business and educate my client base,” she said. “The question was, how [do we] take all this information from the consultants and get it out there?” Working with gamification company Bunchball, Bluewolf began a program called Going Social, which consisted of three prongs: a portal, “pack profiles” and the gamification piece. The Going Social portal provides a primer about how to get started using social media, featuring two video tutorials. “The tips explain who [employees] should follow, what groups to join, which content to share,” said Natasha Oxenburgh, social programs manager. “We have SlideRocket presentations for each social platform—what's in it for them and how to do it, including Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Salesforce Chatter, Google+.” So-called “pack profiles” are available for almost every Bluewolf employee. Accessible via Salesforce, the custom-developed feature provides an overview of each employee that lists their company affiliations and clients, and includes personal details as well as their three most recent Twitter posts, blog posts and white papers. “This is how employees manage their public profiles,” Oxenburgh said. It also doubles as a bellwether of each employee's social media influence since pack profiles contain social media analytics. The final piece of the strategy centers on gamification, showcasing a new rewards store that debuted this month. Employees can earn points for building and maintaining their pack profiles, sharing Bluewolf content on social sites, posting on the internal Chatter board (or posting on someone else's) and uploading content. The more you do, the higher your ranking on the Bluewolf leaderboard, which is reset every quarter so everyone, including newer employees, has a chance to make it to the top of the 12-level board. “If you upload 10 pieces to our knowledge base, you get a badge,” Oxenburgh said. “If people in their communities click on a link, they get rewarded, too.” The newest part of the program—the rewards store—helps employees turn their efforts into swag, Sklar said. This was important, she said, because “gamification is incentivizing.” Now employees can shoot for such tangible goals as tickets to's yearly Dreamforce conference, limited edition Patagonia jackets with Bluewolf logos and other Bluewolf-branded items. To date, the program has resulted in huge increases in social sharing, which has boosted blog traffic by 80% from social media platforms and website traffic by 45%. The company's Klout score, a numeric value of a company's or person's social media reach, which had been stagnant at 42 last year is now up to 45. Finally, there has been a 57% increase in internal Salesforce Chatter activity, with first quarter 2012 up 57% over fourth quarter 2011. “If you think about the content and how this affects us, it gives 350 employees a megaphone to stream our content out to all their social networks,” Sklar said. “We're developing new content daily and getting it out to potential customers.”
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