A year ago, the Louisville-based insurance giant had already signed up 90% of its 50,000 employees to an internal social network, and 40-45% logged in at least once a month. That’s when it decided to encourage the most motivated ones to share approved articles about the company, plus other health-care news on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other networks outside the company, AdAge reports today.
Employees use the hashtag #HumEmployee to make clear they work for the company. To launch the program, called Humana Advocates, the insurer hired Dynamic Signal, a Silicon Valley company that builds employee advocacy systems. The pilot program started with a couple hundred staffers, rising to 500 by January. Since then, the number has jumped to 3,000.
The system shows a list of approved articles for users to share. But most of it “isn’t directly Humana-related, because we don’t want employees to look like shills for the company,” Dan Gingiss, Humana’s head of digital marketing, told AdAge. Most of the content is about health and wellness, some of which is created by Humana itself, with the rest from third parties.
Humana’s effort is only the latest example of how companies are fiercely competing for market share by harnessing free social media technology, where hundreds of millions of current and potential consumers spend more and more time. Twitter says some 313 million people use the short-message platform each month. The figures on Facebook are even higher: 1.7 billion, including 1.1 billion every day.
Among Louisville companies, the battle is especially strong among restaurant giants that compete for young customers who practically live online: Yum’s troika of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell; pizza colossus Papa John’s, and steakhouse chain Texas Roadhouse. On the public-relations front, companies also need all the help they can get from employees to burnish their image when bad news spreads online.
The chains have recently pushed back against headline-grabbing behavior from employees themselves. Last month, Continue reading “Humana leverages tech-savvy employees to build network of 3,000 advocates on Twitter and other social media — in just one year”