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Andy’s Answers: How Itron developed a companywide listening program

Itron is one of the biggest companies you may not have heard of. They’re a large B2B in the utility industry, doing everything from developing gas meters to the software that communicates with them – and they’re actively listening and engaging in social media.

In their BlogWell presentation, Itron’s Michelle Jung and Dawn Shrum walked us through how they took a grassroots social program started by a few employees and turned it into an official, companywide initiative.

A few of their key takeaways:

  • Start by listening internally. One of the first things Itron did was distribute an internal survey asking employees where they were already engaging online and where relevant industry conversations were taking place. This helped them quickly focus on places to listen and engage.
  • Share the conversations with everyone. Each week, Dawn and Michelle’s team send out a “Chatter Report” that outlines key topics being discussed online and the status of social projects. This helps build buy-in and participation, and it gets important information spread throughout the company.
  • Search for the internal evangelists. By listening to their employees and sharing social media findings with the company, they’ve had a number of internal evangelists and talkers come forward as volunteers wanting to help in online participation.

Watch Michelle and Dawn’s presentation (slides available here):