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Andy’s Answers: How Walgreens’ internal social program connects employees to answers

For companies like Verizon, McGraw-Hill, and TD Bank Group, social isn’t just for inbound marketing or customer service. It’s also helping them accomplish amazing things as an enterprise — 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.

But it takes a lot to run these internal social communities, and that’s where Walgreens Online Community Manager Chris Catania and his team steps in. In his presentation at SocialMedia.org‘s BlogWell conference in New York, Catania explains Walgreens’ internal social program and explores how it’s connecting  employees to each other and the company.

Here are some big takeaways from his presentation:

  • Strive for proactive, not reactive, community management: Catania says the company planned ahead by listening to what employees wanted from internal social communities. Then, it created a social playbook, rolled out a pilot group to test it, and continued to refine their strategy.
  • Remember the 90-9-1 rule: Catania based the company’s community management on the idea that 1% of users create content, 9% contribute feedback, and 90% just watch. Walgreens’ community strategy is to move more employees from the 90% category to becoming a contributor.
  • It’s hard for everyone to see the big picture: To help make the business case for an internal social 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 that would usually take a week to fix in just two days with the help of the community. Success stories like these help Catania explain why these communities are important.

If you like this presentation, see more great social media case studies like it live at SocialMedia.org’s BlogWell conference August 6 in the Bay Area.