Hewlett Packard Enterprise delivers social media to the channel
The challenge was to increase the exposure of HPE Helion and partner brands on social media channels. While there is an existing online presence, high level social media maturity hasn’t yet been reached. A social media measurement platform was needed for generating accurate reports and proving social media ROI.
Table of contents
- Background - how to develop an effective social media strategy
- Challenge - encouraging participation and measuring performance
- Solution - campaign, social media measurement, knowledge & value
- Result - proving success of campaign with metrics
Background - how to develop an effective social media strategy
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is an industry leading technology company that enables customers to go further, faster. With the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio, spanning the cloud to the data center to workplace applications. HPE technology and services help customers around the world make IT more efficient, more productive, and more secure.
HPE Helion is a portfolio of open source software, integrated systems and services for enterprise cloud computing. It was launched by HPE in May 2014 and is sold through Direct and Indirect (channel) motions.
According to an internal HPE study conducted at the end of 2014 across EMEA, 90% of HPE Cloud Builder partners - partners reselling HPE Helion solutions - are already on social media networks, mostly on LinkedIn and more recently on Facebook and Twitter. However, only a few have reached a high level of social media maturity.
The majority are looking for support to develop an effective online strategy, which would include setting social media goals and comprehensive social media measurement of ongoing performance.
Encouraging participation and measuring performance
Within HPE’s partner community, many employees and executives still feel that social media is not for them. The challenge was to expand the usage of social networks not only to marketing teams but also to executives, sales and presales across the partner’s company.
The solution needed to be simple, fun, creative and give rewards with the objective to increase social exposure for both HPE Helion and partner brands. HPE’s EMEA Cloud Channel marketing team was also looking for a social media measurement platform that was easy to use and able to generate accurate reports.
To improve and activate the social media presence of HPE’s Cloud Builders partners, a two-step plan was defined.
- Develop knowledge of social channels knowledge through with internal training, while monitoring partner activity. The goal being to increase effectiveness.
- Create engaging social media campaigns to give HPE’s Partners confidence when using social platforms and demonstrate impact by providing regular social media measurement reports.
Campaign, social media measurement, knowledge & value
Creating a social campaign for all partners
The #HelionFlag selfie branding campaign was born. To bring HPE channel partners together and increase their comfort with social media, HPE’s EMEA Cloud Channel marketing team created the Helion flag campaign.
The idea was to capitalize on the popularity of smartphone selfies, encouraging the target audience to take photos of themselves with the Helion flag and share via Twitter. This being the best way to reach a wide audience and spread the message.
Elmec S.P.A sale team: The first HP Cloud Builder #HelionFlag participants in front of the HP Garage reproduction in Milano, Italy.
Cancom GmbH, an HP Cloud Builder from Germany, leveraging #HelionFlag in their summer party with customers.
Advania CEO and COO, HP Cloud Builder from The Nordics in their Thor Datacenter in Reykjavik, Iceland.
DTPGroup marketing team, HP Cloud Builder, using the #HelionFlag to launch their latest Whitepaper – London, UK.
Around 20 Helion Flags in one room during a UK channel partners event – London, UK.
The HP Technical Presale team on a weekend using the Helion Flag for branding activity.
Partners embraced the #HelionFlag campaign and showed their creativity using the flag in many different ways.
Social media measurement - driving campaign performance success
Using the Talkwalker social listening platform’s wide range of capabilities - sentiment analysis, image recognition, social media measurement, competitive analysis - HPE were able to track all results needed and perform analysis quickly and easily.
HPE could then prove the success of their campaign using a variety of social media metrics, helping to convince partners and management alike that social media campaigns were an effective means of building relationships and developing awareness.
The #HelionFlag campaign kicked off in Dublin, Ireland, during an HP technical partner event on June 15, 2015 and continued until October 31, 2015. The campaign generated 753 tweets and retweets and reached almost 16 million Twitter accounts, with activity staying strong throughout the summer.
Surprisingly, peak activity came on July 6 when there was no specific campaign activity with the hashtag reaching almost 2.7 million Twitter accounts on this day. This was a strong indicator that the campaign had managed to grow organically, extending beyond HPE’s own promotional activity.
The campaign reached 16 million accounts over 4.5 months and generated multiple spikes in activity.
Contributors weren’t just limited to the target partners either, with tweets coming from across the globe. HPE received more than 200 separate contributions from 38 countries with 39% from outside EMEA including Japan, Australia, India, Brazil, Colombia, Singapore and beyond.
Contributors for the #HelionFlag campaign came from around the world despite EMEA being the focus of the campaign.
Spread knowledge and prove value with social media measurement
During the campaign, HPE’s EMEA Cloud Channel marketing team used Talkwalker to provide monthly social media activity reports to HP Cloud Builder partners. These reports - using social media measurement - allowed the team to analyze ongoing partner engagements from partner marketing teams but also uncovered engagement from wider teams with technical presales and even CxO executives happy to contribute.
“Getting used to new ways of doing business is always difficult, and the public nature of social media can make it especially intimidating for those without experience.”
“When HPE conducted the partners community survey we quickly realized that although partners were on social media, they were struggling to work out how they should use it. It was especially important to be able to prove the value of social by providing performance metrics that partners could use to measure success.”
Stephane Bureau, HPE EMEA Cloud Channel Marketing Manager (@SBUCloud)
Proving success of campaign with metrics
The project was a resounding success and HPE were able to prove it by showing the size and scale of success across the world. Posting photos of people and leveraging live events drove audience engagement and increased brand awareness.
On the social media measurement side, the quick and easy implementation of Talkwalker software was key to proving the success of the campaign using metrics. Complex and heterogeneous data was manipulated easily and smart reporting functions allowed HPE to generate reports in the form of executive summaries straight out of the platform. Talkwalker gave the team all the metrics and analytics needed to easily identify, track and analyze performance metrics like reach, engagement rate and page views from partners and influential publications.
Talkwalker’s social media measurement and analytics platform has given the HPE’s EMEA Cloud Channel marketing team a way to track the value of their social media efforts and provide first-class support to their channel partners. New initiatives have been set up to continue and expand partner engagement in social media through a spirit of collaboration and improvement. The HPE EMEA Cloud Channel marketing team believe that social media marketing is becoming a key element of digital marketing strategies for partners to approach customers in the idea economy.