Social Nodes & Sociometry

I spent last week at the Conference Board’s Extending Your Brand to Employees Conference listening to great people from great companies talk about the importance of articulating and sharing a strong employer brand. Although they were all at different levels of brand development, the common thread shared by all was the need for crisp execution and dissemination once the brand was formalized.

In my presentation, and in those that followed from The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, HP, Kaiser Permanente, and Xerox, the discussion included questions on how to use social media tools to disseminate the brand. I contend that social media and social networks are THE critical path for the successful sharing and delivery of an employer brand.

Why? Because they allow you to leverage those individuals within the organization who are true social “nodes.” In every company there are certain individuals to whom the bulk of the workforce turns when they need social information (where are the after-work drinks?), or political information (who is on the rise and who is on their way out?), and most importantly, knowledge (how do you build an employer brand?) These individuals are social “nodes” who exert significantly more influence upon their colleagues than others in the company.

If you can identify the social nodes from an employer brand standpoint, you can quickly socialize your brand via organic pathways within the company. My colleague, Rob O’Keefe has written about this concept known as Sociometry on his blog.

If you equip your social nodes with the right knowledge and information, they will spread it organically throughout their networks using enabling tools like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Successful companies are no longer parsing Brand Management and Social Media, but rather, they are understanding and engaging in the convergence of the two.

Want to know more? Reach out to me or to Rob with a comment here and join the conversation.


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Steven Ehrlich
Written by Steven Ehrlich

Fueled by an addiction (and brand loyalty) to Diet Coke, Steven has spent the past 18 years as a complete "tech geek." As an early adopter of everything from the Apple Newton and the Compact Disc to Satellite Radio and the iPhone, Steven has focused on the use of emerging tools and technologies to enhance both brand articulation and recruitment for a multitude of organizations including Yale University, Exelon, Walmart, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Steven is constantly on the move, both in the office and out, working with TMPers and clients alike to explore, develop, and implement strategic initiatives leveraging social media, new technology, and innovative employer brand delivery channels. He is one of the agency's thought leaders and is often found in front of a crowd - large or small - yakking away about some new thing-a-ma-jig or a socially-enabled whos-a-what-sis. At TMP Worldwide, Steven has met some of the brightest, hardest working, and talented people with whom he has ever had the pleasure to work. He is an advocate and brand evangelist for the agency and loves coming to work every day.

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