Hershey’s Drives Awareness for Their Corporate Brand with LinkedIn Elevate

December 3, 2016

Hershey Chocolate

Editor's Note: Sarah Dull is a Corporate Reputation and Social Media Manager at The Hershey Company

Just about everyone knows Hershey’s Kisses and Reese’s candy bars – along with our 80+ confection and snacking brands. Our employees know The Hershey Company story and are best-positioned to tell it. But without clear guidance from the corporate team on content to share and an easy way to post content, we weren’t sure we could create the social culture we needed.

To raise awareness of the corporate brand, its initiatives and employees, we launched various social channels and encouraged employees to get involved and share content via their personal networks. We initially tried to build support for employee advocacy in a grassroots manner – that is, simply asking them to contribute to our new social channels. However, we realized we needed a more comprehensive platform for suggesting content and tracking employee progress in becoming advocates – that way, we could find and suggest content in a streamlined way, and we could see at a glance who we were reaching and which types of content were preferred.

This is where LinkedIn Elevate came in. LinkedIn is a familiar tool to Hershey employees, so Elevate gave them a comfort level with exploring the social world. Its easy-to-use interface helped people who might be hesitant about social to explore it more and discover what personal branding means to them.

LinkedIn helped us launch our employee advocacy program by identifying our 100 most socially active employees, who could get content-sharing off to a solid start. To make sure we had a good cross-section of people sharing content, we chose employees from several countries and departments. We also built a list of key topic areas that mapped back to our corporate messages, like sustainability and retail innovation.

Armed with our topic areas, we knew we could rely on Elevate to curate content that matched our branding goals. Elevate has become a one-stop shop for interesting and engaging content, and it saves us a lot of time – there’s no need to scour the Internet for hours to find the best stories. Elevate also helps us figure out how employees are progressing on their social journeys, and which people might need a little help along the way to keep their enthusiasm high. We can see the people who might need some encouragement, and we can act right away to assist them.

The addition of Elevate has led to employees sharing more content than ever before: 13X more than before they started using Elevate. Their sharing has also influenced 3X more Company Page views and 4X more Company Page followers – so the good word is getting out about Hershey.

Employee excitement about being an advocate is spreading:  People are saying, “My friend told me about this platform – can I join?” It’s exciting to see everyone’s passion for sharing content, and how they see value in sharing not only for Hershey, but also for building their professional reputations.

Learn more about how LinkedIn Elevate can help your employees become more social.