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Anatomy of a Social Strategy and Vendor Evaluation

Lithium Alumni (Retired)

siemens logo.jpgWe are delighted to announce that Siemens joined the Lithium community in 2013. Siemens is a global powerhouse in electronics and electrical engineering, operating in the industry, energy and healthcare sectors.



Cloudsquads, a Lithium partner, was asked to engage with Siemens on their social strategy and vendor evaluation.  Find out how Siemens embarked on their social customer experience journey from Chris Kelley, VP of Online Ad Infrastructure Marketing. 


How does your company use social media channels today?

Siemens’ Software as a whole has been active in social for 5-6 years, mainly thru blogging and social media channels, like Twitter. While the level of social media involvement varies across divisions, my group has been particularly focused on finding new ways to use social media to engage more directly with our customers   This year, we decided to expand our customer reach by investing more in online communities.


What is your role in the organization? What are some challenges you face today with regards to social media?

I’m responsible for global online marketing, which includes: web, Google analytics, Google advertising, social, marketing analytics and marketing automation.  While social has been a part of my role for many years, it’s been primarily SEO and web analytics focused.  Siemens’ goal is to move further down the pipeline when it comes to seeing what our customers do/want to actually engaging with them.  This is where we think social will play a key role and the impetus our project with Cloudsquads.


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Tell us more about your work with Cloudsquads. 

Siemens PLM wanted to create a unified, branded experience for its customers.  The goal of the community project was to drive end user engagement with the primarily technical audience, deflect support calls and explore the early possibilities of a revenue-making community.  We needed to put together a high speed project to find the best strategy and vendors for expanding our social efforts to include communities.  Before this project, there were several siloed efforts to determine a social media strategy.  In the course of 3 months, I had to assemble and normalized the requirements – making sure I had a common view of what they wanted to do. I needed to ensure I could suggest one unified approach that would be adopted by different divisions.  I brought Cloudsquads in to help us determine the best social enterprise practices for our customer engagement and find the right community software vendor.


Why did you choose Lithium

Cloudsquads helped us with a mapping exercise based on the requirements we gathered from internal stakeholders to determine the best software vendor for Siemens.  Cloudsquads came in to help us be the experts on various platforms and act as that synthesis in our organization. They provided deep insight into the current social software vendor landscape and came up with a solid roadmap, suggested project plan on which vendor we should choose, and project timelines for implementation.  We collectively evaluated some of the popular platforms and chose Lithium because it had the depth of features we needed, an industry leading open platform with rich APIs and the industry expertise we desired as we embarked on our community projects.


If I didn’t have this analysis, gaining buy in throughout Siemens divisions on a unified community strategy would have been much more difficult.  We now have a solid plan to ensure that our customers have a consistent and positive brand experience and, internally, we are be able to make very strategic company-wide decisions that included our customers’ voices.


What’s next

We’ve selected Lithium and are currently deploying the community.  We will closely track our customer engagement within the community and look to add more communities in the near future.  We would also like to dig deeper into the community conversations and analyze what our customers are saying.  I’m also thinking about how this integrates with our marketing automation efforts as well.  The possibilities of how to have a more meaningful relationship with our customers are really endless with social and I’m looking forward to bringing the customer voice into our internal decision making process.


This interview was originally featured in Cloudsquads' Transforming Social Conversations blog. Cloudsquads, a Lithium partner, helps customers transform social conversations into actionable insights that drive improvements in marketing, sales and customer service.



jack-denise-avatar.jpgDenise Jack is Lithium's Director of Customer Programs and is primarily responsible for showcasing Lithium customers’ success in social customer experience. She has more than 12 years of experience in customer marketing, technical sales and management consulting. Denise is a regular blogger for Lithium and in the Lithosphere you'll see her as DeniseJ. You can follow her on Twitter at @lithiumtech or @denisejack