How NTT DATA Leverages Employee Advocacy Globally

Jason Brain

Creative Strategist

4 minute read

How many of your employees are already on social?

Have you ever traveled to Japan and seen an NTT branded manhole cover?

According to today’s guest Grant Byington of NTT DATA, the NTT brand is so prominent in Japan’s greater corporate culture that you’ll literally step on it while walking through Tokyo.

If only branding urban infrastructure was enough however. For a global organization like NTT, leveraging employee advocacy is essential for cohering and communicating who they are to the world.

Some topics Grant and Cameron go over in this episode of Social At Scale:

  • Why invest in an employee advocacy program?
  • What made you choose EveryoneSocial?
  • Where does advocacy rank among your investments?
  • What are your biggest marketing challenges?
  • NTT’s goals for their advocacy program this year.
  • And where Grant sees advocacy headed.

Watch the Full Episode

Three valuable nuggets:

Key takeaway 1: You can only do so much with a corporate channel

Hear why Grant says so in this episode clip. 🔊🔛👇

Especially for an international brand like NTT DATA, trying to build awareness about who you are as a company with a singular corporate channel is not only ineffective, it’s nearly impossible.

“If I said yes to every request that I have to post on our corporate channels, we would be posting once every fifteen minutes”

So what’s to be done?

Embrace the multiple locations, geographies, demographics, and networks of your employees and executives, wherever they are in the world.

Key takeaway 2: Talk about who you are, not what you do

“When we talk about who we are, we get so much more engagement than when we talk about what we do.”

Listen to Grant explain in this clip from the full episode. 🎧🎚⏫

Particularly powerful for executives to share – leading with who you are makes an immediate impression and in effect humanizes your brand.

And while advocacy is having yet another hot moment right now as many companies are stepping back from paid media, employees are always the foundation of any program. 

Yes, executives are incredibly impactful, but never lose sight of your employee stories, who they are, and the massive combined reach of their networks.

Key takeaway 3: Make your culture on social with rich media

Grant points out a generational divergence that is shaping the future of advocacy and how brands are engaged with online.

Instead of a monolithic brand culture that employees adhere to, especially millennials now expect to make the culture themselves.

“I contributed to this culture – not: this is the culture I’m in.”

As the future of social media and advocacy is in motion, communicating your story as a brand increasingly involves user generated rich media and content. 

As digital natives rise the ranks across all departments, sharing their stories as video and audio is easier than ever. 

Looking ahead, Grant believes we’ll see and hear the face of brands as individuals creating their own content, redefining how a brand is perceived by customers, clients, and prospects.

Having an employee advocacy platform in place is essential to streamlining these efforts at NTT DATA.

Coming full-circle and no pun intended: if you’re envious of NTT’s manhole cover branding – rest assured: you can get onboard with advocacy just the same.

Learn more about the foundational value and future importance of advocacy in our “Why” page. Thanks for checking out this week’s Social At Scale episode, and until next time, happy sharing!

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