Since 2017, PwC Luxembourg has partnered with Smarp for their employee advocacy and content curation initiatives, relying on the Smarp platform to provide a full circle content curation solution.
We recently sat down for a discussion with Yasmine Meziane, Senior Digital Officer at PwC Luxembourg, to get a complete understanding of how PwC Luxembourg is taking their content curation to the next level with the help of their employees. Her colleagues are not only helping to build up the PwC brand but also their social networks, where just a short time later, they’re seen as true thought leaders in their industries.
Content curation from strategy to impact, featuring PwC Luxembourg — a special Q&A series
Anita (Smarp): Tell our readers about your setup and area of responsibility at PwC. It would also be interesting to get the background behind choosing Smarp for PwC’s content curation solution.
Yasmine: I’m a part of our digital communications team, which is responsible for PwC Luxembourg’s enhanced digital content, including creation, distribution curation, and advocacy. We work on the company’s website, blog, podcasts, visuals including infographics, short-form videos, and, of course, the SEO strategy. I want to dig deeper into our digital advocacy program.
Looking back, we were pioneers within our global organization, and along with our Swiss market, we collaborated to deploy Smarp to our local markets before it was deployed to PwC globally. Today, many of our local markets worldwide have brought in or are starting to leverage the Smarp platform for their content curation.
Before we partnered with Smarp, the real challenge was to translate our external social media strategy into the growing internal demands from our people to develop a solid digital footprint.
We didn’t have a social media strategy, let alone an employee advocacy strategy.Although there was already training on our social media presence put in place, there was no dedicated coaching program or team to support our people in their digital journey and empowerment. The lack of a strategy and program had us desiring those very important missing elements. On the one hand, we’re now helping PwC establish more visibility in social media with the help of our brand ambassadors. On the other hand, it also helps the ambassadors improve their personal brand and be seen as thought leaders.
Anita (Smarp): Although it was before your time, what were some of the content curation challenges PwC Luxembourg had before the Smarp partnership?
Yasmine: While we realized PwC Luxembourg employees were active on social media, there was no content curation strategy. Because of that, employees were struggling to find relevant content at the right time. They were curating content on their own. And while it was great to see that initiative, it was a struggle for them to find the time to check our local or global website and social media channels regularly. We realized they needed something curated for them based on their expertise and the services PwC offers.
Curating content is both impactful and time-consuming as it involves pushing the right content at the right time.
Anita (Smarp): What has been the overall reaction from PwC employees as far as getting the buy-in and engagement?
Yasmine: When we started our employee advocacy program, we put it out there to measure the interest of our employees, which was higher than expected. To begin, in our Luxembourg market, we had 80 PwC ambassadors. Today, we’ve more than doubled that number and are closing in on 200 ambassadors, which is also our current allotted number of Smarp seats. Considering our 3,000 local employees, it’s a good number and we don’t want to overwhelm Luxembourg social media networks with PwC content because doing so can backfire.
Anita (Smarp): How much of the content you’re curating is your own PwC Luxembourg content, and how much are you promoting third-party content?
Yasmine: We promote the content that we produce here locally in Luxembourg, and yes, we also promote content and articles from well-known publications like the Financial Times, Forbes, and other content that is locally relevant to our industries.
Sharing both types of content is something we’re trying to teach our ambassadors because even if they are experts in their particular fields, they also can broaden their reach and share their views and opinions by promoting all the types of content we’re curating for them. Mixing in third-party content to the content curation pool is also favorable for our ambassadors’ own personal brands. That way, they’re showcasing PwC content and other relevant industry content. This gives them a path to share their views and be representatives of PwC in larger discussions. For example, on LinkedIn.
Anita (Smarp): Tell our readers what goes into the process of you curating content for PwC employees.
Yasmine: As the content curator for our PwC Luxembourg market, each day, I select the content that is then made available to our ambassadors through the Smarp platform, which makes it easy and well-organized for us.
In deciding on the types of content to curate, I’m considering both our internal news and events, as well as local and global current events. I also keep in mind the expertise areas of our ambassadors and am familiar with what kinds of interests they have as well as their seniority, background, and expertise. Making the selected content available to them, it becomes easier for them to share their knowledge and background.
As I curate content for our ambassadors, I also provide them with predefined messages for each social channel within the content they’re sharing, which is easy to do in Smarp. There are usually two predefined messages per social media post, and these predefined messages help our ambassadors easily share with just a click. It’s all ready for them.
They also have the full ability to modify the text, but we have noticed that only a few people edit or change the message to their own. Most go with what we propose.
Anita (Smarp): What is the balance of content that you’re curating, considering your strategy around content curation?
Yasmine: Each day, we promote four new types of content. Out of those, I always ensure I have at least 1 PwC internal piece of content, whether it’s a PwC Luxembourg content item or a local blog post from another PwC market or our PwC global team. While it’s important to always push our own PwC curated content, I also try to choose at least one people-related topic. This content could be something around leadership, management, team-building, or hybrid working. In other words, something potentially interesting to a broader audience and keeping PwC into the conversation, even if not precisely specific to our industries.
Anita (Smarp): Have you instilled any gatekeeper process in becoming an ambassador?
Yasmine: Yes, it’s part of our employee advocacy strategy. When PwC employees express interest in becoming an ambassador, before providing access to the Smarp platform, we briefly discuss assessing their interest and ensuring they are the right candidates. We need to confirm that our ambassadors have an interest in sharing the curated content because 1) sharing content is the whole point of this aspect of our strategy, and 2) there are a limited number of Smarp seats that we have purchased. So far, the interest has all been genuine, and we haven’t excluded anyone from joining the program.
Anita (Smarp): Any consistent follow-ups or checkpoints?
Yasmine: Every three months, we have a call with the Smarp team and our key contacts to assess our performance and compare where we are with our program. Here at PwC Luxembourg, we’re quite well positioned compared to our other PwC networks, so it’s been all very positive for us.
Since I’ve been leading our content curation efforts here at PwC Luxembourg, Smarp has also provided us with great tips and best practices to improve our content curation program. When it comes to the Smarp platform itself, it’s very user-friendly and whenever we’ve needed help with something in the past, they’ve been very reactive.
Anita (Smarp): What goals are you trying to achieve in the next few months?
Yasmine: Over the next several months, we’re planning to work even more closely with our current ambassadors, especially those we see as having great potential to increase their personal brand and the social media awareness around PwC.
I want our ambassadors to add their own spin to the curated content. While it’s great that they’re sharing, I would like to see more of their personal touch, bringing out their expertise.
We’re trying to push best practices and coach our ambassadors to have these habits, and we hope it will increase the engagement. It’s positive for our brand and their own personal networks as they’re seen as true thought leaders. When they express their opinions, they show genuine interest in what they’re sharing. In response, they see more engaged communities within their networks between them and with PwC.
Anita (Smarp): What is the most significant achievement of change that Smarp’s solution has brought to PwC around your content curation efforts?
Yasmine: There are several. When we add our brand ambassadors to Smarp, we can immediately see the results in tangible numbers and measurements. Our web tracking clearly shows that an increasing amount of our traffic is coming from the content shared from the Smarp platform that our ambassadors are interacting with daily. The more ambassadors share our content, the more traffic we’re getting
The feedback we’re receiving from ambassadors is that they feel a sense of ownership with the PwC brand. They’re jumping into the program, which has a positive impact on our brand and their individual networks. I’ve had some ambassadors who were surprised at how much this has helped them to increase their engagement.
Our brand ambassador and content curation program has been a great achievement for us. Not only are our employees sharing our curated content, but they’re also creating discussions while putting PwC’s brand out there alongside our experts’ networks.
Schedule a Smarp demo today and learn how Smarp can help your brand with your content curation and employee advocacy strategies.