During the recent economic downturn in Finland, it became apparent that Finnish SMEs need a strong collaborator providing internationalization services to drive growth. In order to better serve this purpose, Finpro radically changed its way of working. The organization focused its efforts on providing SMEs with information and advice on internationalization and identifying new business opportunities. At the beginning of 2014, Finpro sold its chargeable consulting services and started to offer its services free of charge. However, the new situation caused Finpro a problem: How could they promote services without a sales team and build relationships with the clientele? How could they increase awareness and promote new services without an existing sales function?
Luckily Finpro advisors deal with key stakeholders every day, and the organization soon kicked off their Employee Advocacy program. Finpro understood that the primary need is to ensure that the basics are in place; people have to be confident with social media and know how to use it for their purposes. Hence, the first task was to organize LinkedIn training. By training the employees, Finpro also delivered the message “You are important to us, we need you!” Finpro also highlighted the importance of online presence for advisors’ personal brands and business success. Thereby, every advisor has a personal incentive to be active on social media and share engaging professional content.
Finpro has achieved impressive results with their employee advocacy programme. The organization has been able to reach over 4 530 000 people, generate almost 17 000 clicks and 12 000 shares. Finpro advisors are very keen on sharing their expertise and building a professional brand for themselves and Finpro. Advocates are also very active in proposing content for others to share, and the awareness on other industries and markets has increased remarkably throughout the organization. To their delight, Finpro's communications team has received spontaneous positive comments from Smarp users.
What the client says...
Employee advocacy has increased and improved our reach remarkably. Thanks to Smarp's advanced analytics functionality, we know exactly how much. We know what kind of content creates traction – not just generally but specifically in our target audience. This way we can keep on improving the quality of content continuously. Taking Smarp into use has also increased the traffic at Finpro.com.
"I like Smarp, as it has been extremely easy to take into use and the user gets the hang of things really fast. Daily use is a pleasure, as the user interface is easy and simple. The gamification aspect of competing against others on a leaderboard is a good and intelligent way to encourage employees to join the program. However, now that Employee Advocacy has been established and we understand its benefits, there is no need for further incentives. In my opinion, Employee Advocacy is an optimal tool for discovering information and sharing it further and it works extremely well in globally distributed organizations such as Finpro.”
Finpro is a public organization that helps Finnish SMEs become international, encourages foreign direct investment in Finland and promotes tourism. Finpro manages major national projects including Cleantech Finland, Future Learning Finland and FinlandCare. Finpro is Export Finland, Visit Finland and Invest in Finland, and it is part of the Team Finland network.