Energizing Company Culture through the Social Media Wall

Textile supplier finds the “perfect mix” for massive facility

By Richard Buhn on 14/03/2017
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About Bru Textiles

Bru Textiles supplies interior furnishing fabrics, drapery and upholstery to wholesalers and importers worldwide. Based in Belgium, the 22-year-old textiles converter offers a one-stop shop for home furnishings including design, logistics, financing, marketing support, and more. Bru is one of the leading fabric suppliers in the world.

Teamwork has always been a high priority at Bru. Executives care about fostering a company culture where staffers are motivated, passionate and share a sense of camaraderie. In fact, the company’s name is a term of affection that speaks to its brand and history. “Bru” means “brother,” a slang term in South Africa, where the founders (and brothers) Gary and Jason Neiman grew up. As the CEO explains, the organization’s credo is to follow “the four Bs”: be hands on, be hearts on, be heads on, be a bru.

Buildings Rife with Possibilities

Bru operates from a new state-of-the-art 14.000 m² facility complete with a design studio and a fully automated warehouse. Throughout the complex, there are 19 digital displays spread through offices, warehouse space, and dining facilities. Company leaders realized their screens offered a perfect opportunity to connect with their 140 employees in a way no other medium could. And by incorporating social media, perhaps employees from different departments would also get to know each other better.

Executives wanted to use the digital displays to publish a daily dose of company news, as well as fun, uplifting content. However, they needed help finding “the perfect mix” of content, Christianna said.

Employee roles vary dramatically at Bru from traveling salespeople to administrative staffers to warehouse workers, explained Bru Marketing Manager Christianna Stefanaki. Depending on the nature of the work, certain employees didn’t always have immediate access to the same information. For example, warehouse employees don’t check e-mails throughout the day, so they typically received news later than those working at computers.

“We wanted to give the same information to everybody equally,” Christianna said. “We also have 24 different nationalities in our organization. That’s another reason we try to balance communications. We want to make them feel like they belong here. At Bru, we’re like family.”

The company had previously used a platform to share company news on their digital displays. However, employees had to e-mail their updates to a marketing staffer, who would then input the content into the platform. The process required employees to submit their updates via e-mail. In the old system, participation was minimal and lag time tended to diffuse excitement.

“With social media, everything is instant,”

“With social media, everything is instant,” Christianna said. “Because most people are accustomed to using Instagram and Facebook, social media can really boost any marketing activity or event.” So she chose the Seenspire social media solution to create a Bru channel and publish it on the company’s digital displays.

Launching the Social Media Wall in Style

What better way to get over 100 people interacting than a disco-themed party? Bru executives decided to launch the Social Media Wall with pizzazz. At the annual year-end celebration, live entertainers made the big announcement. Standing between two big screens on each side of the stage, they announced that employees could post live updates to the company’s big screen. That’s when the Bru channel came alive.

“Watching live posts appear on the big screens created a great atmosphere, almost like a game!” Christianna said. “Lots of people came out of their shells in no time.”

By the end of the night, the event hashtag #bruyep had triggered 272 posts from employees. Soon after the party, the company channel launched on the 19 screens throughout Bru’s facilities.

Stronger Ties, Little by Little

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Christianna, the channel administrator, mixes Bru’s corporate messages with motivational, inspiring, and business-related posts from several external social media accounts. The channel also publishes feeds from Bru’s own social media feeds.

Although Bru is still in the early stages of marketing the company within the organization, Christianna says she’s noticing growing engagement from the staff. Little by little, more employees are opening up and sharing tidbits of their lives through the company channel. The hashtag #wearebru promotes a sense of solidarity and pride in the organization. Employees sometimes use Social Media Wall to invite their peers to join cycling groups, play board games, and socialize outside work hours.

Christianna manages the content based on the time of day. During the mornings and afternoons when customers are likely to visit the facilities, she tends to post corporate communications, as well as motivational posts and general business content curated from the 50-plus social media accounts she follows. During lunch time, she publishes fun lifestyle content along with staff posts.

The Social Media Wall adds a new dimension to our company values

“Teamwork and camaraderie have always been central to Bru,”Christianna said. “The Social Media Wall adds a new dimension to our company values. It enhances those values even further when you see your peers having a good time and feeling like they belong here.”