One of a kind IT service provider Jigsaw24 tackles employee advocacy
Making it their business to know Apple and the solutions that go hand in hand in a way other IT providers don’t, Jigsaw24 puts as much passion into their projects, solutions and employees, as they do their quirky interior decoration.
We provide IT hardware and software solutions to organisations of hugely varied sizes. Typically our solutions are based around the Apple portfolio. From helping schools looking to go 121 with iPad have a smooth deployment, to acting as the technology partner for high end creative businesses, to deploying thousands of Macs and iPads to the UK’s largest enterprises.
Jigsaw24 has 275 employees in both Nottingham and London, with a diverse team that spans across sales, procurement, engineering, marketing, accounts and logistics. As IT is ever changing, they’re in a constant state of evolution, with new products released weekly and a need to not only stay on top but be the first to understand, as a source of expertise and knowledge for their customers.
They started off working primarily with creative businesses (back when Apple was only found in the hands of a designer) and since things have come a long way, but creativity has stayed part of what they do and their approach to business; both internally with employees and externally with customers.
007 himself delivered the next day, you say?
Chatting with their Director of Marketing, Ade Leader, he went on to tell us about the inner workings of Jigsaw24.
Where do I start?! Should it be with the garden gnomes that whistle at you as you walk up the rainbow staircase, the room dedicated to jelly beans or the TARDIS sitting in the corner of the sales floor. It’s an unusual place to work but that helps everyone have pride in the business because they know they are working somewhere a bit special.
Ade’s not wrong there! As we look around Jigsaw’s office in Nottingham, we’re surrounded by eccentricity and the unconventional. It’s fair to say that they’re not the typical image of an IT service provider. From the themed meeting rooms, hands for handles, a room dedicated to Steve Jobs and was that astroturf and a picnic bench inside? Well, it’s that idiosyncratic individuality that makes it easy for employees at Jigsaw to find pride in their business.
Working with customers like The Guardian, Abbey Road Studios, Staffordshire University and Halo Post to name a few, Jigsaw24 has a wealth of customers and industries they provide solutions and services to. We asked Ade how he and his team managed employee advocacy before Brand Message and how their employees engaged with spreading Jigsaw’s message.
“Content was distributed via email. Each week we would put together a list of the posts that we wanted the team to distribute – there would be a mix of all different types of content and that would go to our ‘advocates’ around the business. Initially it was ok and people shared content as we had hoped but the appeal of doing that soon disappeared and engagement dwindled.”
Ade had found that the initial drive to share content soon lessened and that there were two main drivers in prompting him to find a better solution for employee advocacy. One was that they needed to retain a level of control over the broad message being shared across LinkedIn and Twitter, so that from a brand perspective it was correct. That was especially important for them because their team wasn’t only representing their brand, they also represent manufacturers who have a set of brand guidelines that need adhering to as well. He went on and added,
We also had to find a way to incentivise people to do the sharing. While nobody had a problem with doing the sharing, it was often bottom of the pile in terms of priorities. Brand Message appealed because it helped give people a reason to continue to support the social outbound.
The main thing we noticed about it was that more people wanted to be involved with Brand Message. While the original email process was restricted to a select few people who we knew would be engaged and would be open to helping support the social sharing we do, Brand Message was opened up company wide so that anyone could sign up for it.
Ade told us that they had people in all departments interested in using the employee advocacy platform too.
“I’m sure the promise of monthly prizes helped but just being able to sell it as more of a competition experience suddenly made it more interesting than the “Do you want to be part of our email group?” message they would have been getting had we not been using Brand Message.”
When it came to the platform itself, we asked Ade what he had found most useful as a feature being a brand admin and how that helped him understand the benefits of using an employee advocacy platform, to drive social sharing for Jigsaw24.
“There’s no escaping the fact that having the overall engagement across all members of the team in one dashboard is so useful. Without crawling individual salespeople’s LinkedIn profiles and inspecting the likes and shares that they were getting manually, that insight isn’t something we would usually have access to. It’s also pretty interesting keeping a close eye on team members clearly competing with one another to try and get as much engagement as possible.”
After a second coffee from Jigsaw’s themed barista station, we took a tour of the infamous jelly bean room and marvelled at more hidden treasures throughout their Nottingham HQ. We’re told that their London office in Golden Square, Soho has just as many tricks up its sleeve. We asked Ade if he’d found any unexpected benefits from using Brand Message.
What was that, team members actively posting their own content?
We were quite surprised how much of a renewed interest in LinkedIn the platform generated. We haven’t typically had a very active team when it comes to social media, but have definitely seen that, even outside of the Jigsaw24 messages, people have started posting their own content, sharing thought leadership and liking and sharing each other’s messages on a scale that they definitely didn’t before.
It’s great to hear that Brand Message has had a positive effect on employees at Jigsaw24 and driving their interest and activity with LinkedIn. Ade continued to add,
“It’s turned our teams into a little social media community that seems to have started to keep an eye out on what each other is doing and apply similar behaviours to their own shared content and profiles. We’re suddenly getting requests for Jigsaw24 branded headers for their profile pages, for example.”
It seems that more of a focus on employee advocacy has only further reinforced the pride that Jigsaw24’s employees take in their business and brand, that word-of-mouth is a driving factor for their internal motivation to actively share and support each other, as well as continue to serve their customers with thought leadership and content to improve their businesses with IT solutions too.
We wondered if Ade had any feedback from the teams using Brand Message and how they felt about the employee advocacy platform, and he laughed, noting that he thought the Amazon voucher very quickly made people enjoy being part of the platform at first. He then went on to tell us that,
The main thing to note is that I have had sales managers commenting on how they are pleased that the platform has reinvigorated social as a method of outreach. We started to run the trial about the same time as we gave the team access to LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and the two in tandem have made LinkedIn a far more used tool for prospecting and outreach.
Finally, when we were thanking Ade for his time and taking one last look around the Jigsaw office and getting more than a few ideas for our own space too, we asked Ade what he would say to anyone considering using Brand Message as their employee advocacy platform.
...so, did Jigsaw24 recommend Brand Message?
“If you struggle with engaging teams or users across the business with your business’s social media channels, Brand Message will undoubtedly help you cut through that.”