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How Spar Nord Is Becoming the Number One Personal Bank in Denmark with Smarp

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Industry
Banking
Use case
Employee Communications
Company size
1,600+
How Smarp helped Spar Nord

2x

Doubled the organization’s internal communication readership on Smarp in less than one year.

95%

Improved the way employees engage with Spar Nord’s content: Smarp user engagement has reached 95% in May 2020.

$298K

Generated a $298K earned media value on social media through 6M views, 68K clicks and 44K reactions.

About Spar Nord

Spar Nord was established in 1824 as the first financial institution founded in Jutland, Denmark. The organization is listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange and is currently serving 400,000+ customers. Today, Spar Nord is a full-service commercial bank that employs 1,600+ people and has 50 branches throughout the country.

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The Transition to Personalized Employee Communications

It all started with employee advocacy

Spar Nord originally launched Smarp in 2017 to build an employee advocacy program where employees could spontaneously share company news and informative materials with their personal networks for three main reasons:

  • Social media algorithms have changed. Spar Nord noticed a decline in the reach of their posts on social media. They wanted to outsmart the new social media algorithms by letting employees share Spar Nord’s news through their personal accounts
     
  • Employees are one of the most trusted sources of information. The communication team knew that posts shared by people are more trusted and engaging than branded content. They were convinced that by posting Spar Nord-related content in their own words, employees would drive more engagement around the organization’s content
     
  • Spar Nord wanted to get closer to their customers. One of Spar Nord’s top objectives is to become the number one personal bank in Denmark. To do so, the communication team wanted to let employees share Spar Nord’s stories with their networks. They are the heartbeat of the organization and they assist their clients in their financial projects, so they naturally became Spar Nord’s best advocates.

 


The shift to real-time and tailored employee communications

Last spring, the communication team conducted a survey among Smarp users. The results showed that not only did Smarp help employees become thought leaders in the banking industry, but it also helped them find all the information they need to succeed in their jobs:

  • Employees felt they became better informed about the different projects running at Spar Nord.
  • They have a better understanding of the organization’s vision — becoming the #1 personal bank in a digital world in Denmark
  • It became easier for them to find the information they need 
     
  • They better understand how their work supports the business
     

That's when Adam Lehn, Employee Advocacy & Social Media Manager, saw the opportunity to take the bank's communications strategy to the next level by shifting Smarp from an employee advocacy tool to an employee communications platform.

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The transition included 3 main phases:

A higher focus on employees’ needs. While the communication team used to upload branded content to Smarp, they now upload content that is more tied to the employees’ functions and interests so they can better help their clients. What’s more, relevant content from the intranet is pushed to Smarp so it's discovered by the right employees.

Employees’ active role in content curation. When Spar Nord used Smarp only as an employee advocacy platform, most of the content added to the platform was selected by the communication team. Things have changed: employees are now encouraged to suggest content they find useful for their colleagues.

Real-time communications. The communication team sends push notifications to the employees so they receive all important and urgent updates without any delay and can better focus on their work..

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Spar Nord goes one step further by sharing instant and personalized messages with their employees through specific channels

As the communication team decided to shift Smarp from an employee advocacy tool to an employee communications platform that complements the company’s intranet, they have reorganized the way they segment content on Smarp. Now Spar Nord has 69 channels on Smarp ⁠— 50 channels that are specific to each branch of the bank and 19 extra channels that the communication team uses to share company-wide updates with all users. That way, employees get in their news feed educational content that is relevant to their role at Spar Nord, the department they work in, as well as their location.

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For example, employees located in the capital city receive in their news feeds office updates specific to the Copenhagen office as well as mentions of Spar Nord in local newspapers. That way, Spar Nord improves the employee experience they deliver by preventing their employees from dealing with irrelevant content and information overload.


 adam-1
 
“Making sure that our employees get the right information ⁠— the information that is relevant to them — is our top priority. We live in an era of information overload and having our employees feel overwhelmed with too much information is the last thing we want for them. We want them to get the information they need when they need it. That’s why we’ve decided to push our content segmentation further on Smarp. It’s a fantastic tool for employee communications and we wanted to get the most out of it
 
Adam Lehn, Employee Advocacy & Social Media Manager at Spar Nord.

 

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Results achieved with Smarp

Spar Nord’s internal communications readership on Smarp has doubled in less than one year

Smarp has helped the communication team rethink their content distribution strategy. While they used to share the same information with the entire workforce, they now tailor and personalize the content they share with employees based on their role in the organization, interests and location. As a result, the internal communications readership on the platform has increased by 107% in less than one year.

Not only do employees read the content they receive in their news feeds, but they also propose new pieces of content they find interesting for their colleagues such as videos, articles or blog posts, and they also engage with this content. They like it, bookmark it, and comment on it. In May 2020, user engagement has reached 95%.


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“What we've learned at Spar Nord is that to make your employee communications work, you need to tailor your content based on your employees' needs, make it easy for them to find the information they need, and get them involved in your strategy by letting them suggest new ideas of content. But you also need to track the success of your strategy, don’t skip this part! The analytics provided by Smarp helped us a lot to improve our employee communications because it allowed us to understand what content worked and what needed to be improved. This is one of the features I like the most about Smarp!
 
Adam Lehn, Employee Advocacy & Social Media Manager at Spar Nord.

 

Increased levels of engagement on social media

Even though Spar Nord now uses Smarp as an employee communications tool, the platform is still increasing Spar Nord’s visibility and driving engagement on social media.

Since the launch of Smarp at Spar Nord, employees have reached 6M people on social media. Not only did employees improve Spar Nord’s visibility on social media, but they also drove engagement around Spar Nord’s content. For example, the content they’ve been sharing on LinkedIn has generated 68.31K unique clicks and 43.63K reactions, which led to an estimated earned media value of $298K.


 adam-1
 
“We haven’t lost the employee advocacy aspects of the platform when we turned it into a broader tool for our employee communications. It’s actually the opposite scenario that happened: our employees keep increasing our reach and driving engagement on social media. I think that the equation here is pretty simple: when your employees better engage with your content, they naturally become active advocates on social media.
 
This is what makes Smarp so powerful: the platform helps you align your internal and external messages. If you want to build an engaged community around your brand, you need first to improve your employee communications. If your employees don’t get your messages right, they won’t be able to share them with their networks. It’s that simple!
 
Adam Lehn, Employee Advocacy & Social Media Manager at Spar Nord.

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