Financial ServicesArmanino turns employees into social influencers
Founded in 1969, Armanino LLP is one of the top 20 independent CPA and consulting firms in the United States. Voted one of IPA’s "Best of the Best" accounting firms and one of the Best Places to Work nationally and regionally, it has over 2,500 employees in 23 offices across the USA.
- 14,707website clicks from employee posts
- 19.2Mpeople reached with employee content (+638% year-over-year)
- $232,375in potential ad value created via advocacy (USD)
The accounting and consulting firm boosts its brand—and market share—with the help of employee brand ambassadors
Armanino isn’t just one of the fastest-growing accounting and consulting firms in the United States; according to its employees, it’s also one of the best places to work. The firm recently won a Glassdoor Employees' Choice Award, recognizing it as one of the top 100 Best Places to Work.
Their secret? Unwavering commitment to supporting and empowering their people, who in turn provide exceptional expertise and value to the firm’s clients.
A Hootsuite customer since 2016, Armanino had already built a strong brand presence across the firm’s social channels—but their leadership team knew that far greater results were possible if they could equip more employees across the business with the skills and tools to become social superstars.
The team turned to Hootsuite Amplify to achieve five goals: adapt faster to social media trends and best practices, retain and attract top talent, engage employees, increase Armanino’s standing against the competition, and equip employee ambassadors to build the firm’s reach and reputation.
What they did
Chief marketing officer Lori Colvin explains that the journey began when leadership embraced the idea of brand social influencers with excitement.
“From a leadership perspective, one of our biggest influencers inside of the firm got on board and said, ‘This is the direction we want to go,’” explains Colvin. “And that's when it really exploded.”
Armanino was already using Hootsuite Enterprise for social media marketing, so adding Hootsuite Amplify to manage its social thought leadership and employee advocacy program was an easy choice.
“Hootsuite Amplify was the key to unlocking our plans, “ notes Rob DeMartini, vice president of marketing at Armanino. “It offered us the ability to give the power to the people and bring our message out to the public.”
Let's do this
Products used in this study
How they did it
Armanino serves clients across a broad range of industries and markets, so the team established multiple content channels in Amplify to serve these different audiences. The team enlisted the help of the marketing department to create high-quality, brand-approved social content, making it easy for brand ambassadors to connect with new audiences and leads on their social media channels.
With the tools and content ready to go, an initial group of brand ambassadors and influencers from across Armanino’s various departments began sharing content.
“Creating more advocates that are actively and consistently spreading our message across their networks is aligned with our goals of building our brand, extending our reach, and making sure that we are more powerful in the market through social media,” says Holly Subervi, senior manager of marketing at Armanino. “Amplify has been a big part of that.”
Building a strong advocate community
To create successful brand ambassadors, thought leaders, and influencers on social media, Armanino relies on education, modelling success from peers and reporting. It organized its own brand bootcamps, as well as social media training sessions that were run by Hootsuite and co-hosted by the firm’s influencers.
“It's a really nice blend,” says Colvin. “We had input from people actively using social media, and from Hootsuite talking about best practices and how to be successful. Those have been well attended and a really great tool.”
“We tailor the sessions to exactly what our influencers are looking for,” adds marketing specialist Emily Normand. “It builds momentum and excitement, and it gets them really engaged.”
There has even been demand from some of the company influencers to take the training they’ve received and use it within their own teams, creating a cascade of education and best practices.
“These sessions created a sense of community between the influencers,” notes Subervi. “We saw them going on our Microsoft Teams to collaborate, share resources, and talk about what they had learned. There was a growing hunger for these sessions and lots of ‘aha’ moments as we went along.”
Cultivating personal branding and thought leadership
To help advocates connect their skills to relevant audiences, Armanino ran elevator pitch training, exploring how employees can connect the business to their own personal brand. After all, creating company advocates was not the end goal: Armanino wanted its ambassadors to have their own brand and personal style that speaks to their specific audience.
“We're trying to really organize ourselves so that we speak directly to the client,” says Colvin. “And it may sound easy, but it's not when you're dealing with hundreds of services and dozens of industries. We've organized around different themes and showcasing how we are helping our clients with that theme.”
Armanino’s Amplify program has 595 active users who are encouraged to use Amplified content as a starting point and then customize it and use their own voice, industry perspective, local perspective, and expertise.
“We want them to make it unique to them, to the relationships they're trying to build, and to the engagement they're trying to drive,” says Subervi. “It's really resonating and creating door-opening opportunities.”
Committing to the right tools
As Armanino continues to expand into a prominent national brand, the firm continues to evaluate solutions that will be impactful to its wider pool of audiences and potential clients. But with fast growth, comes the challenge of expanding the program to its new offices around the country.
“From time to time, others have brought different solutions to the table for social media and nothing has been comparable,” says Colvin. “To date, the best solution has always been Hootsuite and Amplify.”
“Other solutions so far really couldn't provide all the value that we get from Hootsuite—the support, getting us to the next level, and the partnership,” adds DeMartini. “With Hootsuite we have volume. We can actually do more with less. So that's huge.”
“Simplicity is another thing,” adds Colvin. “I recently asked someone to customize a post while we timed it,” she says. “And it was nineteen seconds for them to customize something and share it.”
Armanino is confident that the future will be defined by Amplify. The partnership has been strong from the start, making the firm even more secure in its decision.
“Working with Hootsuite is a great example of what a true partnership is supposed to be about,” says Tenia Green, marketing technology manager at Armanino. “They are able to really work with us, not say no, and move in the direction that we're looking to go.”
DeMartini says that Hootsuite has played a vital role in its recent successes and will contribute to new ones in the future because the collaboration is based on a solid relationship of trust. “Hootsuite always has a focus on customers, on what they can do for us, and help support our business. And our Hootsuite rep has been one of the key components of our team. With him, that partnership has taken a giant leap.”
Armanino plans to take full advantage of its Hootsuite Premier Services, including unlimited Hootsuite Academy certification and courses, as well as one-on-one coaching. The firm and its employee ambassadors are also looking forward to trying other products and services offered by Hootsuite.
“We focus on what's going to make someone successful, what's going to make our client successful, and what's going to make us successful,” says DeMartini. “We are always looking at what can help us advance. That’s what we’re doing with Hootsuite.”
Hootsuite Amplify was the key to unlocking our plans because it offered us the ability to give the power to the people and bring our message out to the public.”