Larry Sepe

“I thought there were a lot of parallels between film production and working on an intranet,” says SocialMedia.org member Larry Sepe.

Listening to our audience and having a well-defined mix of content and stories have contributed to our growth.

Sixteen years ago, Larry joined Agilent Technologies as their Corporate Communications Intranet Manager. Before that, Larry had a career in producing, writing, and directing training videos for Longs Drugs, a drugstore chain later acquired by CVS. Larry says his experience with videography lent itself surprisingly well to his role with Agilent’s intranet.

“With both, you’re creating something that can inform, engage, and elicit a response,” Larry explains.

He says the key to attracting employees to the intranet is listening to your audience and making it as valuable as possible to them. And it was that approach that eventually led Larry to direct Agilent’s corporate social media program.

In 2011, Larry asked Agilent if he could start and manage the company’s corporate Facebook page.

He says one of the things that prompted him were requests from employees to share Agilent news and information with friends and family.

Along with Facebook, they expanded their corporate social media program to include Twitter and LinkedIn. They also expanded their target audience to include employees, their families and friends, customers, employee prospects, and shareholders.

It became clear that social media was helping increase brand awareness, earn rich business intelligence, and offer a new method to build relationships with their audiences.

With the major social media channels in place, it became clear that content was key.

So Agilent also added senior writer Russell Lee as the dedicated blogger for their corporate social media channels.

Larry says the content needed to transcend the traditional marketing slant. So they created a content plan that would share news and information that started a dialogue.

Agilent posts two to three blog posts per week, on topics that range from Agilent’s innovative spirit, such as “The Invention of Smear-Proof Lipstick,” to applications of their products like “Agilent and the Decline of the Woolly Mammoth.”

Each year, Agilent’s corporate social media channels grow about 40-50 percent.

“Listening to our audience and having a well-defined mix of content and stories have contributed to that growth,” says Larry.

Having unique, personalized, real-time content is also what has helped Agilent earn awards and recognition like “10 Best Employer Brands on Facebook” and “BtoB Social Media Strategy Brilliance.”

When Larry first started Agilent’s corporate social media program in 2011, the company had 28,500 users. Today, the user community numbers 211,000 — a 643% increase. Larry says he’s looking forward to continuing that growth to keep Agilent ahead of the competition.

You can find Larry on LinkedIn. Larry’s been a member of SocialMedia.org since 2012.


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