Social Media Networking For Sales Results


Social-Media-Networking-for-Sales-Results

Social media is driving a wave of human interaction around the world and its use in the workplace has become an important topic of discussion among companies.  No one questions the rapid growth of social media and its potential impact on the customer experience, but many organizations still struggle with allowing employees to engage on social platforms due to risk and regulatory compliance concerns. The customer experience includes all touch point’s people have from the moment they are aware of a need until they have fulfilled that need.  Social media has the potential to influence the customer experience when employees are able to initiate conversations on social platforms and begin building trust-based relationships throughout the customer lifecycle.

So what’s the problem?  Just empower your employee’s to use social media, and then sit back and wait for customer loyalty and revenue to soar.  It would be great if it were that simple.  But, to make the social-ready transformation most organizations will need to adopt a new mindset. Transformations involve strategy, technology and processes and a social media transformation is no different in that respect.

Strategy

Does your company have policies and procedures regarding social media, blogging or posting information on the Internet?  If so, when was the last time it was updated?  Social media is constantly changing, so social media policies need to be reviewed every few months.  Do you have a formal social media marketing strategy?  Does your social media marketing strategy integrate and support your strategic marketing plan?  How well does your social media strategy support your corporate goals and objectives?  Do I still need to ask you more consulting questions?!  Let’s be honest, many of your employees have smart phones which means they are already using social media while they’re at work.  That means if you block corporate access to these sites, you’re eliminating a direct engagement link to your customers.  If you have the right strategy in place, engaging employees in social media marketing provides an excellent opportunity to reach your customers and build your brand.

Processes

Do you have the processes in place to support your social media goals and objectives?  To foster a social-ready mindset, organizations that are performing well have the following processes:

  • Leadership from the front office.  They are identifying company executives who are already doing a good job on social media and highlighting their activity. They use their success with social media as leverage to get others in the company involved.
  • Setting realistic expectations.  They are recruiting interested employees, but still recognize that not every employee will want to participate.
  • Employee profiles are their own.  They respect the fact that employees’ online activities are a self-expression.  At the same time they realize that employees who choose to identify themselves as a member of the company may be viewed as a spokesperson for their brand.  To mitigate risk, they take steps like providing disclaimer statements on Twitter headers such as “Opinions expressed here are my own.”

Technology

Do you have the technology to support your social media goals and objectives?  There may be mandated compliance restrictions that are unique to your industry.  Technology, in the form of social content distribution platforms, also called social employee advocacy software, can help solve that problem.  These platforms house a content library where users have access to a full inventory of posts that have already been preapproved by the company.   An automated corporate approval review process within the online portal can also be in place to ensure compliance of field generated content.

Results

Engaging employees in social media marketing provides an excellent opportunity to reach your customers and build your brand.  All company departments should be involved and executive leadership should be able to articulate “What’s in it for me?” to non-marketing employees and set an example for engaging in social media.  Providing useful and clear social media policies and procedures for everyone in the company to follow will help mitigate risk.  It will take time to materialize, but it’s worth it to expand your company’s social network by empowering your employees to become brand advocates.  It will foster high engagement with your customers and followers in addition to building a close-knit company culture.  And the results are worth noting – check out some I have witnessed:

A Software Company

  • Increased monthly online leads by 275%
  • Increased corporate Twitter followers over 650%
  • Increased Twitter followers of key executives from 300 to over 30K
  • Increased Klout score over 70%

A Professional Sports Team

  • Increased Twitter followers 700% (2X the number of pervious year champion)
  • Increased Facebook “Likes” 5,800
  • Increased Klout score 25%
  • Season Ticket Sales: Up 38% even with season ticket price increase
  • Box Office Sales: Up 1,818% even with box office ticket price increase
  • Group Sales: 20% increase
  • Promotional Ticket Product Sales: 100% increase
  • Home Opener Merchandise Sales: 166% increase
  • Sponsorship: 20% increase from returning advertisers

An eLearning Company

  • Created over 3,000 sales leads in 3 months at a cost per lead of less than $40.
  • Increased corporate Twitter followers over 500%
  • Increased Klout score over 54%
  • Increased LinkedIn Group members over 220%

A Marketing Agency

  • Increased sales leads 1,000%
  • Increased corporate Twitter followers over 500%
  • Increased Klout score over 100%