Follow a few quick steps to set your team up for success
This blog is not laden with stats that tell you your customers are using social media. It’s not a missive on how your advertising campaign needs to have a participatory element in social media to create an inspirational movement that will tick your impressions into the kabillions and make your brand beloved overnight. If you are a marketing, sales or public relations manager who is trying to get your team to crank out your message, read on. If you’re struggling to get your choir singing on key, together, and see how these steps can help, but can’t quite get it to work, let’s talk.
For many businesses, it’s important to understand social media is a way of using content – your company’s story, however it manifests itself – to connect with individuals to build your brand.
For many businesses, that means using social media to help employees make direct, digital connections with their audience. Whether it’s a sales team, spokespeople, public relations managers, or executive leadership – as a leader in your own right, you can help them maintain activity and share the content you (and maybe your agency) are creating to build your company’s story.
It might not be as simple as steps one, two and three, but if you’re looking for the building blocks to activate your workforce on social media, it’s easier than you think. As with anything, there’s nuance to get right and both time and dedication to manage the structure you build, but the basic tenets remain. Start here. Use the tools. Get it right. Keep going.
ACTION: Unify profiles. Use a policy.
Get your team aligned around your brand values and unique sales proposition. Get them aligned around definitions of what your company does, how you do it and why you do it – your raison d’être. Equip them with common language that defines your organization and the value or role you play for customers. Be as complete as you can with your social media profiles and bios. Get all the details out there so it is absolutely clear who those individuals are and what your audience can get out of the relationship when they make connections. Use a social media policy, not necessarily to govern behavior, but to provide guidelines that’ll help them be successful and set expectations. It can be short, should be clear and based on the actions they should be taking.
TOOLS: Content Strategy. Social Media Policy. Profile audits.
ACTION: Make a calendar. Plan ahead. Adhere to the workflow.
Let’s start this one from the bottom up. When you have posts you want to share, get them distributed to your team in the most efficient and easiest way possible for your workflow. Is it email? Is it an internal communications platform like Yammer? Great. Make sure your team sees the copy for the posts, has options to make the copy their own, and can simply copy and paste the posts for their own needs on the prescribed social media platforms. It’s the bare minimum of getting your message and content out there. Building an expected and repeatable workflow will help your team get aligned with the expectations so they take action and you can measure the results.
For your management and content creation needs, building a simple calendar so you can plan content and strategic conversations around your business needs, events, product launches and more isn’t rocket science. It’s a marketing basic, especially when you shift your marketing strategy to help your organization get used to publishing. When you know what’s coming, what you can promote or talk about, you can make it great. You can approach your product launch, trade show or sales meeting like a newspaper editor would approach a big event. And that’ll lead you right into the next step.
TOOLS: Content/Conversation calendar. Defined workflow.
ACTION: Make content. Keep it original.
We can talk all day about how social media is about personal interactions, but at its core, outside of all of the banal “be human” advice, it’s a game of content, stories and a direct manifestation of the experience your customers have with your brand. So, if you cut off the huge chunk that is customer service (these days, you can open up Twitter and find a controversy with a brand in seconds) and brand experience (understanding the importance to manage and plan for it), you need to make original content, regularly, to keep your team telling a story. It’s a creative endeavor, but like an editor, think about the ways you can tell those stories. How can you provide value for your audience? How can you teach them? How can you make it clear that you have solutions they need? How can you build emotional connections in ways that connect with their human desires to share, have fun and be entertained? You make content to tell the story and you get your team to share it with their audiences.
TOOLS: Design. Graphic standards. Templates. Article, blog, video or story publishing capability on your website (i.e. a step up from the traditional “news room” page).
ACTION: Measure and understand. Target your KPIs.
Remember, this is all about making sure your team is taking action.
- Say you’re turning your websites Q & A or FAQ into content.
- Say you want to make sure you’re sharing news coverage.
- Say you want to share internal success stories or campaign videos.
- Say you want to share a listing of new jobs you need to fill.
- Say you want to drive traffic at your trade show booth, get demos of a new product in the hands of influencers or build your email list.
Have a plan and follow the steps. As you do it, you should go back and track the data. All actions taken on social media (in digital marketing) deliver metrics. Some of them build to your key performance indicators. Track the metrics so you can understand if what you’re doing is reaching your audience, finding the engagement you may need and driving traffic or sign-ups to help build your business.
Colin Deval is a PR/Social Media Strategist at Core Creative.