Social media for business is really great. Businesses can seemingly compete on a pretty level playing field (for the most part) with their competitors when it comes to social media marketing. Companies that are successful in social media can gain massive exposure, generate leads, syndicate valuable content, grow mentions and backlinks etc. if they know what they are doing. If your following is bigger than your competitor’s, then you have an edge. So a small business with a huge, targeted following can achieve greater results (again, if they know what they are doing) from social media marketing than could a medium sized business with a much larger marketing budget (putting social media ads to the side here for the purpose of this article). All in all, this seems pretty true right? Well, larger businesses have a much greater asset than simply their company’s social following, that is, the people that work for them.
My experience has shown that individuals generally can be far more successful at achieving many of the goals often associated with social media marketing than a business. AKA, a person’s social media account can do more than a business account. Social media in general is driven by people looking to branch out to other people, not people looking to be sold to. I don’t know of any large organization that is doing this, but here is what a social media marketing strategy should look like, in an enterprise organization.
Obviously, they take the same approach to strategy any business who is successful on social media takes, content sharing, connecting with influencers etc.
The collective following of their employees is the untapped resource I am blogging about here though. Enterprise organizations should be utilizing this. These companies should create a plan to take advantage of this massive social media marketing resource. Here are some ideas for that strategy:
– Encourage employees to be active on social media
– Provide them with the tools (make them available on the company network)
– In some cases, the social media team can manage certain social media tool application for the employees
– Train people on how to use social media and the tools you have provided
– Train people on do’s, don’t’s and how to promote a consistent brand message
– Establish feeds to get them to move your corporate digital content and lead gen content
– Establish incentives for participation and etch out “social media time”
If your company wants to run a webinar on a hot topic and you are expecting the primary source of promotion to be social media, your firm’s 40,000 Twitter followers will result in some pretty decent results, I’m sure. However, your firm’s 500 employees who are actively engaged on Twitter and probably have about 200 followers each, would be a heck of a lot more effective. My organization has had a great deal of success with this and we have yet to run in to a problem from it. Almost everyone in our company is set up with all the tools and techniques, many of the accounts are actually managed to a certain extent by our social media team, while the employee still has full access. The shares, retweets etc. gain us exceptional results, consistently. If you mature your enterprise social media strategy and harness your employee’s social following (and we all know we should, remember, marketing is not a department, its a company mindset), then you can eventually make your enterprise social selling strategy really rock!
(Time-Capsule Note: Here in 2013, the enterprise world isn’t quite ready to accept a social selling strategy…)