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Why You Should Trust Your Employees With Social Media

August 20, 2014 By John McGee
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 13.6 million Americans are employed as sales professionals. However, gone are the days of the traveling door-to-door salesman who spent face time with customers learning about their personal lives and developing relationships. Consumers now make purchasing decisions based on online research, often never setting foot in a store. As more companies embrace social media, building one-on-one relationships with existing and potential customers is experiencing a revival and creating new avenues for more effective marketing campaigns.

To make social media an effective marketing and sales tools, companies need to:

  • Create opportunities for sales people to build their own communities and relationships as company spokespeople.
  • Use the relationships their sales team builds to stay in touch with customer needs.
  • Develop an internal system for monitoring and regulating employee's work-affiliated social media accounts.
More than 15 million businesses and organizations are now part of Facebook. Many corporations also have company Twitter pages. In the corporate world, these pages are typically followed or liked by customers and employees. Companies with large customer bases and thousands of employees might have impressive numbers of likes or follows, but all too often, posts or tweets are stagnant, void of real interaction and results. 

The solution is to keep the company pages as placeholders and maintain the corporate social media presence, but push all sales and marketing activity to the individual level through employees.

Local sales representatives often have a much better pulse on the wants and needs of customers compared to a social media manager located at company headquarters hundreds of miles away. Individual employees need to be empowered to develop relationships with their local communities on behalf of the company. By doing so, they can stay in touch with local customer service issues on a personal level and develop more efficient solutions, relate local events to company news and products, and better integrate the brand into customer's lives.

For example, an insurance company with agents and representatives scattered across the country can use social media to reach new customers and increase services for current customers. If a hail storm occurs in Kansas, wildfires rage in Colorado and heavy rains flood South Carolina, the company can post messages about filing claims and the importance of having proper home owner's policies, but the messaging will include sweeping generalities.

 

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