5 Signs Your Business is Ready for Social Selling
Social Selling is Rad Not Fad
It’s official, social selling is here to stay. The question to ask is not if social selling is legit. The question to ask is are you ready for it? The truth is, not all organizations are ready for social selling. It requires a social business culture that starts in the C-Suite to embrace social selling and have success with it.
Below are five signs that your company is ready for social selling. If you respond affirmatively to all five of these, you are either well on your social selling journey, or you’re ready to embark on it now.
You View Your Employees as Websites
Your employees have a digital footprint that includes social networking profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and possibly Instagram. Your employee’s online presence integrates with your brand, whether you know it or like it or not. While privacy issues prevent an employer from controlling an employee’s actions in social media, it is acceptable to provide guidelines to your employees, especially in some areas of social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter, where the possibility of overlap with your brand is the greatest. Start by recognizing that each employee is like a website that can be optimized in a positive way, without violating the employee’s privacy, and with the employee’s cooperation. An optimized employee’s online presence is an asset to your social business strategy.
You Want to Convert Employees from Brand Risks to Brand Advocates
To harness the brand value of your employees, you need a plan. Yes, you need a written plan. And, that requires writing a social media policy that gets distributed to all employees with training and sign off from each employee. There are two key things to embrace on this topic. First, it is imperative that a social media policy is written in collaboration with cross functional departments including HR, Legal, IT and Marketing, and possibly others in your enterprise. Second, a good social media policy is not about do’s and don’ts intended to stifle employee’s use of social media. Rather, it offers the employees clear guidelines on how to represent themselves online in a way that is both acceptable and desirable to the brand. It should give employees confidence, not fear in their social media participation.
You Want to Help Employees Generate Leads for Your Brand
Recent research shows that 82% of buyers favor personal recommendations from people online. In fact a friend’s recommendation on social media is the most influential factor when buying software or ebooks. It stands to reason that we should empower employees to generate leads for your brand. I’ve said many times that marketing is not a department. Employees have huge potential to generate leads for their employer when they read what their buyers read, engage where their buyers engage and become part of the same online conversations.
You Want to Integrate Your Employee’s Brand With Your Corporate Brand
If you value the employee’s brand and seek to integrate it with your brand, that’s a social business culture that breeds great results. Your ability to accomplish this is in part dependent on having a documented social business strategy and the trust you’ve built with your plan. A collaborative spirit between the employee and the corporate brand is an absolute must for a strong level of integration between the corporate brand and the employee’s brand.
You Want to Measure Effectiveness of Social Selling Actions
Even if you’re clicking on all cylinders described above, you need to be capable of measuring progress and results without compromising the privacy of employee’s social networking activities. In other words, the employee never wants to have her employer watching over her shoulder to monitor her social media activity. Yet, you need to understand what impact she is having on your social business strategy. Achieving this isn’t as tricky as it sounds.