How to Build Your Brand’s Digital Ecosystem with Search and Social
By Louise LinehanJul 15
Published September 3rd 2018
Social media is one of the most powerful tools in a marketer’s arsenal, but its potential and impact goes well beyond the work of the marketing team.
Do your employees understand how powerful social is not just for branding, but also selling? Are they using it to the best of their abilities and according to best practice?
Chances are, there are improvements that can be made. Here are three simple tips to get your organization started down the path to effective widespread social use.
Social networking goes beyond just advertising and brand building. Your sales team, customer service department and business leaders should also be using these platforms to reach customers and take part in meaningful conversations.
Take Cisco’s business model as an example. They build social education and digital transformation right into the onboarding process by teaching new hires why their social presence is so valuable. From there, they share strategies to build relationships with customers and support social selling. Cisco’s Talent Brand use social media as a tool to share their fun company culture with others, allowing their employees to lead the way by generating content.
Not everyone is “good” at social media. Of course there is not necessarily a right way to participate in the major platforms, but there is certainly a wrong way, especially if you are representing a brand. If you are going to encourage everyone on the team to use social media as a business tool, they must be trained accordingly to avoid any embarrassing or detrimental slip ups.
As you onboard your new employees, be sure that social media usage and advocacy is built into their role. For example, customer service representatives should understand the importance of responding to complaints properly on social media. Sales teams should understand the intricacies of social selling. Be sure that every team member understands how social media can be incorporated and how to use it correctly to connect with customers.
The ways your owned channels are managed are particularly important. The level of engagement a brand receives through social media is directly linked to sales, but community managers must be trained to focus on building relationships and connections with their audience, rather than simply pushing products on them.
One way to ensure that your community managers are engagement-focused is by recognizing these traits in the hiring process. Using pre-employment assessments can help you understand if the candidates you are considering have the qualities and talent necessary.
Once you’ve assembled a great team, incorporating social listening tools that keep track of mentions and comments can help them stay on top of interactions and support high engagement levels.
While social media is an incredible platform for brands to participate in conversations with customers, it is also a chance for them to listen and learn. A third of prospective customers use social media to research your business and check out what others are saying about the brand. Your business should be doing this, too.
Social listening is not just the responsibility of the marketing team – it should also have a presence across the organization from the research and development process to customer support.
A tool like Brandwatch Analytics can help you keep track of mentions of your brand, industry and products across social media to analyze brand health, track competitors and learn from prospective customers. Trust should be placed in the hands of analysts and their insights to help drive business decisions.
By listening to your customers’ opinions across the web, you can make wiser decisions to address pressing issues and give people what they need. All teams, including senior executives, should have access to the voice of the customer.
Social insights should not exist in a vacuum only observed during occasional progress reports or performance assessments. Nor should they be hoarded by one single department. A connected company is a successful company, so distributing important customer data that is gathered from social listening can be beneficial to the entire organization.
In order to make these datasets both accessible and understandable for every team in your business, using a data visualization platform like Vizia can be extremely helpful. This tool transforms all sorts of datasets into beautiful visualizations that can allow every department to view trends and changes in real time.
Of course, each team should understand which datasets apply to them, why they are important and what the numbers mean in relation to their own work. This goes back to how well they are trained in the first place.
Social media is more important than ever to brands. Be sure that your organization knows the power of social insights and has the tools necessary to support action based on those insights. It’s important to integrate that attitude towards social from day one.