Building a sales force using social media!
Social media is making several things possible. Brands are having “conversations” with their consumers, politicians are influencing voters and NGOs are recruiting volunteers. But, building a sales force using social media? Making a sale happen would require a good understanding of the technology and the ability to articulate the same for the lay user.
Many of us struggle to iron out exactly what that is, let alone how to build one from scratch.
Put simply, every action you take on social networks should be a part of a larger social media marketing strategy. That means every Tweet, reply, like and comment should all be guided by a plan and driving towards pre-determined goals. It might sound complicated, but if you take the time to create a comprehensive social media plan, the rest of your social efforts should follow naturally. Everyone can do this if they approach it correctly.
What is a social media marketing plan?
A social media marketing plan is the summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve for your business using social networks. This plan should comprise an audit of where your accounts are today, goals for where you want them to be in the near future, and all the tools you want to use to get there.
In general, the more specific you can get with your plan, the more effective you’ll be in its implementation. Try and keep it concise and don’t make your social media marketing strategy so lofty and broad that it’s unattainable. This plan will guide your actions, but it will also be a measure by which you determine whether you’re succeeding or failing at social media. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure from the outset.
McKinsey’s recently quarterly research report (February 2015) talks about five elements required to extract the most out of the $1 trillion of marketing expenditure happening globally. The elements are named: Science, Substance, Story, Speed and Simplicity. Though the research encompasses all forms of marketing, we have extracted the important takeaways for digital marketers.
- Science: Refers to the science of understanding how a consumer selects a brand and consumes it. The implication for those using the digital medium is to put analytics to use to map the decision journey. The results can lead to better targeting insights.
- Substance: How can digital add to customer experience? At minimum getting a quick response from the CRM team and as engaging as enabling “co-creation” of their favorite brands.
- Story: The quintessential “story telling” continues to be an important element, albeit that it could be two-way. Marketers need to let go control of stories allowing consumers to interpret and modify them as they please. Ability to create “light” content in an agile manner is becoming paramount on digital.
- Speed: Thinking continuous versus batch and keeping up with dynamically changing consumer preferences. Digital marketing teams should work with product development teams, providing them with instant feedback, consumer inputs enabling launch of new, relevant products and services.
- Simplicity: Simplifying corporate structures and removing hierarchy is important to leverage digital in an effective manner. Combining offline an online campaigns to amplify impact of campaigns can help improve impact.
Digital marketers who are A-listers are using the medium to be more precise, are addressing a broader scope than just communication, moving quicker and striking engaging conversations with their audience.