First off, what do we mean by social selling? Social Selling is the practice of using a brand’s social media channels to connect with prospects, develop a connection with them and engage with them.
Your social media team will no doubt have a solid strategy for your company on social media; promoting your services, products and expertise. But how does this strategy extend to your staff?
In this article, I will explain why I think your key staff members are your social selling magic dust, and why you should make the most of them as part of your social media strategy.
Personal vs. Professional
Contrary to popular belief, personal and professional accounts are not isolated – and in fact I think they shouldn’t be.
Back in the early days of social media, many people set up personal and professional accounts, posting very different content on each channel. A word of caution. NOTHING IS PRIVATE – whatever your settings.
I believe the best approach is to acknowledge that all social channels need to come under the same strategy.
Whereas for some celebrities, businesses and companies extreme views are part of their job and key messaging, I urge caution when it comes to posting personal views. You can easily alienate 50% of your audience and potential customers with one post. Humor is also subjective. I subscribe fully to the view that if you couldn’t say it to your granny, don’t put it online. Please take expert advice from an experienced PR, they are the best place to predict the bigger picture and impact of your strategy.
The key takeaway here is that personal is always public and always business, so the same strategy should apply to business and staff social media.
A Strategy for Your C-Suite Staff
Imagine the benefits to your company if your key staff drove interest to your company through their popularity on social platforms. There are some excellent examples of company leaders’ profiles being bigger than the company itself. As a result, they build inherent trust in the brand they represent.
A Word About Platform Choice
I often hear people telling me ‘Oh, I hate Facebook’, ‘I can’t stand Twitter’ or ‘isn’t it awful the way LinkedIn has gone, I simply can’t be bothered anymore’.
It doesn’t matter what you think.
It matters where your customers and clients are. Where do they hang out and gain their knowledge from? – then use those platforms consistently as part of your marketing and sales strategy.
It matters that you are relevant and give your audience what they are looking for. Give them value. As humans, we inherently want to learn, feel understood, and we want to leave a social media platform with more than we arrived with.
Curate your audience carefully, take you out of it, and give that audience what it wants.
What should you post?
That entirely depends on your company’s vision and mission, but these are the basic steps I go through.
Firstly, choose the key staff whose profiles you are building and pushing alongside your company profile. Other staff can then be the ‘support crew’.
Decide the ‘things I will talk about’ for each of these key staff. This will very much depend on the business you are in, the role they are in, and their experience and their personal interests.
You will need to test and measure the mix of posts and the number of posts a week. The key element is consistency. Focus on value given, not on your social media numbers in the main.
Review and improve regularly, and do regular staff training regularly.
My Top Tips
- Curate a list of what you stand for and talk about
- Stick to it
- Use the channels most appropriate to your audience
- Make sure your personal social media use is well trained and strategised within your organisation. This is especially important if you are a CEO, CMO, CRO/CSO or COO. Lead by example
- Your company leaders are busy – use outside resources to assist them
- Be consistent
- Reflect and review on content and engagement every 6 weeks
- Train staff regularly – again, it can be helpful to bring in an outside expert to oversee this
- Be consistent (so important I said it twice)