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It Takes a Village: How to Integrate Social Media Beyond the Marketing Department

Author: Andrea Meyers

Village_Web.jpgIf you are a marketer that has ever worked for a business with multiple locations or divisions of a company, you know how difficult it can be to effectively implement a strong social media strategy that focuses on customer behavior and needs. Many marketing professionals have the expertise to implement a strong social media plan in regard to practices, trends, and tactics, yet most do not have the same level of day-to-day customer interaction as other employees within the organization.

While these real challenges can be barriers to success, it’s essential to find ways to overcome and make sure social media marketing stays in-tune with your customers. If you don’t, you risk offending, missing opportunities to delight followers or even just boring prospects if your efforts are missing the mark.

Here are five ways that you can avoid these missteps by making sure your social media marketing is integrated beyond your marketing staff or agency, and some bonus advice on how all of your employees can help with tracking the results you get from social.

5 Ways That Non-Marketing Employees Are Essential To Social Media Outreach

1.  Keep The Focus On Your Customers: Make sure that marketing employees attend any large staff meetings, and hear the customer and employee issues that are being discussed. Common customer questions should guide a portion of your social content. Are you using the same terms clients are using as well? 

2.  Take Control Of Testimonials: Customer testimonials are incredibly valuable. If your product or service is brag-worthy, tagging customers in their testimonials and or photos can get you great organic social action. If you are not working with customers on a daily basis, how will you obtain testimonials? Make sure that your staff has a quick and easy way to alert you to good candidates, and perhaps even take the photos that you will need if they are located off-site. Even if you hire an agency to handle your social media, this is one area that you can’t totally outsource.

3.  Create A Social Media Village (Committee): One way to make sure that social media outreach is customer-focused and includes comprehensive input and messaging for multi-unit businesses, is to create your own social media committee. This committee can include individual representatives from each location who have an interest in providing input and implementing social strategies. Provide training sessions to share advice and best practices, and do weekly / monthly check-in meetings to keep everyone on the same page.

4.  Share Social Listening Duties: In 2016, most companies are sharing on social media, but fewer are listening. It’s important to make sure that you are tracking and responding to any mentions of your company, as well as the general discussions of the problems in which you can offer a solution. Are there members of your staff outside of marketing who have a lot of experience in listening to and helping your customers? A skilled receptionist, call center employee, or other customer service representative can easily be trained to handle the daily duties involved with social listening.

5.  Creating Customized Content: The tone and techniques that you employ vary across the different social networks. What works on Pinterest is not always what works on Snapchat. If there are social networks that you are unfamiliar with that look like a good fit for finding new customers, reach out to your staff members to see if they have experience in the areas where you need help.

6.  Making Muti-media Materials: Your social campaign will go further if you have high-quality photography, professional-looking graphic design, videos, or even animated gifs. Do you have a staff member with skills in one or more of those areas? 

How To Accurately See The Impact Of Your Social Media Efforts

Once your social campaigns are rolling, you need to analyze the results. This should go beyond what happens within the various platforms. Your customer-facing staff is essential to tracking the payoff of your social media marketing. Today, prospects can go on a long and varied research journey before making a purchase. Despite our best efforts, it’s not always possible to know exactly how or why someone decided to do business with you.

In order to get a little more insight, be sure that your staff asks any new customers questions like:

  • How did you find out about us?
  • Did you see us anywhere else? For this question, it is helpful to give the customer a list of the areas where you are most active.

You will probably find that even if a new customer was referred by a contact or found you in a Google search, most checked out your social media presence before reaching out to you. This is why the effectiveness of your social media presence can be simultaneously invaluable and difficult to track.

Each customer’s buyer journey is different. By getting input from your company beyond your marketing department, you will ensure that you are speaking directly to the diverse concerns of your most desirable customers.

Inbound Marketing 101

 

Topics: Content Marketing, social media