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Social Media Success is a Team Effort

June 15, 2021
On their own, some succeed and some fail – but an empowered sales staff is a productive contributor to a strong brand, and nowhere is that more apparent than on social media platforms.

Typically, people who pursue a career in sales as excel at relationships. Social media is a great way to start or foster relationships, however the tone and context of those online relationships are very different from a face-to-face meeting or in-person event. That difference between digital and in-person communication is where I most often see salespeople -- or even just people trying to sell -- making marketing errors on social media. Errors include the clumsy sales push as a comment, … the generic connection request in a transparent bid for a sales pitch, … the self-aggrandizing post, … the lack of understanding how the platform works for tagging or post algorithm.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! A little planning can set your sales team up for the kind of relationship success that builds brands.

The strongest social media plan for any business starts from a foundation of shared communication between Sales and Marketing teams. From there, step one is a clear marketing plan shared to the sales staff. The Sales staff should be aware of the communication calendar as well as any upcoming marketing campaigns.

Step two is Marketing doing the job of enabling the Sales team to be effective in their social media usage. Sales staff should be schooled on navigation of social media, best practices per channel, and appropriate imagery (including a professional headshot or two for their use), and they should be apprised of the company goals and objectives on the various social media channels.

Step three is Marketing’s duty to equip Sales staff with the necessary background information to succeed on social media. Sales staff should be educated with information, including the company social media policy and how it applies to them, and how CAN-Spam (including Canada, if appropriate) applies to their outreach. And, they should be given the company’s visual brand language for their use.

What other ways can your business support the Sales staff in social media? The next step would begin with structured communication planning, specifically sales messaging. What sales collateral - whether physical (brochures, capabilities presentations, sell sheets, etc.) or digital (images, hashtag list, link list to website case studies, etc.) does your Sales staff need? How can the brand differentiators that they are seeing work with prospective customers be supported by marketing collateral? Marketing materials creation should be guided by Sales needs. Marketing campaigns should support Sales efforts.

Engaging your customers on through social media is too important to be left to Sales staff alone because it takes the combined effort of a Sales team enabled with supporting sales materials and messaging, as well as a strategically focused marketing team to improve the number and quality leads and to land sales. Building a business and a brand is not the work of one person. It takes a whole company to create a brand.

Alexandria Trusov is the Global Marketing Manager at Alpha Resources and a B2B marketing consultant to manufacturers and other B2B companies. Contact her at [email protected] or visit www.truinsightsconsulting.com.