Most companies generally have training programs on soft skills, presentation skills, leadership skills, negotiation skills, project management skills, time management and so on. All these trainings are predominantly aimed at individual development, which in turn indirectly help the organization. But have you thought of training your people on a vital subject through which they can contribute directly to the organization every day? Do they know how to make the juice that your organization needs for its healthy growth?
Well, it is not about any fruit juice or energy drink but referring to social juice! Social juice is nothing but the strength of a company’s social presence and its brand value in social media circles.
Most organizations are eager to jump on the social media bandwagon and many of them even get into action and create their corporate Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, or G+ pages. What next?
The purpose of any social marketing activity is to interact with your target audience, create favorable brand image, drive more traffic to your website and create interest to know more about your offerings. But who should be doing the whole exercise? Most organizations assign this responsibility to one or two persons in their marketing team and then expect people to flock to their social media pages, without realizing the fact that it is the collective responsibility of all the business leaders to feed the marketing person with relevant information about what are they doing and what have they achieved. The result is obvious. The social face of the organization becomes jaded in no time as there is no regular ‘refreshing activity’ through useful updates, and the organization simply fails to engage the visitors to the page.
Let us see another scenario. Your company participates in a large national or international event spending few thousands of dollars, showcases various offerings and gets good number of footfalls into the exhibition stall. The visitors’ data is collected and the leads are handed over to the sales teams for further pursuance. Even ff 1% of the visitors give business, the company will be more than happy and feels that they have recovered the cost of the event. But what are you doing with the rest 99% of leads? Can you make at least 25% of them follow you on your social media channels even if they are not giving immediate business? Assuming the ‘lead’ - a CIO or CFO or any other decision maker - would change at least two jobs in the next 5-10 years, you will have a ‘fan’ in those new organizations without any direct effort! And who knows, the new organization may have immediate requirement for your products or services. The sustained ‘connect’ maintained through social channels does the trick. But how to involve all the business teams in this whole activity? How to leverage the knowledge, expertise and achievements of your leaders to engage your customers?
The need of the hour in many organizations is to conceptualize a social marketing skills training program and make it mandatory for all the business leaders to attend it. The idea is to provide them with the basic understanding of social media branding and equip them with the knack for identifying potential marketing opportunities in day-to-day activities, achievements, and communication with business partners and stakeholders.
In most companies, the social media savvy youngsters do not have a say in organization’s marketing activities and external communication; whereas the senior business leaders are often found either lacking in the latest social networking and digital marketing skills or not having interest in such activities. Even if a company hires an external agency for social media branding, its success largely depends on what information the company provides them.
Therefore, there is a strong need for an orientation program to all the business leaders to understand the power of social marketing and equip them with basic skills in social branding. Remember there is much more in social branding than Tweets and Likes. Anybody in the organization can contribute to the ‘social juice tank’ with few drops of their knowledge and network. At least they can start feeding digital marketing teams with valuable inputs.
About the author:
Sreenivas Allamudi is part of Alliance & Marketing team in the Oracle Practice at Mahindra Satyam