A Long Time Ago, in an Office Far, Far Away...
As most of the world waits in line for the chance to immerse themselves in the spectacle and wonder of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I can't help but reflect on what's happened in the thirty-eight years since the release of the very first Star Wars movie. How has selling changed since 1977? The 70s were an era when people sold without an Internet, Computers, Social Media and Mobile Phones. Business was handled by men with wide-collars and ties who, for the most part, had to meet with their customers face-to-face to build a relationship. It was a time of handshake deals and big promises. A sales guy's main responsibilities were to memorize the benefits and features of the product(s) he was selling, pitch that product like his life depended on it (because it did), and focus on the ABC - Always Be Closing. Selling was completely focused on the on the product and making the customer fit the product.
The Evolution of Selling
Selling today is a whole different galaxy. They even have WiFi in space! There are a million different platforms and tools to organize and manage a sales-team's time. Contemporary consumers have moved away from television ads and magazines and have embraced social media as the source for their news, their relationships, and their buying decisions. A sales team isn't necessarily taking to planes, trains, and automobiles to meet with customers. Most likely they are selling from a laptop, a tablet, or smartphone. Heck, they might even be selling from their watch! It doesn't really even matter what device their using. Successful selling is no longer about the "pitch" anymore. It is all about getting to know what matters to your customers and finding them even if they aren't looking for you. If you want to reach customers today, you have to meet them where they are and be a part of conversations that intersect with their interests, lifestyle, and location.
But how can your brand, your sales team build a engaging presence on social media? It can take months, or even years, for a marketing team to build up a company’s presence, reputation, and credibility online.
This is exactly why employee or sales team advocacy is so powerful. Every post published by an employee on social media reaches hundreds of new connections, which they might not be able to gain exposure to on its own.
The opportunity to engage so many fresh audiences is unparalleled, and of course, can either be immensely helpful – or hurtful, to a brand. It’s the responsibility of a company’s leadership to create a culture, environment and projects that employees will want to favorably post about.
Aside from a positive culture, any company looking to join the employee advocacy bandwagon must offer a team-wide support system.
This may entail developing a social media policy to help those who are not formally in sales, marketing, or PR, communicate effectively and in a comfortable manner. Enterprises may even consider offering a training course to offer guidelines and best practices for posting on social media.
2 Features Your Employee Advocacy Tool Must Have
Beyond brand awareness, employee advocacy can drive content marketing, social selling, recruitment, and customer engagement efforts. Here at EdgeTheory, we have recognized the growing need among B2B marketers for a simple, data-driven, employee advocacy solution.
That’s why we created Soundboard. Soundboard the only employee advocacy tool with the technology that creates the content based on pre-approved messaging from your marketing team. We can refresh the content regularly based on your need. Also employees only need opt in once. There aren't constant notifications imploring employees to approve and post content. We've completely automated that process so that your team can focus on doing their jobs. Soundboard transforms your sales force into your marketing force and amplifies your message through the voices of your employees.
1. Easy Sharing: Single Opt-In Process
Turning an employee into a social advocate shouldn’t take more than one click. Employees are busy trying to get their own work done, and there’s no reason it should take more than few seconds to share creative company-approved messages on their own profiles.
The whole point of employee advocacy is to make it as simple as possible for employees to spread the word. The easier it is to share, the more likely employees are to take part in the advocacy initiative.
Employees sign up once through a customized landing page and pre-approved tweets are automatically sent out through their Twitter handles a few times a week. Soundboard leverages the passion of advocates and is highly useful to manage brand reputation, increase visibility, and spread an organization’s message to a wider audience.
One important note: Your employees are always in control of their social channels. We won't get access to their password, inbox, or anything else that's private. They are free to use their social handles as they always have. We don't interfere. We just publish great content that makes your company and your employees look good.
2. Time-Saving: We've Content Creation Covered
Between writing content, monitoring social channels, and tracking analytics, B2B marketers have very little time to spare. When it comes to employee advocacy, creating content that can be shared should require minimal resources – not to mention time.
At EdgeTheory we consider ourselves to be a conversation media company that specializes in content creation and smart marketing automation. Conversation matters to us and to your customers, so we help brands take their social media presence to the next level by providing them with content, at scale, that intersects with the interests of customers who are not yet looking for them. Our platform amplifies a brand's message, manages reputation, and builds influence.
EdgeTheory is a leader in content creation that empowers organizations to control their narrative and own a greater share of conversations important to them.