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Managers can play a vital role in developing their sales team’s social media presence with these daily steps to maximizing the social conversation.

Effectively leveraging social media isn’t just something your sales team or marketing department must do. It’s a team effort (um, it’s social, remember?) and that means getting your leadership, staff and involved every day. Management involvement can drive performance, by guiding the conversation, encouraging peer performance and suggesting content. Even better, when management is actively involved, it can listen to the consumer conversations that occur and glean tremendous research value from their comments, likes and questions.

Here are seven simple activities managers can do to drive social engagement in just minutes a day.

[Note: We’re going to assume that you’ve made your managers co-administrators on the company Facebook page, or responsible for their own local branch page. Plus, every manager should have a company-similarly-named Twitter account to use for official engagement.]

  1. Connect the Team: Managers must ensure every agent and staff member is connected to the company or branch social spaces. It seems fairly obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many company Facebook pages don’t even have an equal number of fans as the company has agents. If you want to leverage the network-effect to get your message out, you have to start by getting everyone connected.
  2. Grow the Team. Once agents and staff are connected, managers should seek out other social media influencers and invite them to become a fan and followers. Lots of industry partners, subject matter experts, media contacts and local public figures make good candidates for a personal invitation by the manager who can cultivate a diverse network. Think of this like your old “media contacts” list from days of yore.
  3. Start daily conversations. Every day, agents seek content to share with their sphere of influence. Managers can solve this problem by starting the conversation daily with a quality post to be re-shared by the entire team. Find a market data point, blog post, YouTube video, success story or positive statement and post it early. A side benefit of manager-shared content is the management of the brand experience by consumers, too.
  4. Go on a Comment Quest. On Facebook, managers can assume the identity of their company by “switching to Page”. This lets them find and interact with other company pages in Facebook. By commenting on other organizations’ discussions, managers can attract attention to their company presence and potentially gain new fans. It’s the same principle in Twitter, using a company account to re-tweet, reply and join #conversations, with the goal of gaining new followers as well.
  5. Motivate by Participating. Social media is pure Pavlov. So managers can motivate their sales teams by interacting with their posts. A quick “like” or retweet takes five seconds, but its effects can reverberate for days.
  6. Listen by Asking. Managers should always be listening to customers, and a great way to do this is by posting Questions in Facebook regularly. Twitter tools like Twtpoll create surveys and polls that fit the 140-character environment. There’s a lot to be learned about consumers and markets that managers can find by polling their networks, then passing results along to agents for quality sharing.
  7. Listen more by searching. The search bar in Facebook and Twitter is the manager’s best way to manage their brand buzz. Search for your company name to discover who’s talking about you, your salespeople and products. Monitoring the Twitter @Mentions tab keeps an eye on people mentioning your account, but be sure to search for your full name, too. Searching also reveals who’s resharing your content like updates, blog posts and videos. Good chatter can be thanked; while negative mentions can be addressed right away.
  8. Measure the Metrics: Facebook pages feature “Insights” that measure your analytics like a web page. It tracks visitors, interactions, popular posts, and other engagement trends. It demographically profiles your visitors to monitor who’s engaging. so you can tailor content to your audience. Managers should share analytics at every meeting, to discuss what’s working and what’s needed by the social team. Measuring Twitter is trickier, but two methods can help: Klout rates your interactivity quality and influence. Socialmention acts like a search engine for social networks, pulling mentions from multiple networks at once. These measuring tools let managers benchmark progress and share success with the entire team.

How else do you think Managers can get involved in your social strategy? Let us know by joining the conversation below!