There is always something new to learn in the field of social media. I recently attended Social Media Campaign Building Seminar, put together by Tiffany Eckhardt, one of my social media pals, and someone I follow to learn more about social media. Held at Ohio Hi-Point Career Center in Bellefontaine, Ohio, it was a pretty drive up there on a bright sunny day in the middle of December. I listened to speakers discuss branding, social media, business teams, and metrics.
Human business teams
One of the sessions that particularly interested me was Nate Riggs’ presentation on human business teams. I consider Nate to be another one of those social media pros I can learn from. He runs his own business, Social Business Strategies, and has a cool looking website too!
Nate defines “Human Business Teams” as a team of humans who strategically use social media tools on behalf of an organization to seed content, listen, and participate in conversations with their customers. Human business teams are just part of the equation that make up the entire process of what he terms “culture marketing.” I get this. It’s putting a human face on your company by allowing employees to interact with customers. Many large companies are already doing this, including Dell and IBM, among others. It seems like a lot of the social media information I’ve been reading about lately has not really addressed the concept of human business teams. Nate is not only talking about it, but working with clients to create these teams.
Nate’s 8 tips for building a human business team in your company
- Get the buy-in from the top-level executive(s) – CEO, business owner, etc. Top level adoption means top down buy-in.
- Define clear business goals and success metrics. You need objectives and business goals so you know what to measure.
- Know and live your core values.
- Find the digital natives inside. Which employees are already using social media?
- Select tools that will support your business strategy. What are you trying to accomplish — what is the road map; where are you going?
- Create guidelines (not policies) that encourage social media use. The term “guideline” has a positive connotation – what you want employees to do. “Policy” suggests the negative – what you don’t want employees to do.
- Train for adoption.
- Measure your presence-building baselines first; then your fan base, weekly engagement.
According to Nate, the Internet conversation cycle has a ripple effect through the creation and distribution of content, the viral effect of conversations through the social media world, and finally, engagement through conversational marketing.
Many companies already feel that their employees are their biggest asset. Empowering your employees to communicate directly with your customers can only be good for business. Nate has already reduced employee turnover costs for his client.
My biggest take-away: Getting your employees to use social media to interact with customers puts a human face on your company that will win loyal customers over time. After all, your employees are your biggest brand ambassadors.
Other resources on the topic:
- - 4 ways to transform your employees into social media marketers
- - Employee advocates emerge from empowered workforce
- - Activate employees who already use social media, improve business literacy for the rest
- - 3 key roles to make your social team scalable
- - Your hidden (and cost-effective) marketing assets
- - 38 questions to assess your company’s cultural readiness for social media
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