Why a Clear Brand Story is Crucial for Multiple Social Accounts & Optimal Employee Advocacy
With the prominence of social media, many companies have more than just one account on the major networks. After all, with 85% of B2B buyers expecting companies to engage them via social, that level of involvement in the dynamic marketing vein is important. But without a focused approach, you’ll easily lose ground.
Multiple accounts can be unwieldy and hard to manage, but by making the extra effort to rein in all parts of your online presence—be it your company’s main account, product accounts and even employee accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. —You’ll be prepared to send a cohesive message about your brand, and consequently, make a much stronger case about why your products and solutions are the best.
Here’s how to rein in those accounts and harness the power of a unified social media marketing front for your business.
1. Construct a Brand Story and a Flowchart
Before you can get to where you’re going, you need a map. In terms of your corporate social accounts, to unify everything around a common goal, you have to define that goal in the first place.
The best way to reach a goal in a cohesive manner is to use storytelling to your advantage. Today’s B2B marketing landscape depends on the narrative of a company to express core values to connect with customers. A great way to articulate those values is to refine what your company’s “brand story” is for as many products and services existing under the corporate umbrella. That can be consolidated into one or a few paragraphs, by answering the following questions:
- What sets your company apart?
- How would you describe your company’s “personality?”
- And, in terms of the products or services themselves, how do they uniquely address your ideal customer’s pain points and thus, are the perfect particular solutions for them?
Once you’ve nailed down the brand story, construct a flowchart that describes how your multiple corporate accounts are linked together to tell that story. A flowchart will help you and your marketing team understand how the “story” will flow organically through social posts. A natural hierarchy should be reflected in the flowchart: the brand’s identity should unfold first throughout posts in the main company social profiles, then through product and service accounts and finally individual employee accounts.
Once the marketing department as a whole understands the layout of the unfolding story, you’ll have much more clarity on what your social content and lead engagements should look like at any given time. You might even, in concert with your team, create some sample posts from each type of social media account (main, product and employee) to clarify that roadmap even further.
2. Solidify the Reorganization of your Social Media Presence
Now, it’s time to evaluate the whole picture. This involves assessing how organized your company’s social presence is currently, and involving corporate leadership as you refine and push its limits for the better.
Perhaps you don’t yet have an organized advocacy program, or your company’s advocacy efforts have been scattered, with the lion’s share of lead generation happening through the main corporate marketing outlets (such as the company’s Facebook Page or LinkedIn profile). In such cases, the first task is to tighten things up:
- Get sales involved. Assuming the main company profiles are in good working order, ensure that other departments, like sales, are using their social media profiles in conjunction with the main ones. This sets the stage for powerful interactions with qualified leads and effective “social selling.” With 6% of salespeople using social selling outperforming their sales peers and exceeding quota 23% more often, the importance of sales’ involvement in a cohesive reorganization of the corporate social presence can’t be understated.
- Make sure employee accounts are in order. If your employees have dormant social accounts, now is the time to do what you can to spark some activity. Start implementing a social advocacy program. Hold a company-wide employee advocacy meeting that is both educational and motivational, which can effectively help revitalize dormant profiles. When employees see they’re stakeholders in company growth, they’ll be inspired to share approved marketing collateral to their social connections—and perhaps even create social posts within marketing-approved guidelines.
The next thing to do is get corporate leadership on board. While they may be leaving the nitty-gritty of marketing to the marketing department, especially when it comes to the relatively young and still experimental world of social media, you can point out to C-level leaders what social approaches are already producing good ROI.
Once they’re sold on the value, they themselves will be re-energized to maintain regular social activity, as well as be more amenable to efforts to increase social reach (e.g. by approving new social media accounts for each product vertical, customer support and other corporate entities).
3. Implement Reorganized Social Advocacy with a Flexible Approach
With a clear roadmap and decision-making stakeholders on board, it’s time to start posting to all accounts in such a way that they all support each other and cleanly articulate the exact same central corporate messages—even if in different voices.
However, remember that the newly-unified efforts should never be rigid. The new advocacy plan must remain open to adjustment. In the ever-changing world of social media marketing, you’ll want to encourage engagement across all profiles, whether the catalyst happens to be breaking industry news or conversing with a very interested prospect who has something to tell or ask the company.
Here’s how you can keep your advocacy efforts flowing and producing a positive ROI:
- Continue employee advocate education and offer incentives. It never hurts to inspire as many employees as possible to be active, and not just passive, advocates (i.e., robotically posting pre-approved messages and engaging with standardized responses). You might set up a leaderboard, give certain employees a speaking role in monthly marketing meetings or think of other ways to get employees more invested in the advocacy process.
- Keep adjusting according to your analytics. With social media analytics, you’ll be able to see what social posts resonate with prospects engaging with any corporate profile. Then, you know what you should add more of to the pipeline.
- Use advocacy momentum to explore further ROI optimization opportunities. When a company’s employees are united behind a common corporate identity—one that is publicly playing out on social media—it can form a great impression of a cohesive, inviting corporate culture that your prospects will want to do business with. Once you see that happening, you can ask the following questions to keep increasing engagement:
- Do long or short social media responses work better?
- Are prospects’ customer questions answered completely, and quickly?
- What kind of “voice” most consistently draws prospects into your sales funnels?
If your now-unified advocacy remains open to constant improvement, your entire marketing machine will only grow stronger over time.
Multiple accounts can create confusion for a B2B marketing manager, but an optimized approach to advocacy means that the company functions as a healthy and thriving entity, attracting prospects as time goes on. Use the above strategies for reining in your company’s accounts, and you’ll prove that to be true.