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Quit looking outside your company for your social media solution

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Approximately one in five potential clients we talk to mention that they are looking for someone to fix their social media or tell them how they can get better at it. The potential client often believes that they need an external force who can both advise and implement that solution. This article is going to show how that isn’t the case because the social media solution you need could be on your sales floor right now.

Here are some quick social media facts courtesy of BrandWatch (Click on the link to view all of the facts, but these are the ones that stuck out for me):

  1. As of October 2017, the worldwide population was 7.6 billion people and the internet comprised of 3.5 billion users. So worldwide adoption rate of the internet is that for every two people you encounter across the world one of them will use the internet.
  2. Of those 3.5 billion users 3.03 billion are active social media users(another really good infographic courtesy of We Are Social Singapore on LinkedIn). So this means, for every 10 people you meet who are an active internet user almost 9 of them utilize social media.
  3. The US population as of October 2017 was 324.459 million and data suggests that 79% of that population, or 68.13 million, leverage Facebook or live with someone who is on Facebook.
  4. Sneaky fact to add: 25% of those living with someone on Facebook admit to actively using their profile and checking pictures/statuses/updates. There are no more skeletons in the closet anymore.

What does this data tell us at R&A? Most of the potential clients who are viewing us as a solution to their social media struggles are looking in the wrong direction. Social media has such a large presence in the world because everyone has the ability to deliver social media content that is relevant and real. This is not something that a select few can grasp and implement.

To begin this revolutionary change in thinking and concept we are going to have to bust some serious myths that we encounter each and every day with our clients (and potential ones).

Myth #1: Salespeople are not marketers.

This could not be any farther from the truth. One of the most impactful and everlasting marketing messages you will ever give comes from your sales people and how they choose to interact with a customer. They are doing social media every single day with every customer who walks through the door. Is it done digitally? No but they are interacting on a social level with customers who want to have a conversation.

Myth #2: Social media is a young person’s game. My staff is older and wouldn’t get it.

I could debunk this with stats and data but since this article is mostly opinion I am going to stick with my favorite focus group: ME. I personally have seen more adoption and usage of Facebook by those in my life that are 50 years of age or older than I can actually see from those in my life that are below the age of 25. They are able to share links, photos, memes, gifs and events as good, or better, then our younger folk on staff we have trained hard. The tool is intended to be easy to use, and the worldwide global adoption of social media proves that it is. So, according to this focus group of one, social media is anyone’s game for people who want to be good at their job.

Myth #3: I have trouble motivating them to handle ups. How am I going to get them to do this?

I can hear the silent murmur from the retail stratosphere right now. The fact that sales people are having trouble being motivated is more concerning than the lack of social media follow through. Culture dictates successful outcomes. If your people love where they work and how they get their work done then they will be motivated to do what is necessary to get their job done.

Myth #4: I don’t get it so how can I get my people to get it.

This is a myth that, as a business owner and a C-level within my organization, I have struggled with mightily. However, I have learned that it is not about whether I get it or not, it is about how I empower people to get jobs done and have them learn the trade. That’s the fun of being the guy who signs the checks. You get to hire really smart people all around you and let them be smart. If we try to get to understand everything then all we do is set ourselves up to limit our growth.

“Courage is the mastery of fear, not the absence of fear.” Mark Twain

Here are some great steps to get the ball rolling and get your people mastering social media:

  1. Get your Business Page on Facebook to be connected with Facebook Business Manager. Business manager is a great way for you to control what access levels all users in your business have and puts the control of your page onto a 3rdparty platform so if an employee goes south they don’t bring your social profile with you.  Some other really cool features:
  2. There is an app called “Pages” you get to download on an iPhone or Android device which allows you to handle messages, respond to comments and read reviews from the palm of your hand or your employees hands.
  3. Very easy to assign roles based on what you want people to be, and not to be, doing on a day to day basis as it relates to your brand.
  4. You can schedule posts ahead of time, review them and even make changes to a post that is ready to go out. It will allow for a checks and balances system internally within your organization.
  5. Involve a trusted marketing partner or outside consultant to field one-on-one interviews with your whole staff and identify the people who might want to establish some level of commitment within the social media realm. This also will allow you to begin to craft a clear, cohesive content strategy because your people will be telling you what the consumer wants to see or is asking about on a daily basis.
  6. Take risks. As long as you are monitoring the data, experiment with different posting styles, pictures, and themes, etc. As long as it is not offensive and doesn’t harm your reputation, you can always edit it or possibly even delete the post if it was a failure.

R&A is well versed in how to leverage social from a paid perspective and we have deep insights on how you can do this internally. However, social is beginning to creep into a personal experience verses a marketing venture. The more a business gets them team involved, the more likely it will be successful long-term.

Bonus plug: Social Media is a process and takes time. Getting someone who really understands the realities of the media and has developed an entire corporation around it is of the upmost important. We advise signing up for Social Edge. From their website:

“Social Edge™ was created for driven, passionate small business owners who know they need to use social media but aren’t sure how to use it to support their business goals – and their bottom line. Social Edge™ programs teach you the who, what, when, where, why and how behind social media.”

We have no affiliation with Social Edge but know that is the premiere resource within the home furnishings space for legitimate social media learning and insights.

Kyle Doran has been President and CEO of R&A Marketing since August of 2009. He has spoken at both High Point and Las Vegas market, given breakout presentations at numerous industry conferences and was the keynote speaker in 2010 at the Unfinished Wood Association’s annual conference.

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