Did you realize, one of the greatest strategic advantages for your company is staring your right in the face each day? It’s the knowledge of your employees. You have gone to great trouble to find and hire the best people in your field. They have a wealth of experience and knowledge they bring to bear on each job they work on. Now it’s time to unleash that knowledge as part of your social media business strategy.
Social media is all about content. Creating and publishing great content is the primary factor in social media success. Fortunately that content already lives right inside of your company. The trick is getting it out. Great content might not even be where you think it is and I’m sorry to say it’s most likely not going to come out of your marketing department. Your best content is more likely found down the org chart with the girls and guys grinding it out everyday on front lines. These people have stories to tell and valuable insights about how the product really works and what customers think. Your road warriors, the sales team also can give you great case studies and interesting new ways your customers are getting value from your product.
It’s also important not to stifle content. Legal departments will wring their hands about the risks of uncontrolled content creation and corporate marketing will gripe about not being able to control the message. There may be a good deal of pressure, especially in larger companies, to retain the status quo. This will make everyone feel more comfortable but will get you nowhere in your social media marketing efforts. It’s not to say there are not valid concerns from the legal department and content creation does need guidelines. Most larger companies have adopted a social media or blogging policy which, when written well, balances security and legal concerns with enough openness and trust in employees as to not completely neuter the message.
By leveraging your internal knowledge, you will put yourself a big step ahead of your competition. One of the best differentiating factors between you and your competition is your employees and their knowledge. Don’t be afraid to show what you know and let certain key people step out and be a star. People inherently don’t trust companies but they do trust other people. Building trust in social media is key and it can only be done with real, authentic individuals. You have lots of these authentic people in your company and they have an important part to play in your social media business strategy.