Online presence matters more today than it ever has. Your home page is not the carefully designed and interactive website home page. Its Google’s SERP. As a manufacturing business are you ready to step into this space? Where do you start?
Consider that we have moved from a Web 2.0 environment to an Enterprise 2.0 space with the use of software between companies (think SaaS). Now we need to be ready to take on social business, where your business is focused on being “social” and social tools are used in reaction to and to facilitate participation in the social web.
We have a few things working against us in the meantime. Do you recognize the buying selling disconnect that exists for traditional marketing that many b2b manufacturers primarily use? Are leads down? Traffic to your Website dropped off? No more opportunities for needs analysis and no calls for demos?
What types of things should be done to realign our sales process? What might that alignment look like?
- Leaving value added social breadcrumbs
- Face to face outreach
- Multiple touch points before during and after the sale
- Real-time reaction to positive and negative comments
- Novel multimedia delivery of solutions
- Keen integration of traditional and social methods of business relationship building
Getting forward motion with a strategy
Focus on a process and methodology for listening and collecting information on your social ecosystem. Find one that makes your organization and management team feel comfortable. Ask yourself, is it repeatable? Keep your social strategy aligned with business goals. Proceed with an action plan that will move your resources forward – assign resources, allocate time, define actions, pinpoint tools to use.
What are the steps to take?
An assessment is important and Social Minutes Initiative is a great initiative focused on 20 minutes a day or week working on finding and connecting with clients.
Now that you find everyone, how should you react? Your social media strategy should clearly align with your business goals. What are you looking for – thought leadership, brand awareness, driving traffic, humanize the product or company?
Do not pass go without your Social Media Policy
Your policy should be balanced with your strategy and should come after the strategy and action plan has been developed . If it doesn’t reflect your culture, or is too restrictive to allow the social media team to implement the action plan, then you may need to rework. Call it your ‘guidelines’ like IBM, or the ‘ethics statement’ for blogging, it doesn’t matter, but you need to do three things with this policy:
1. Set guidelines for the behavior, boundaries, and limits of your employees
2. Set guidelines for behavior by operational roles within the company
3. Set guidelines for your audience on what you will or will not allow on your site/blog/profile/comments
These might all be in the same document.
Email as a starting point
When you begin to build this policy look first to your email policy. For some professions like accounting, financial services, health care, email policies have been around a long time and can at times cover everything you need. Additional steps in building a policy that supports your culture and goals as indicated by the Social Media Business Council
- Discuss these model policies with everyone involved in social media: marketing, communications, legal, HR, sales, customer service, product development, etc.
- This document should support existing company policies and is not intended to supersede them. Customize them to fit your organization’s specific needs and operations.
- Create a training program or presentation to share them company-wide.
- Share them with your agencies, consultants, and contractors.
- Consider posting publicly on your website and share with other social communities to help others.
- Use the policy and enforce it.
Social Media Policy Examples
Several wikis are being constantly updated by the social media community with links to public social media policies;
What have you posted for a social media policy on your company Website?
- Semantics: Social Media Policy, or Guidelines? (socialfish.org)
- Enterprise 2.0: securing the un-securable (customerthink.com)
- Why Your Company Needs a Social Media Policy and 14 Corporate Social Media Policy Examples (customerthink.com)