From the perspective of sales and marketing, social media can seem like a complete no man’s land. It’s wild and unregulated; there are hardly any rules, and no one’s even sure if it’s possible to effectively market on some platforms.
Know Your Channels (and What They Expect)
The fundamental for both sales and marketing is to know your channels. There are plenty of platforms out there—everything from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn and Snapchat—but your business doesn’t necessarily need to be present on all of them, nor should you be using the same techniques on each platform.
Across platforms, users expect different things from the businesses they interact with—partially because different groups of people use different platforms. Older people tend to use Facebook and they prefer one-to-one brand interaction. Your LinkedIn sales leads are looking for more professional, technical content, while Instagram users are solely seeking engaging photography.
Know Your Roles
Members of the sales team might act differently than members of the marketing team, even on social media. While there’s more and more crossover between the two (and integration is a good thing), marketing is going to use these platforms in a different way than sales is going to use it—and that’s okay.
Be clear about why you’re using a channel and the ways you’re using it. Knowing your goals and what works will help you assume the proper role when you start posting on LinkedIn or tweeting from the corporate account.
The Numbers Game
Again, sales and marketing might have different goals when it comes to social media—and they’ll want to measure different things. Marketing is likely interested in engagement statistics: How many people liked, commented, or shared the post? Sales is infinitely more interested in conversion statistics.
You might see a disconnect: Sales thinks the campaign was lousy, while marketing declares it a great success. Be sure to clearly define your goals for any social media activity, and make sure everyone understands how “success” is being measured in this arena.
Sales and marketing are becoming more integrated in many businesses—and that’s a good thing. For a long time, sales and marketing have functioned separately. And while you might still don separate hats and have a few different goals, on social media, it’s important for everybody to work together.
Why? Two words: Brand consistency. If marketing is pushing through its messaging and sales has even a slightly different message, the result could be confusion for the people you’re interacting with. Inconsistency isn’t very attractive to customers: If you can’t even keep your message straight, what else is tangled up in your business?
Instead, work together to ensure your marketing plans and your sales efforts support each other to present a consistent brand image for your customers and would-be customers.
Engagement Is Important
Marketing may not be used to measuring the success of their campaigns with engagement statistics, and sales might not be used to engaging conversations where would-be customers suddenly go silent, leaving no opportunity to close the deal.
No matter your standpoint, it’s important to remember engagement is key on any social media platform. Sales people might need to take a while to learn that their time isn’t “being wasted” when they can’t close a deal immediately; marketers might need a gentle reminder that simply posting an ad or a blog entry isn’t the end of the job—they need to get engagement with their material.
Social media is a learning curve for both sales and marketing, but these tips will help you no matter which side of the team you’re on—or which platform you’re using.