27 May – A sneak peek into how F5 launched their employee advocacy program and are now making social selling rock stars

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‘Employee advocacy’ is one of those topics currently receiving a lot of attention in the social media world. But are you a bit unsure as to how this could benefit you? Let us discover together how F5 have so successfully achieved this.

 

Since 1996, F5 networks has assisted organisations in deploying cloud, data centre and software- defined networking, to improve the security of their applications. They have a global presence, with employees operating from around the world. And have alliances with brands such as Microsoft and HP.

 

Here is a sneak preview as to what you will learn in this webinar with F5 Networks:

 

First, what is employee advocacy? Simply put, it’s the promotion of a brand through its employees. When done correctly, these key influencers, who have huge social networks, have the opportunity to sway potential customers’ decision to buy or not to buy from a brand.

 

Sounds like a good plan, yes?

Sadly, involving advocates can be a challenge for brands, especially for global brands that are present around the world, with different business units, sales territories, supported languages and hundreds if not thousands of ‘individual’ sales staff.  Making it happen is not easy, or so it seems.

 

Employees need guidance and content

The tough part is that employees require a bit of assistance to truly make your advocacy program work. They need training, best practices and, more importantly, content they can share that works for them and their contacts. YOU NEED TO provide them with all of this plus lots of personalised/ relevant–to-each-audience content to share on social media.

 

Compliant, consistent, relevant and regular brand messages

If your aim is to get people talking about your brand, then you need to make sure others (your employees, but it could also include your channel partners) share YOUR content and do this regularly. Social media is perfect for this! The good news is that by providing your employees with a constant flow of pertinent (to their audience) news, you will be able to maintain a high level of compliancy and consistency of your messages, wherever the words get out.

 

How to do it, in a systematic manner?

socialondemand® makes this possible for F5, helping them amplify and provide a consistent brand message, through their global teams of hundreds of sales employees and to the hundreds of thousands of contacts they have on social media.

 

What F5 have achieved

The socialondemand-enabled employee advocacy program has allowed F5 to reach a much wider market of 25 different countries, with content being created in 5 different languages. F5 can now engage with millions of Twitter followers, Facebook friends and LinkedIn contacts. So far, their 430 social media posts have been shared over 4,000 times and have generated over 18,860 clicks. What is even more impressive, is this is only from 167 employees. Want to know more? watch this free webinar.

20 May – Enable social selling – Launch employee advocacy- F5 have

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Have you given employee advocacy much thought? I’ll start by explaining what it is… Employee advocacy is the promotion of a brand through its employees. But the question is, how can this work for your brand? Here I will also show you how this has transformed the way F5 handles social selling, allowing the company to reach 2.4 million connections/ contacts every day.

 

Why involve employees?

 

With two thirds of consumers buying decisions occurring digitally before they even interact with your brand; it becomes crucially important that you have a strong online presence. And what better way to promote your brand than through your employees’ social media accounts?

 

Whether you are a small or large organisation, your employees will certainly have a social media presence, with a mix of personal and professional connections. Think about how much further your message could reach, just by utilising them. And let’s not also forget that the message will be shared by the connections their followers trust, strengthening the promotional effectiveness.

 

Our top 15 customers, who use socialondemand for employee advocacy programs, can now reach 25.5 million connections everyday (Twitter followers, Facebook friends and LinkedIn contacts), just by allowing their employees to participate in the program. Looking at 820 employees, across these 15 customers, brand messages have now been reposted 44,500 social media accounts, and have generated 222,300 clicks and 7,500 retweets/ likes.

 

Compete

 

Through increasing your potential reach, this undoubtedly will increase your competitiveness. Ensure you are at the forefront of potential customer’s minds when they decide to make the all-important decision to buy your product over competitors.

 

Create passion

 

Employee advocacy is also a great way to create a motivated workforce, who are equipped with an in-depth knowledge of their brands offerings. Also to their connections they appear as a professional, sharing their knowledge to others.

 

Thought-leadership

 

These posts also allow your employees to become thought leaders and trusted advisors in the social media world. They are providing value to their online community. To become a thought leader, all employees have to do is add their opinion to your post. It will provide a personal touch, whilst allowing them to appear up-to-date with the industry they work in.

 

Dedicated workforce

 

Your posts will create additional value to employees through improving their online professional status. This creates a real benefit to employees, which potentially increases their dedication to your brand. In return they will get more out of their place of work.

 

How to achieve this?

 

But the big question is how to achieve employee advocacy effectively. The good news is, there are social media platforms, such as socialondemand®, that allow brands to create, schedule and send posts to your employees. All employees then have to do is either click one button to share the content onto their desired social network, or create a personal thought leader comment and then click share. It’s that simple.

 

How can I get my employees to share my posts?

 

To encourage all employees to share your posts, you may need to incentivise them. Some examples include:

 

  • Rewards for sharing your posts
  • Competitions amongst employees
  • Publicising the level of activity the highest performers have generated
  • Making the task feel like a game.

 

So there are real benefits to employee advocacy, something all brands should get involved in. Many of our customers use socialondemand for employee advocacy, and this has really helped increase their potential reach. Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself.

 

Want to learn more? Purechannelapps have an exciting webinar coming up with F5. In the webinar Nick Bowman, EMEA Corporate Communications, will explain how F5 have developed their sales teams to become more effective at social selling, generating 18,166 clicks, by providing relevant and timely content and the tools to make them successful and track the results. Register here

Social media programs I would highly recommend

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Social media can be made easier, as long as you are equipped with the clever technologies that allow you to be a social hero. If you are using social media professionally such as for your brand, or maybe even for channel marketing, I have prepared 4 programs I personally use for my company, purechannelapps. It’s about time someone revealed their secrets.

And by all means, if you have anything you would like to add, please comment and share your little secrets too.

 

TweetDeck well this is for Twitter users. If you are managing more than one account, it allows you to see and manage all of these at once. Very handy to ensure that you do not miss out any important updates. Of course you can still interact and do all the usual function on Twitter plus it is completely free, so is a great program for all budgets! It just makes life that bit easier. Well it does for me.

 

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Socialbro This is a program I have just started using, but I love it. It used to really get on my nerves when followers would just keep dropping off for no reason and I just couldn’t understand it. This program however allows you to see who you are following, who are your active followers, as well as who you should be following, unfollowing and who to target. If you want to focus on a particular target market, this is the program for you.

 

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Personally, I aim to attract channel marketers, and those who may be interested in the products that I offer. This program allows me to simply search for keywords that match my target audience.

 

From this a list is produced of users who match this criteria. I can then produce an even more targeted list, by selecting their influence level, followers’ and tweets per day. A magical list will then be produced of connections within this group. It’s amazing! I can then view their profiles to find out a little more about them as well as select to follow these individuals on Twitter directly from this program. This saves significant time having to later find and follow them.

This program offers  a 15 day free trial. However after this time you can then choose the free plan, which includes the basic features or opt for a paid plan. It is up to you.

 

socialondemand

This is a program I actually offer, so obviously I am a teeny bit biased but it really is the best product for marketers who operate within a channel and work for those who sell directly. It allows brands to create content that they can then push out to their advocates, whether that be employees, resellers or other influencers. All you have to do is either click share or edit the post title, and this will then get shared to all of your connections (your customers).

 

By clicking share, content will go out to all your social media accounts. Think about your potential reach. This is a fantastic way to get your brand out to a wider audience. You will not only make it easy for advocates to share your content but also your brand message will not get diluted as they will be sharing content that  you have created. Free trials and demonstrations are offered for this product.

It’s definitely worth a try.

 

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Trend spotter

This is fantastic program for those of you who are looking for trending content to post to your social media accounts. As I am sure you will agree it is crucial to share a variety of content that your target audience is interested in. The question really is what else can I share other than the posts that promote my own brand? Well this program would be great for you.

All you have to do is type in keywords e.g. channel marketing, and a list of posts appear that match this search term. You can then share these appropriate posts to your target audience.

 

It also gives you a score with how trending particular topics are. Nifty I know. You can also search for appropriate Twitter lists as well as popular generalised topics. This allows you to always be in the know with the latest trends, and interesting topics of conversation. Yes, you do have to pay for this program, but why not try the free trial first and see how effective it is for you.

 

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Sometimes it is nice to hear recommendations from others; to see what they use, and whether these would actually work for you. So here you go. Enjoy! Please do let me know if you have also benefited from using these programs, or in fact if you have any of your own secrets you would like to add to the list.

06 May – How to deliver excellent customer service on social media

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With 67% of customers buying decisions occurring digitally, before they have even engaged with you, it is ever important that your digital presence be nothing but a positive one.

 

The social media craze presents a real opportunity not only for social selling, but also to deliver exceptional customer service. Here I present 5 tips to deliver exceptional customer service.

 

  1. Respond

My number one rule is always respond to every message you receive on social media. It is important you show what exceptional customer service you deliver, ensuring potential clients think of you in a favourable light, and a cut above your competitors. Being transparent and showing you resolve any complaints customers may have, can change a negative comment into a positive one.

 

  1. Always be at hand

My second rule is always ensure that you respond promptly to all messages. The client will not be impressed if they have to wait a long time for an answer. They expect fast action, and for something to be done about their issue promptly. They want to see that you are taking their comments seriously and are doing something about them. Also, for those visiting your profile for the first time, it is reassuring for them to see that you are doing something about complaints. Proactive actions are key.

 

  1. Who responds to comments?

It is equally important that you have a designated person to respond to comments on social media. Wouldn’t it be embarrassing if two separate people from the customer service team respond to the same complaint simultaneously? Ensure your customer service team each take it in turn to manage one social media account. This minimises these silly mistakes occurring.

 

  1. Engage

When clients come across you on social media, I always feel that it is better that they see a variety of content, not just a list of your responses. Try and engage with connections on social media, show them that you are a valuable, socially active brand. A brand that they enjoy receiving updates from. Why not ask questions to those on social media. Start up a conversation. This will be a lot more visually appealing to those visiting your page.

 

  1. Be polite

When you receive a dreaded complaint, physically put a smile on your face and ensure you answer the response in a friendly, professional manner. The last thing you want is to spark up a social media war. Instead take a deep breath and solve their issue in the best way possible. Remember, the customer is always right.

 

Customer service is one of those elements you do not want to forget about, especially not on visible platforms such as social media. This will influence potential customers’ perception of you. Take my advice on board, and you will be equipped to deal with any complaint.