How to Twitter…Lets Dip our Toe in the Water…
I’ve had the opportunity to help roll out a Social Media Initiative to regional sales teams at two companies now, most recently at ADP. For a large company like ADP it was great to be surrounded by smart, progressive people who supported change. However, in most small to medium size business, change will be initiated by a forward thinking leader (that is you if you are reading this).
So, you’ve decided your sales force (or service team) should be on twitter…now what do you do? Here you will find eight well vetted steps (I’ve sited others where I have stolen their tips). Once you’ve accomplished this, look for my Part 2 Post for Next Steps.
Lets Assume, from a Policy & Permission Perspective, you are clear to move forward…
1. Create Twitter Account: lead by example, create YOUR twitter account, follow your direct reports when they create their accounts.
2. Have your Employees create an Account: Add Professional Photo & Profession Bio
Ted Coine, on his blog, says: Your avatar sucks. Egg head? Unlikely folks will follow you, because you look like a spammer or lazy – or a lazy spammer. Animated avatar? Yes, they catch my eye – and they bug the sh!t out of me!! No follow back. And here’s one that few companies get: logos. If your avatar is a logo, rather than a person, that means you’re here to broadcast and sell. That’s not social, and people will avoid you. Twitter is a social medium. S-o-c-i-a-l. Look it up. [You can find Ted's Post HERE]
3. Follow your Company, all Corporate Partners, Channel Partners, etc: stay abreast of what is going on within your own company
4. Follow Thought Leaders, Researchers, Commentators, Critics associated with your industry: if you are to be a resource to you clients, you need to know what is going on
5. Follow Sales Influencers: Keep a steady stream of motivation and best practices from sales gurus streaming to your team
For a great list of the Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012
to follow from OpenView Labs click HERE
6. Follow all your Clients: You need to know what your clients are saying (good about you, bad about you, or just changes and trigger events you should know about)
7. Follow all your Prospects: You need to know what is going on with them if you hope to ever gain access to sell, you can learn how they speak their langauge and learn what is important to them based on what they say and how they say it.
8. Follow Your Competitors: Don’t people watch video on their competition in athletics
Measure your social efforts by seeing to whom your competitors talk to. 70% of business ignore complaints on twitter. Be there to clean up the mess. (via http://learnmore.insideview.com/TwitterGuidePreview.html)
At this point you have helped your employees dip their toe in the water. Your sales/service reps have essentially created custom news feeds; content important to them will now be pushed to them, easily accessible, no risk, no intimidation, no fear about “what to do.” Twitter activity needs to be a sustainable potion of a sales/service professionals activity, don’t over do it. Let them get comfortable with this step, then roll out Phase 2.
My next post in the series is I want my Sales/Service Team to Use Twitter…Now What? Part 2 – 8 steps to engagement, and includes eight more steps to maximize twitter as a sales tool including instructions on how to find twitter followers, how to start engaging with people via twitter and some twitter etiquette. (or skip to Part 3 – 8 steps to manage twitter by clicking HERE)