Yes, you read that right: internal. Forget about your target market for a second… don’t worry, it’s only a second. You can get back to remembering them shortly. A big part of turning your social media marketing environment into a return on investment-generating machine is to get your company on board. Particularly, you’ll need subject-matter experts from sales, product and other disciplines to contribute ideas or full blog posts. They have insights from in the trenches, and this is what will resonate with your clients and prospects.
So, before you reach out to prospective buyers, you’ll need to engage your prospective helpers. Without them, you’ll have nothing of substance to bring to your target market. Here are five reasons you need to cultivate internal relationships before turning to social media marketing in earnest:
1. They have the knowledge: it’s obviously important for a marketer to understand the company’s products and target market. To really grasp client pain points, product nuances and real-world situations, you’ll need to talk to the experts. They have the information you need to develop corporate blog and social media content that will resonate with your target market. And, there’s a good chance that your subject-experts will have a role in developing client relationships and winning new business.
2. They will speak to the public: does anyone in the market really want to hear from you? Of course not! You’re not the face of the business … you’re just the machine behind it. The internal relationships you cultivate will give you a pool of spokespersons to use, making your social media environment an important way to advance them in the marketplace.
3. They have the clout: use the internal relationships you develop to get your social media marketing initiative more traction in the marketplace. A blog or Facebook app on its own isn’t nearly as one featuring your CEO, senior management or product/solution gurus. And once they are featured in your environment, they’ll use it to drive new business opportunities in the marketplace, lending even more credibility to your efforts.
4. They can help you: the insights you need to craft meaningful messaging already resides in your company. Focus on internal relationships to access that institutional knowledge. Reach out to people who might not “get” social media, and partner with them to populate your environment with the good stuff that your target market wants.
5. They will become your biggest advocates: getting people involved – and excited – about your social media marketing initiative will contribute to audience development. Your internal relationships are the first step to word-of-mouth advocacy outside your company. Take advantage of it!
Your external efforts ultimately have to start at home. Spend your planning phase identifying the right people in your company to engage for information, contributions and other forms of support. Engage them, and demonstrate the advantages to them. Social media isn’t just for marketers – it should benefit the entire business. When you can show this, the internal relationships you need will begin to form.