A recent report by eMarketer shows why social media networks like Facebook should be a focus for more sales and marketing alignment. The fact that companies are spending $3 billion on Facebook means that sales teams should be trained on the use of Facebook as a tool for lead conversion and prospect engagement. Most companies are giving a large amount of resources on building their professional Facebook page and following it up with additional dollars from their budgets to drive new customers to those pages. Sure many companies are spending money on Facebook ads to push people to other landing pages off the network but it’s been shown that developing a solid presence on Facebook and keeping people in the network converts higher and helps spread WOM marketing. The same strategy should be used in other networks. [tweetmeme source= “insideview” only_single=false]

”2010 was the year that Facebook firmly established itself as a major force not only in social network advertising but all of online advertising,” said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson, author of the upcoming report “Worldwide Social Network Ad Spending: 2011 Outlook.” “In 2011, its global presence is something multinational advertisers can’t ignore.”

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Sales teams should be encouraged to interact with the company Facebook page, commenting on updates and sharing news from the company page. The community you build on your Facebook page is something both sales and marketing should be very conscious of and nurtured. Even though LinkedIn is a professional network and we pointed out LinkedIn is Facebook with a tie,  different departments should be engaged on Facebook. Marketing for the general awareness and branding of the company and sales teams for the engagement of  new prospects wanting to know more about their product/service. Company support and services should also play a part by answering questions and providing updates based on best practices.

This means that companies should give up some control and designate Facebook ambassadors to the pages from sales and support and give them Admin access to post under the company name. Here are 10 reasons for using Facebook for your business. Since building a community on Facebook around your company should be the goal, you need to seed the community with people from your company that can help people from all sides of the sales cycle. Very few companies have done this that I know of and with the proper training (Sales 2.0) a sales person can quickly identify potential prospects and then generate new leads. Though Facebook is the origin of some of these new prospects and you should continue engagement with them on the platform, knowing who the prospects are that interact with your Facebook page and then bringing them into your CRM will give you the metrics needed to show it’s success. The same goes for current customers, if it’s primarily answering questions or fostering a relationship for continued business, sales people should be taking more of a leadership role in how social networks are managed.

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