Are you cranking out great B2B marketing content, but looking for new ways to extend distribution beyond the standard channels? You might consider looking internally to your colleagues to help out.
Most Knowledge Workers Are Social
While Facebook may or may not be the right channel for your B2B marketing messages, LinkedIn’s popularity with the white collar crowd is worthy of your attention.
Consider a company of 100 employees with an average of 25 connections (outside the company) per employee. That’s 2,500 1st degree contacts. Interesting? A little, but probably not enough to hold an emergency company meeting about.
However, when you include the combined 2nd and 3rd degree contacts of your colleagues, the potential audience is an extended LinkedIn network of 20+ million. What would be the result if everyone in your company with a LinkedIn account posted corporate marketing content in their status updates?
But, Isn’t This Marketing’s Job?
I’d argue that it’s in everyone’s best interest to promote their own company. The assumption here of course, is that employees like paychecks and like to see their paychecks grow. The more promotion, the better chance for a company to be successful and with success, the greater the likelihood that employees will be rewarded.
Marketing (or by extension, PR) is certainly responsible for creating the corporate messaging, demand generation strategy and managing the corporate social media accounts (plus their own personal accounts), but they are usually limited to a few social media accounts.
What about sales and account services?
There’s obvious motivation for anyone directly compensated by maintaining and growing existing accounts and generating new business. Plus, sales and account services likely have networks filled with the target customer.
Okay, what about HR?
There’s a lot of value here because HR folks tend to have fairly large LinkedIn networks for recruiting; plus they are often viewed as a representation of the company. Also, as a company’s brand and awareness is elevated, that can result in higher quality applicants (and more jobs as the company becomes more successful).
How about IT, Accounting, Production, etc.?
Well, they often deal with vendors who would have a vested interest in propagating your company’s message, and those vendors likely have customers who could be potential customers of your company.
Making It Happen
I admit, this is no easy task, but it’s not without rewards. I’m quite familiar with a company that generates a full 20% of their leads through a similar strategy.
You might consider starting with the obvious candidates, sales and account services. Recruiting a few executives to adopt the program will help, too.
Start by illustrating the scope of their networks and the potential impact that their social sharing can make. Then, develop a basic process that minimizes their time involvement.
For example, send them an email with the suggested status update and corresponding URL after you publish a blog post, white paper, etc. If needed, educate them on how to show an image (or not) in the LinkedIn status update and discuss when they might want to add content updates to their LinkedIn groups.
To create some excitement, consider rolling out a monthly contest to recognize those that drive the most visitors, leads, pages viewed, etc. Whichever metric is important to you.
Here’s a simple trick to track results; have folks add: ?source=TheirName at the end of the links they post (this works nicely with URL shorteners like www.bit.ly ). Set your Google Analytics, Sales Force or Marketing Automation solution to track the referral source (or another parameter if that one competes with something you have set up already). Then, you can easily create a report showing who generated the most traffic and share it with the team.
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