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Empowering People Through Social Media

By Sander Biehn | Jul 20, 2015

One of the most rewarding parts of my job is helping sales and marketing teams find their individual voice using social media. Not only do I witness the full potential of corporate employees sharing and interacting with customers, I also have a front row seat to a major evolution in Corporate America.

A steady change has taken place over the last couple of decades, moving information into the hands of all employees as opposed to a select few.  The book “Exponential Organizations” by Salim Ismail et al, calls this new work force ‘information-enabled.’

But the real power of this new work force comes not just from the access to information, but also the ability to manipulate and draw conclusions from it. The tech wonk authors of “Exponential Organizations” dream of how this will make it possible to map the human brain, but I see even bigger potential.

Not only can an evolved employee easily seek out and discover the right market for a product, she can use her creativity and personality to interest and delight potential buyers. She is empowered to help and to improve the lives of her customers through the products and services she sells and markets.

While a handful of organizations are already heading this direction, here is a short list of how empowered employees will revolutionize your business in Sales and Marketing:

1. Brand ‘You’

While a small minority of brands carry enough mystique to drive stellar brand loyalty, in the B2B sales and marketing world, professional buyers resist cuddling up to any brand no matter what.  The old sales adage goes, “people buy from people.” And if you are evaluating a new product, buying from an empowered employee is much easier to do. Employees who are marketing themselves on social tend to:

-Communicate intelligently

-Communicate passionately

-Demonstrate integrity. They own what they say.

-Creatively look for ways to help customers

Why? Because they are given the freedom to speak their minds, advocate for what customers need and create change in the market based on social media interactions.

2. Doing More, Together

Empowered employees want to see the business reach new heights.  They own it. Working with others is not a blow to their egos.  They are focused on the goal of moving the needle for the business.

I have witnessed open and honest communication between sales people and marketing when the sales people are empowered to use content on social media to find prospects, engage with customers and make sales using their own voices.

Punitive environments, where sales is given all the responsibility of selling using social media, but none of the curative input or permission to use their own words, kills the passion. The content and personal posts appear robotic and stale. Social selling programs like this often fail.

3. Trust begets trust

Plain and simple, employees who are trusted are more fully engaged. They stay longer and outperform hierarchical workers.

4. A Map To The Future?

At Thought Horizon we have begun a partnership with ReFocus Analytics to understand and measure social media empowerment and how it affects employees.

We are uncovering data that shows how often sales and marketing teams should post and when, where and how they should post to grab the attention and interest of their buyers. But this is only the beginning. Through the help of big data we hope to map a course of empowerment for sales that will predict future results. What type of employee is needed to best sell and market for your company’s products? How can you measure authenticity in social media versus rote formulaic activity?

Social selling and marketing has evolved not simply based on the availability of social networks on which to post content. These very platforms are a consequence of our connected world. And they are molding a new type of organization that is poised to take better advantage of human thinking, creativity and ingenuity.

Tapping this new potential, will reap monetary rewards but that isn’t all. What we are witnessing is a turning point in corporate evolution that is unveiling a new era of efficiencies and a renaissance of our humanity.

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