New social media tool finally gives the corporate office control of social media posts. Are you ready?
Your consultants are natural marketers who love to create their own marketing materials, blogs, websites and social media to get their messages out. Unfortunately, this can tarnish the brand you’ve worked so hard to build and can even create legal risks.
As regulators become more active, rogue distributor messages have become a critical issue and, in some cases, threaten our corporate existence. Many direct selling companies struggle to keep the field’s messages within policy; some resorting to heavy-handed enforcement, others turning a blind eye while hoping the problem goes away.
Corporate executives know they must strike a delicate balance between becoming too restrictive of their field and maintaining compliance. But how?
Imagine your consultant Debbie opens her email, where she is treated to a number of great posts, videos and images to choose from and share about your company to her social networks. She selects the post that appeals to her, perhaps a recent video from the CEO or fun convention image and adds her own message to it. She clicks “approve” and suddenly your company-sponsored, compliant message is then posted to her personal Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, as if it came from her— to her entire network of friends.
Since you created the content, Debbie didn’t have to tinker around all day to come up with something creative to post. All her content is high quality and corporate-approved. She simply makes a few clicks to schedule her week’s posts, and she’s back to networking.
The Next Big Thing for Direct Sellers: Social Media Syndication
Social syndication allows your team to create great content for your field to share. You can control your field’s updates and expand your marketing reach by making it easy to deliver rich, branded content to hundreds or even thousands of direct sales consultants and all of their social media followers. All compliant, all corporate-approved.
Now, of course there is some debate in social circles about whether or not corporate should “Post for” the field, the argument being that it is unnatural and demonstrates a lack of trust. Our position is that your corporate office is merely suggesting great content, and the field can use it as is, and approve or change it to suit their tastes. Think of it as a content library where reps can go to find great, useful and approved content to make all their own.
- Compliance – By supplying corporate-approved copy and content, you greatly reduce the risk that consultants will create their own.
- Quality – The sad fact is that most reps are not accomplished social marketers and often stumble to create “talkable” content, especially when it comes to their businesses. Syndication can support your field by creating professional content for them, making them — and your brand— look good.
- Control – So much of what the field does is beyond the monitoring control of the company. By providing their content for them, at their approval, you can have a better control of the entire corporate message.
- Time savings for the field – By simply approving or denying a post created by corporate, your reps are freed up to keep selling and are relieved of the often tedious, time-consuming social content creation. Reps post the best social media content with the least amount of effort and need not be expert in social media.
- Delivery and Reach – Posts can be shared instantly across all the distributors’ social networks, each customized for the “culture” of the platform. For instance, a Facebook post can be re-created to fit twitter, and vice-versa. Reps merely choose the networks they want to update with one click. And because you are increasing the reach of your company’s social graph, you can communicate to far more people, faster.
- Helping reps get started – Many people may not feel comfortable with a particular site (“I just don’t get Twitter”) or may be nervous about using social media at all. Syndication could offer an easy way to get started and then build on it – personalizing it more as they grow.
- Consistency – Your message becomes more consistent across your base. Approved content such as videos, messages, photos all lead to a better platform for your company.
- Rep ownership – Often a distributor resists promoting the corporate sites for fear of losing credit. With syndication, the contact information and links belong to the rep and the posts are, in effect, their own.
- Multiple levels of analytics – Far more insightful than your corporate social analytics, syndication gives you great data about how your field is responding daily while easily following what they share. You can view the reach of your message beyond your corporate social data, and better measure its effectiveness.
For direct selling companies, syndication is clearly a next step from posting to the corporate social media channels. Sure, field reps can share your content, but syndication makes your post theirs. And instead of struggling to come up with good content to share, distributors could spend more time doing what they do best – managing and nurturing relationships at the local level and making sales.
When you add the reduced risk of illegal claims and problematic posts, syndication is a brilliant answer to social media’s uncertainties.