B2B is a central theme in the last articles and a B2B client is also the matter, why I am glad to present a success story today. You all know how business works inside a bigger company – no one has – or believes to have – that time he/she wants to spend to be engaged enough for an actual thing. Phone calls, mails, interruptions thru colleges and what ever every day happens bothers you. Saying “Don´t mind me!” doesn´t work really. That was the situation at client side, when I got in contact to him. Even in the first meeting it was not possible to get all people at the table.
Handle the workload
Instead of talking about Social Media as one part of a new marketing strategy, I started discussing about what Social Media in fact is, it is a way to connect people and to organize exchange between the people with the goal to carry information – in both directions. Of course we know that and use it to support our brand and to support our economical goals – but Social Media for internal usage, I didn´t hear that till now. Internal exchange was till now a field, where collaboration tools worked. And even if collaboration tools may enhance your efficiency very well, it is not used in a wide-spread amount of companies. So, my goal was to show to the client how helpful Social Media would be for his business and I started handling the workload of the employees.
Step one – collaboration
Connected to the internal office was a field crew, field sales, consultants and external worker for Marketing … a lot of people calling and mailing with the internal office. A second item to review were the clients, retailers and that were a few hundred. You may imagine now what was going on in the back office – it was no easy-going and I could understand some people becoming stressed. At first we organized a small and simple collaboration tool, where documents could be stored and every one could work with them, different user groups with different access levels were installed and all external personal was informed. – One week work –
Step two – collaboration + Social Media
The second step was now to implement Social Media for that group. With twitter, Facebook, Facebook groups and a blog we have all necessary tools combined with the great advantage that most people know that tools. So there was no question about time effort – only a few days and the system runs. Work became much more comfortable, efficient and the whole back office has had the feeling of woah – time to breath.
Step three – collaboration + Social Media + customers
Till now that was easy-going, but my plan has had one more step. And I was all on edge if the plan would work. After preparing the internal office and then connecting the field crews, I was waiting on the next step. And it took only one week, one single week after which the back office mailed me,” Is it possible to include our retailers? We told about our new system ….” Yes, YES!!! I thought – it has worked. In fact, the atmosphere had changed, the people were more relaxed, laid-back and surely the retailers noticed that. No question we arranged as fast as possible the entrance off all retailers into the group and it works. I just used the right word “group” – now they all were a real group, a community and believe it, there will no one of the retailers change his contract and look for an alternative. It goes the other side round – yesterday they told me about a hand full of new contract with further retailers. All the following aspects of Social Media … you know them, I don´t want to repeat them here.
What do you need more, I really love this experience and I really appreciate if you may also have this experience. It sounds simple and easy and maybe you think about doing it yourself. Try it and if you have questions or if you are not sure if your way will be the right one, don´t hesitate to contact me. You may rest assured, we can go this way together.
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Have a successful day, Lucia Sanders, Atlantic News Bridge