The Inside Out Of Social Engagement.

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By Lisa McCarthy, Digital Infusion.

Let’s face it social channels, are really just a new form of communication. But, as a marketer—a pretty revolutionary one.
It seems that  every day  I work and talk with  organizations about their “social strategy” – the focus of conversation is around “external” engagement with clients and customers.
Yes, it is great to have likes on your pages,  and connections on your linked in—but, in my opinion that is not where social should begin.

With all the latest talk around “google and hummingbird” and the “value” of an “engagement” — I often suggest they should look no further than their own offices and cubicles . There greatest success for outside engagement—begins, well,  on the inside.

Getting your employees to spread the message about your product, your service, your company, your culture is the kind of advocacy and sharing that will get notice.

“Face it”, I tell CMO’s—what you say,  really doesn’t hold much weight in the social world of marketing. Fancy brochures, corporate messages , and videos of the CEO talking about the culture are nice and sometimes a must  but if you really want to get everyone engaged on your social channels and ultimately buying your product or service–these message has to come from somewhere else.

What, I find to be the coolest thing about all this,   is that  by engaging your employees first — you will go  beyond  brand building and sales. By  creating a culture and  communicating with your employees, through social channels, you will begin to build a culture and a army of brand advocates.  And ,that is more important then you realize.

While more than 80% of companies today, will say they use social technology on some level, few have figured out how to use it to have measurable impact on the organization as a whole. Once they figure it out and integrate social communication into day-to day work flow, developing greater connectivity throughout the organization—they are creating information and tools to help each and every employee become a brand building, customer service, sales team that will be unstoppable.

Which is why we implemented MI360, a properitary system, with every social marketing program we initate. This tool not only measures responses, sharing, likes etc, it also helps us help enterprises get their employees to share information and measure the responses to that particular content!

The McKinsey Global Institute last year estimated that $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in annual value could be unlocked in just four sectors by products and services that enable social interactions in the digital realm. Although it isn’t easy and will require companies to view social technology as more than just another tool that needs to be implemented and done. Until companies begin to see social media as a enabler of organizational transformation, especially one of internal branding to their own employees—they will never unlock the true power of social creating internal brand advocates that “share” “promote” and “sell” your company to their connections, and that is pretty powerful ! Do the numbers alone, and you will realize the potential for growth and customer engagement is unstoppable. Success is in the hands of those are willing to think alittle different, and not follow the crowd! So how are you looking at engagement: From The Outside In or The Inside Out?