Chandler Bruns, Social Media Manager, Rooster Strategic Solutions

The good folks at Geico have spent millions preaching that 15 minutes can save you 15 percent on car insurance. That same 15 minutes can also significantly improve the performance of your social media program; it certainly enhanced the results of a medium-sized agricultural client.

The backstory: I wrote a series of articles last fall on social media metrics, low-cost execution, and influencer marketing that attracted the attention of the marketing manager at a mid-sized ag company. They wanted to improve their social media content by featuring insights from their in-field teams.

This is actually a common request, and it can be very effective. In-field team members and partners might include salespeople, technicians, agronomists, product testers, dealers, or consultants. What do they all have in common? They’re all typically closer to customers than a marketing manager or an advertising agency. They speak the customers’ language. They better understand the customers’ needs and their limitations. Because they work closer to the customers, they’re closer to customer stories. In short, they’re the ideal people to generate the content for a robust social media strategy that uses two-way communication with customers.

Unfortunately, there’s another attribute that most of these in-field members and partners share: very few of them are trained in social media. And more than a few are afraid of it. This was the case for the marketing manager who contacted me and asked me to help train the company’s field teams on how – and why – to use social media.

Because this is a common request, I have a “go-to-presentation” that I can tailor to fit the needs of individual companies. After some initial research and discussions with the marketing manager I was ready to facilitate a daylong workshop with the field teams that focused on what social media is, what social media isn’t, and different ways to engage with the customers; lots of tips and tricks, do’s and don’ts, and hands-on practice. I showed an outline to the marketing manager who liked the idea, but asked if we could do this in half a day, rather than a whole day. The half day turned into an hour and finally, at the end, I got 15 minutes.

Fifteen minutes to Improve Social Media. Obviously I had to throw the presentation out the window; with just 15 minutes, prioritization became the primary goal. In the end, I decided to focus on three objectives:

  • Why social media can improve the brand. It’s an important touch-point to interact with customers, potential growers, partners, and influencers.
  • The “Five C’s” of social: Clear, concise, creative, credible, and call to action; what makes for good social engagement.
  • Examples of wins; I did a deep audit of their channels and pulled some good examples from a few of the field members. Not only did this showcase good work, it got the competitive juices flowing with a few of the team members!

Was it successful? I did another audit a few months after the presentation, and based on what I saw, I’d say it was. Maybe not as successful as a full day’s session would have been – or half a day, or even an hour – but we saw considerable improvement. For starters, all the field team members started following the accounts, and there was a lot more tagging. The number of posts increased, and I saw more photos, more videos, more emojis, and more examples of filters. Most important, the number of customer engagements increased – which, at the end of day, is the whole point of social.

Social Media training now available in smaller increments. If you’re in the same boat as the marketing manager in this story – you know there’s a way to generate better, more engaging content, but you have folks on the team who need some pointers – give me a call and let’s start a conversation.