As companies move sales activities online, social media is playing a greater role in the sales process. Most employees use social media in their personal lives, however, establishing a business presence on social media can be overwhelming. By equipping sellers with the right guidance, resources, and content, organizations can sustain social selling programs that enable stronger relationships with customers and prospects.
In my 12+ years at Guardian Life, one of the largest life insurance companies in the U.S., I developed and ran a social selling program for nearly 2,500 financial advisors. I learned a lot during my journey to build the program from scratch and see it mature. In this post and those that will follow, I’ll share findings from my experience that I hope will help your organization launch, scale, sustain, and, ultimately, win on social media.
Focus on what the data tells you
We’ve all heard someone say, “There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” And this couldn’t be more true when it comes to looking at Seismic LiveSocial user data. Looking at your program as a whole might not tell you the entire story and it may result in glossing over important data points that can help you focus on certain user populations.
Prior to joining Seismic, I had ~2,000 users on Seismic LiveSocial and the 80/20 rule applied to my user population, meaning about 20% of my users made up 80% of my activity. So, if I had focused on the totality of my program, I would not have seen what the data was telling me to focus on – the users who didn’t log into LiveSocial and rarely, if ever, shared content. To me, this was low-hanging fruit and it enabled me to address the reasons why these users were not logging into LiveSocial nor sharing content consistently.
Below is a list of the user segments I focused on the most to increase adoption.
- Users not activated
- Activated users – not logging in
- Activated users – logging in, but not sharing
- Activated users – Shared 1 piece of content during the previous 30-days
Ask to understand – don’t make assumptions
When it comes to developing a plan to increase user adoption, you first need to understand why users don’t log in or share content in LiveSocial. To help me better understand, I started by surveying these users to find out, why they were not taking advantage of their LiveSocial accounts. Doing this allowed me to focus my tactics to address their specific issues which resulted in increased usage.
These are the top three reasons our users weren’t using LiveSocial:
- LiveSocial was out of sight and out of mind.
- Content within LiveSocial was not relevant or interesting.
- They did not understand how to use LiveSocial.
Now you may think these issues aren’t related, but they’re actually intertwined. Since users didn’t understand how to use LiveSocial, the content that was curated for them wasn’t relevant or interesting – and because the content wasn’t interesting or relevant to them, LiveSocial wasn’t top-of-mind.
Once I understood the underlying issues, I was able to formulate a plan that addressed the reasons why users were not using LiveSocial.
How to increase adoption
My plan to increase adoption among this set of users included an email drip campaign to keep LiveSocial top-of-mind. I also provided training opportunities to coach users on how to use LiveSocial. The re-engagement email drip campaign lasted 4-weeks and, each week, it included a best practice and training resource, plus a link to sign up for that week’s live training session.
- Week 1: Start sharing content with LiveSocial
- Week 2: Not finding the right content in LiveSocial? Update your interest graphs now!
- Week 3: Schedule 5 pieces of content in just minutes!
- Week 4: Find out how your content is performing and adjust accordingly
The live training opportunity was 30-minutes each week and focused on the basics of LiveSocial. I didn’t care how many users showed up each week – if more than one person showed up, it was a win, as that meant my team had to do fewer 1:1 coaching sessions. These training sessions were such a hit that we made them a part of our monthly training. I was surprised by how many users showed up – not because they had specific questions – but because they were eager to learn.
Driving adoption is like a treadmill
In the end, my experience running a LiveSocial program taught me that driving adoption is like being on a treadmill – you’re always in motion, but you never really go anywhere. But this doesn’t mean you never reach your goal. It just means that if you slow down and lose focus on driving adoption, eventually the treadmill wins and spits you off the end. Driving adoption takes work and if you stop focusing on it, even the best programs will see adoption decrease.
Have questions about how you can apply this information to your own organization? Reach out to your customer success or account manager to discuss company-specific strategies!