The importance of social selling and employee advocacy: Kelly’s interview with SoAmpli

A couple of month’s ago, SoAmpli reached out to our Digital Marketing Specialist, Kelly Newcomb to get her insight into the importance of social selling and employee advocacy for small businesses and clients. In her interview, Kelly discusses some of the techniques she uses to improve conversion rates and ROI, as well as some tips for avoiding costly mistakes.

You can read her interview in full here:

Summarise your role and what Plume stands for

Plume is a niche elearning design and development agency with clients in the UK and around the world.

Frustrated by the limitations and ongoing expense of off-the-shelf learning management systems (LMS), our clients come to us to help create them a fully custom system. We also offer other specialist elearning services, such as tailored marketing packages, conversion rate optimisation and landing page design which is usually lead by myself.

How do you best utilise social media and social selling techniques for Plume?

Social media is a great place for us to share our work with other elearning developers and course content creators. We use a combination of posting on our channels, as well as into groups to maximize our reach. Sharing on social media keeps our profiles active as well as being a kind of digital portfolio where we handpick content from a range of resources and case studies to share with our various audiences. It’s safe to assume that for the most part, people won’t discover us through social media, but will check our profiles to reaffirm our trustworthiness and digital marketing skills.

For us, LinkedIn has the best engagement as we’ll share content from our own profiles to our network; made up of personal connections, industry leaders and elearning professionals. The power of comments and interactions from members on LinkedIn is far more powerful as engagements can be seen as a kind of endorsement, and allows us to reach our connections’ own network.

What do you like/dislike the most about social media?

If I get into all the things I like, I fear I’d run the risk of creating an essay. But if I had to pick one thing, it would be the connectivity. Social media can be an inspiring place, allowing you to connect with thought leaders (as well as long-lost family from overseas) and interest groups that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to find without social media.

I dislike how over saturated it is. It’s extremely challenging for small businesses to make social media work for them. Building a following is more challenging as it requires expertise, time and creativity with a very low ROI. For business owners, unless they see social media as a selling channel, they’ll likely deprioritise sharing on social media over time, leaving behind a scarcely update profile. In my opinion, there’s something rather sad about pages that are updated less than weekly; when you have a sparkling website and then see a page forgotten like this it prompts me to ask the question; “hello? Is anyone there?”

How important is content for the lead generation that Plume does?

Content is essential for us. We aim to create weekly blogs or case studies which act as demonstrations of our expertise. A number of our clients comment on the features showcased in our case studies and often draw on these for inspirations. It great chatting to a client who is really drawn to our designs – it’s one of the things we are most proud of. The resources are important too, especially for myself. They show that we care about our industry and really understand our clients. Even though our blog content gets fewer page views, almost every top of funnel lead that comes in will check the blog, reading headlines and summaries.

Are you a fan of employee advocacy? If so, how do you use it in Plume?

Employee advocacy is essential. As a Digital Marketing Specialist, I know how vital it is for me to share my clients’ passion for what they do. If I can’t speak to them it’s hard to get that spark, making it harder for me to translate what they do and, most importantly, why. It’s the same internally.

If I didn’t believe that this company is doing good things and doing them well, it would be harder for me to write blogs and web copy, and talking to new clients on the phone wouldn’t be as fun. We have an incredibly talented and passionate team, if someone here didn’t share in that I think it would make their job less rewarding. Here we’re not given incentives per se (no KPIs), but we share in the success of the business in a variety of ways.

Who are you a big fan of on social media? And why do you like what they post?

I’m a big fan of YouTube, I learn from narration and visual aids, so its a great place to learn new ideas and buff my digital marketing skills. On my work YouTube (yes, I have a work YouTube) I really enjoy Ahrefs’ and Search Engine Journal’s videos. Ahrefs is targeted at those that use their products, while SEJ uploads their webinars so I can catch up on ones I’ve missed.

I’ve also really been getting into The Futur, a YouTuber who covers topics around sales and client management, aimed at helping those who work in creative industries. I highly recommend you check these channels out.

How do you think social media has evolved – and what do you expect for 2020?

Without going into each channel, I think the biggest evolution has been on LinkedIn. It’s gone from being this niche professional platform to becoming a more interactive sharing platform, mimicking a lot of Facebook’s features. We’re seeing people sharing their business expertise and business woes and I welcome this. When you consider that we spend 50% of our time at work we should have a platform to share this aspect of our lives. I have to say, I’ve connected with a lot of very interesting people who’ve shared great ideas over the years.

I’m not a fan of trying to predict trends for the future. Every year I see the same stuff, more AR, new features on different platforms – it’s really hard to say. I can tell you what I’d like to see though; more transparency and control over our settings and data. Not because I’m too afraid of how my data is used, but more because I care about a tailored experience. I’m probably one of the few people who does want to see relevant ads but I also want to know who these people are behind the ads. Have they been vetted or will I be scammed?

Additionally, I use social media for a lot of news stories and have a pet-hate for the spreading of fake news and misinformation. These sites need to step up their game when it comes to reviewing content. It’s time to stop cutting corners when you know automating the process isn’t working effectively.

A big thank you to Hayley Paterson at SoAmpli for reaching out and conducting the interview.

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