As social media finds its way into more B2B marketing plans, being a lone advocate for customer engagement and sharing valuable content online can be a difficult situation. If you are charged with creating the social media part of that plan, it would help if there are others within your company who understand the value of social media and can spread the word. These are not necessarily executive level champions, although those need to exist if you are to be successful, but people in other departments who have begun using social media. Here are some ways you can find other internal champions within your company.
1. Talk to Colleagues
Depending on the size of your company, you may already know who in your company is using Twitter or has an industry blog, however, if you don’t, start by asking others. If someone is using the social web to connect and communicate with others in the industry, it is very likely people in your company are already aware of it. Since a big part of social media is sharing, these bloggers are certainly sharing their posts with colleagues.
2. Host a Lunch and Learn
Company meetings to present information and share the latest topics relevant in your industry are great ways to find other social media advocates. Present a basic social media overview, and those already using it will attend to see what you have to say. It will be obvious by the questions and comments that some people are already adept at using social media, so make sure you seek those people out after the meeting. That is, if they don’t seek you out first.
3. Seek Out Smartphone Users
Keeping up with social networks, especially in a corporate environment, is easily done on a smartphone. While many corporate folks are constantly checking their email on their BlackBerry, look for those who seem to be checking Twitter, Facebook and maybe even checking in using location-based apps on their smartphone.
4. Search Twitter
Use Twitter search tools to find people tweeting about your company and industry. Sometimes it will surprise you to find that there are internal people talking about your company to the industry. They understand the platform and are building an industry network to communicate with. These are people who can assist in the company’s social media success by sharing relevant company information and explaining the value of social media to others within the company.
5. Search Industry Blogs and Forums
In any industry there are people thinking and writing about relevant industry topics. By searching blogs, forums and other online spaces for your company mentions and other key industry terms, you may find a leading industry blogger who works for your company. If they do not identify with your company by name (for example, a leading technology company), don’t assume they will move their blog within the corporate marketing space. There is value for both them and the company to be an independent blogger. You may also find company employees blogging about non-work related topics. As people who understand the platform, they may be willing to start blogging on a company site about industry topics.
6. Ask the Intern
It is a common misconception that younger employees are fully versed in social media, but that is not always the case. Even so, don’t overlook company interns as people who can help execute social media plans, with guidance, of course. They are also a good resource to identify others who are using social platforms.
What are some other ways you have identified social media practitioners within your company?