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IMPLEMENT your Social Selling systematically and IMPROVE as you go

By Natalie Turner, Author of Yes, You Can Innovate and Sarah Lewis, Managing Director, Marketing By Design (5-minute read)

If you haven't read article 1, 2, or 3 on The Six 'I's®, Social Selling and PURPOSE, then go back and do that. It sets the context for system.

We have devised a series of articles to break down how The Six 'I's® can help with Social Selling:

  1. Create a Stand-Out Social Selling Strategy using the Six 'I's®
  2. IDENTIFY your audience and IGNITE ideas for Social Selling
  3. INVESTIGATE your Social Selling ideas to INVEST well
  4. IMPLEMENT your Social Selling systematically and IMPROVE as you go (This article)

In this article, we will look at how you make sure your ideas will actually work before investing in them and taking them to a wider audience.

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IMPLEMENT your Social Selling systematically

Phase purpose: IMPLEMENT with the mindset of COMMITMENT by bringing an idea to life and creating value.

These are the builders, the key skills here are project management. Now you have your list of ideas you need to put it to a schedule and build marketing partnerships. Here are some principles and tips you can use to develop a plan:

  • 2 pieces of longform content a month are more than enough, 3-4 will be difficult to produce.
  • Smaller pieces of content you can do more frequently, one 60-second video a week is possible.
  • Map content to events you are speaking at – you have a built-in marketing partnership and a #hashtag to hijack.
  • Map content to activities happening in the market, such as world days or big conferences you are not attending (like the World Economic Forum).
  • Build in space to reflect after events you speak at and adjust upcoming content based on what questions your audience asks you at events
  • Document everything with a photo album, video footage, testimonials, topic capture etc – at an event on stage, or in action brainstorming new ways to serve your customer, it is all useful.

You will also need to make a plan to deal with specific risks. If your activity is at a large corporation, then two come risks are failure of brand compliance and people acting outside the data protection systems you have up. In this phase, you will put in guidelines to address this. One example for video: a video can only be made on a company iPhone, a brand will be devised for this particular type of video, and a liaison or brand champion from your team will be trained and empowered.

Purpose Pause: Consider what happens as you implement your plan. If you wanted leads, are you getting them and the right kind? If you wanted profile, are you getting that? If you wanted new connections with certain kinds of people, is that what is emerging? This is where the PURPOSE of your activity becomes realised.

Your main output here should be the implementation of an effective social selling plan that is full of useful and concrete ideas that you can resource and address a specific relevant insight for your audience in your context.

IMPROVE as you go

Phase purpose: IMPROVE with the mindset of being CLEVER by optimizing an idea into another area of opportunity.

Now you get to look at the results of your new idea, the content you created, the medium you put it out in. With this data, you can evaluate whether or not your idea list worked and identify ways to improve. You can double down on what worked. Ask people who receive your content, or whom you connected with through social selling activities, what their experience was and what they would change. Create an environment where people can share what failed and what they would like to do better next time. Revisit your insights and personas and see if you think you delivered on them well. This is where most established social selling or social media marketing activities live (we call it optimisation) - it is important to take stock every so often by INVESTIGATING new ideas, revisiting IDENTIFY for a sense check, and keeping the trains running on time in IMPLEMENT.

Purpose pause: Did you achieve your PURPOSE? How could you achieve it better? Was it the nature of the ideas, the implementation, or the original insight choice?

Your main output here should be 3-5 SMART ways that you can improve implementation of an effective social selling plan that is full of useful and concrete ideas that you can resource and address a specific relevant insight for your audience in your context.

And repeat with a different insight…

Key takeaways

  1. Being systematic in the way to evaluate your social selling activities reveals opportunities to stand out from the crowd.
  2. Most people jump into IMPLEMENTING something they read or an idea they had, without pausing to think through their purpose for engaging in social selling and linking their activity to insights relevant to their audience.
  3. To avoid investing in social selling activity that does not deliver opportunities in areas of use to you, make sure that you stay tightly aligned to your purpose, insights, and audience – you are in a dynamic situation and it’s easy to go off on an interesting tangent.
  4. We have all developed a skill set over time that makes us better at one ‘I’ or another – for example Sarah is high on IDENTIFY and IMPROVE skills. She can show up with this skill set in my social selling to add an extra dimension and sophistication to my personal branding activity.

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If you liked this way of thinking, feel welcome to follow me on LinkedIn to get more insights.

I am a certified practitioner in The Six 'I's® of Innovation. I can help your marketing team become more innovative by helping them understand their innovation profile and how they contribute to the innovation journey.