Earlier in this month, I shared a post about marketing extraordinaire Jill Rowley (@jill_rowley) and her inspirational efforts to build engaged cultures of social employees. In the post, I discussed how Rowley has become a champion of the why within the walls of Oracle (@Oracle), helping to transform their culture of over 23,000 employees into engaged brand ambassadors. Since then, I’ve had a chance to learn a little more about her social business philosophies and how they are driving her efforts both at Oracle and elsewhere in the digital bazaar.
So because Rowley has been so generous in helping to put the spotlight on our Amazon bestselling book, The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, 2013), let’s put the spotlight back on her one more time. After all, acting in a spirit of mutual assistance and community is what being a social employee is all about!
Social selling isn’t selling at all – It’s helping
Rowley isn’t especially a fan of the term “social selling,” mostly because she thinks it’s misleading. In her recent piece for Forbes, Rowley said, “Modern sales professionals aren’t actually sellers. They are businesspeople who provide insight to help influence what people buy.”
This distinction is important, as last year’s Nielsen study found that people were more likely to trust recommendations from friends or trusted online sources than from anywhere else. Of course, this has probably been true since long before the advent of social media. Rowley elaborated on this concept in a recent interview with B2BMarketingPortal.com:
No one has ever wanted to be sold to, and now they don’t have to tolerate it. People have always bought from people they know, like, and trust, so use your social networks to get people to know you, to like you, and to trust you.
To see some of the ways Rowley works to build that trust, check out her video on BrightTalk.
A different kind of ROI
In The Social Employee, we argue that brands who focus on the ROI of social engagement are missing the point, sometimes comically so. However, as Rowley points out, there is a different kind of ROI that brands should be worried about: Risk of Ignoring. Explains Rowley:
If you just look at the data, 92% of B2B buyers start their search on the web, and 82% of the world’s online population can be reached via social networks. So you cannot afford not to make time for social.
Marketing has always been about finding out where your customers, prospects, and influencers hang out, and then learning how best to reach them. With the rise of social media, those “hangouts” have gone virtual. Since the nature of communities has changed, brands must learn to change their nature as well.
This is precisely what Rowley is doing at Oracle. Generating business through social engagement is important, but not as important as the underlying cultural philosophies that drive social selling best practices in the digital bazaar. We are proud to consider Rowley an ally in the @SocialEmployee revolution and excited to watch her steer Oracle into the future of social business.
Do you work with a social employee evangelist at your business? Tell us about who they are and what they’re doing in the comments below!
In The Social Employee, we go behind the scenes with several leading brands—such as IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo—pulling the lid off the inspiring social business success stories that have propelled these companies into the 21st century. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
“Great brands have always started on the inside, but why are companies taking so long to leverage the great opportunities offered by internal social media? . . . The Social Employee lifts the lid on this potential and provides guidance for businesses everywhere.” —JEZ FRAMPTON, Global Chairman and CEO, Interbrand
The Social Employee offers an unparalleled behind-the-scenes look at the social business success stories of some of the biggest brand names in the business world, including IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
The brands that leverage their employee base in order to engage customers and prospects through social media are the ones destined to win the marketing wars. This book not only details the astronomical rise of the social employee, but also outlines the innovative methods that leading companies have employed to foster cultures of enthusiastic and engaged workers.
AFTERWORD by Kevin Randall, Vice President of Brand Strategy & Research at
Movéo Integrated Branding, and a columnist for Fast Company