Is your field service representative a brand ambassador? In a previous post I wrote that the number of field service personnel in the United State is five million and growing. I would like to make a little bit of a distinction here–field service differs from a remote employee. Remote employees are those employees who work in a home office away from the corporate offices. Field service employees do the same, but typically work in customer’s office or facilities away from home. These ambassadors of your brand, the ones who visit customers regularly have the opportunity to influence existing and potential customers.
No job role in an organization has the potential for a greater impact on social media than the field service reps. Constantly in contact with customers, installing, servicing, and problem solving, all have the potential to make great stories for social media. Field service reps have the material that marketing departments pine for. Success stories that occur daily. True, not every story has a dramatic conclusion, but do not minimize the impact of fifty or one hundred narrators of your company’s story.
In Sonja Dreher’s research paper “Social Media and the World of Work”, she discusses eight essential items for social media success.
1. Research – Research the best social media outlet for your reps and your brand. These might be Google +, Facebook, Twitter, or a WordPress Blog.
2. Access – Understand how your employees can access and update the social media selected. A WordPress blog might be the most compete media, but would be difficult for reps to update on the fly. A media that can be updated with a smartphone is best.
3. Commitment – The organization must commit to a long-term social media strategy.
4. Social Media Team – As important as participation internally is the involvement of the media team in the use of material for external customers.
5. Guidelines and Policies – There will always have to be rules. The media team needs to decide what is appropriate and what is not.
6. Training and Education – Not everyone is adept on the use of social media. Training on use of social media is as important as training on a new piece of equipment.
7. Integration – The social media team needs to integrate input from the field in their overall strategy of press releases, job stories, and lessons learned.
8. Goal Setting and Measurement – There are those who will embrace the strategy and those who will not. Goal setting needs to start with a minimum participation level and work up from there.
The potential of a field service social media strategy is overwhelming. Work orders and job assignments are commonplace in field service management, these provide the nuts and bolts of where reps will be and what they have scheduled. Most, if not all, reps have use of connected laptops, tablets or smartphones. These provide the mechanisms to contribute photos and stories. Most field service organizations have the tools to begin this program, all that is needed is a strategy, some internal guidelines, and the plan.
Take your field service representatives and turn them into social media brand ambassadors.
(Citation and Link)
Sonja Dreher , (2014) “Social media and the world of work : A Strategic Approach to Employees’ Participation in Social Media”, Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 19 Iss: 4, pp.344 – 356
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