Social media isn't just for marketing - put sales to work, too

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Social media is a many-to-many conversation. That is precisely why it is high time social media moves beyond the marketing department and into sales. For marketers, who traditionally use a one-to-many conversation, it may be difficult to make this leap. However, it is possible to make that transition well if you take the time to think it through.

First, have a social media expert provide training. That expert can either be a consultant or a team member who can teach your salespeople the value of social media, etiquette, where the best channels are, and how to incorporate the company's message without trying to sell the customer.

Then, your marketing team should monitor the sales team using a third-party solution; they should provide feedback to the salespeople on their performance and monitor the results of the efforts with a Web metrics tool.

There is always the chance that a salesperson will go rogue, but that can occur even without a social media program for sales. The fear of what might happen should not stop us from taking advantage of the benefits to be had from the many-to many conversation that social media makes possible.

Christine G.D. Schaefer is vice president of marketing at DLT Solutions

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