Social networks allow a person to connect, communicate, contribute, coordinate and learn. When maximized, social networks can take a company with a previously limited reach, and grow it exponentially. While recent research indicates that distributors realize the need for social media, the actual commitment to connect successfully is lagging behind other industries. Unfortunately, those who fail to evolve their communications strategy will miss out on the opportunities to create and build on the relationships that are forged with customers, prospects and vendors online.

Emerging young business leaders rely on social media for more than just fun. In its “Grand Guide to Social Selling,” sales and marketing firm Eloqua, explains the importance of having a social media strategy:

“Unless you work under a rock, you’ve probably witnessed how the Internet upended the sales cycle. Buyers are able to do the vast majority of their research online with a simple Google search. Social media fundamentally changed the way people bought again as potential buyers could reach out to peers in the industry, accessing a tremendous amount of ‘street knowledge’ without ever having to ‘deal with’ a sales rep.”

Delegation can help distributors eat this elephant one bite a time. With a team of tech-savvy employees and a plan in place to proliferate reach, a company’s news, product announcements, success stories, and company events will spread with the efficiency and ease of a well-oiled machine.

Specifically, a distributor’s “Social Media Team” should include one point person, typically a marketing coordinator or someone in a similar position. This person is in charge of the company’s social media pages.

An active presence on social media networks can significantly impact the vitality of a company’s brand. Additionally, sales and manufacturer representatives can create their own profiles. Their individual pages can act as their own brand, too, but also support the social media team's main marketing message.

If your company or employees are not already participating in social networks, getting started is an easy thing to do. Once everyone is on board, its time to start maximizing the marketing message via key social sites.

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