You feel the bzzzz of your phone and your heart jumps. Who is it this time? You thrust your hand into your pocket, your mind racing to think of everyone and everything that could be trying to reach you. How many times does this happen to you on a daily basis? The fact that you’re anticipating what the notification might be before you even see it suggests there is some other factor at play here—one that means you may end up engaging your phone much more than you do your work. Today it’s common practice for sales managers to utilize social media techniques to engage their sales teams on internal platforms, and it's time your business did the same. Let's walk through the 4 key elements of social media that will boost engagement amongst your sales reps:
Sharing on social media has become the primary way we inform our friends and the world of our everyday activities. Studies have shown that social media users visit sites like Facebook and Twitter for 3 key reasons: self-preservation; the strengthening of relationships; and as a social currency. Another study demonstrated that 62% of people feel better about themselves when others react positively to what they share on social media. Now imagine harnessing this same reaction to incentivize your workforce to engage each other and your clients at unprecedented levels.
Liking, commenting, and sharing posts allow social media users to strengthen bonds with friends and family near and far. They find that engagement on social media adds meaning to their relationships and encourages reciprocity; if users engage with their friends, they encourage them to return the favor by engaging back, thus creating a two-way relationship. Through encouraging your workforce to engage with each other over an internal network, you will foster a stronger team bond and a healthy competitive atmosphere between reps. Not only will this boost morale within the office, but it will elevate sales performances.
Another technique that social networks employ to engage their users is the use of frequent notifications. The buzz of a notification in your pocket when a message or post reaches your phone induces a kick of dopamine, the hormone associated with reward and motivation response in the brain, secreted during addictive experiences. Every time a user receives a notification or a little “1” icon above an app, the brain instinctively responds positively, as the user feels a sense of pleasure from interaction with others. When the user follows up on a notification, the mind ancitipates the "big reveal." It’s the same reason people love scratch cards: either you win nothing, or you win a holiday for one to Blackpool.
Similar to the psychological impact of notifications, a newsfeed is equally addictive due to its "infinite" quality. With each successive scroll, a user hopes to stumble upon the article, blog post, or photo that will catch their attention and make them feel more included within a community. On sites that use newsfeeds to entice users, the frequency of posts that are relevant or interesting to the user will vary dramatically depending on the size of user base. However, when using internal social media, the network is restricted to just your sales team, which will significantly increase the relevance of posts to your team. Members will only see posts shared by you or the rest of the team, thus maintaining their engagement in the platform and focusing their interest on exclusively work-related content.
The use of gamification is the final, and possibly most important, aspect of coaching your sales reps and encouraging them to return to your internal platform. ‘Gamification’ in practice means the use of quizzes and challenges that enhance your sales reps’ understanding of their field and motivate them to compete head-to-head with a constructive, competitive spirit. With gamification being an key component of microlearning, and challenges boosting team competition, the pair make up the two essential tasks to inspire your teams to work not only for you, but for themselves.
The appeal and benefits of gamification and social media are not at all unfamiliar to us, and finding an effective way to integrate these technologies into your work environment has never been easier. Learning from the techniques of social media, we can adopt many of them to foster a positive team spirit and boost user engagement with internal networks. If you're going to be engrossed by one app on your phone, why not make it a productive one?