77% of buyers are likely to make a purchase after hearing about it from someone they trust (Source: Nielsen).
Trust is in short supply, yet it remains a vital currency in building customer relationships.
In one of our recent LinkedIn Lives, Tribal Impact’s Justyna Brownbridge spoke to Ignacio Lancuba de Caro, Group Distribution Experience Manager at Generali, about their approach to activating their agents online and creating a network of trusted advisors.
Read a summary of the conversation in this blog or listen to the podcast below.
The Three Stages Of Turning Agents into Social Advisors
Globally, Generali has 161,000 advisors. Around 70-80,000 are professional advisors, and almost 70% of those advisors are now present online.
Ignacio described the process of activating their agents online as a transformation, noting that “every transformation is a journey that has different phases”.
When activating their agents online, Generali went through the following phases:
- Getting buy-in: This meant engaging with agents to make sure they were aware of the program and eager to join it. In Ignacio’s words, this was ‘easier said than done, but he did share with us a set of very specific tips on how to do so (see the ‘How To Encourage Advisors to Join Your Program’ section below)
- Adoption/activity: This stage involves getting employees to utilise tools and content provided by the program managers so that they become active online quicker. It means building the habit of weekly, or even daily, online interactions with customers. In Q1 of this year, 49% of Generali’s advisors shared at least four pieces of content per month.
- Engagement: This stage isn’t just about posting and being active; it’s about making sure employees engage with their target audience through inbound and outbound activities. This involves generating engagement, proximity, and regular contact with existing and potential customers through social media.
How To Encourage Advisors to Join Your Program
On average, a company’s employees have 10x more connections than the company has followers. (Source: LinkedIn). Getting advisors active online is key to building brand trust.
Because much of Generali’s workforce is 55+, a lot aren’t digitally savvy and have never had to use social media in a business context. Getting them onboard and ready involved:
- Showing the impact: In the beginning, when hardly anyone was active online, it helps to use case studies of advisors or agents who are proficient - internally or externally.
- Making it easy: Make sure that if they want to join the program, they have everything ready for them. Have a platform that makes it easy for the user to be online and engage with customers on social.
- Making it fun: How can you gamify the experience? Salespeople can be super competitive and in a large company like Generali, you can also utilise the sense of national pride. Recognise the work employees put in and reward them for it.
Should You Respond To Online Reviews?
“30% of consumers expect a response within three days if they leave a bad review. So being very reactive can make a big difference to brand trust.” - mentioned Ignacio.
Generali has put a lot of effort into improving review management on sites like Google My Business. There are 24 different online listings in total, although not all are major players in each country.
Ignacio explains that last year, their average response time was over 60 days. Now, it’s down to 3.2 days.
How To Track Social Media Success
Generali tracks success differently at each stage.
- Buying stage: How many countries or business units adhere to the program?
- Adoption/activity stage: How many advisors have a social media account? How many are actively posting online? These simple metrics give you a good idea of the direction your program is heading.
- Engagement stage: What’s their average response time to reviews? Is the overall sentiment positive? How many reviews are responded to? At Generali, the response rate is currently 86%.
Building Brand Trust
Becoming a trusted advisor on social media is all about engaging with your audience.
Each stage requires a different approach as you get employees involved, first by showing them the results they could generate, then by supporting them as they grow their brand.
The more actively employees are responding to customers and prospects, the more it develops that relationship and builds brand trust.
If you’d like to activate your salespeople online, get in touch today to find out how we can help.