Published: June 28, 2012
If you wanted to create a private and “secret” online community to facilitate engagement and sharing between your sales professionals or dealer/distributor network, here is what most businesses would consider (and why they wouldn’t be our first choice):
- Custom Community or “Extranet” – slow to implement with high cost
- Forums, Google Sites, etc. – not a fluid configuration, dated functionality
- Yammer.com – email address restricted
- Chatter – tied to Salesforce and pricey
- Google+ – great features but too early in development
Throw in trying to make it mobile friendly, and you can see the challenges businesses are faced with when finding an online engagement solution.
Here’s an idea – how about creating a private online group that’s already mobile friendly, already exists as a social channel, AND most of your targeted members already use personally? Yep, you guessed it – Facebook! Facebook has the ability to create private secret groups, and the basic mechanics of doing so are included in a great Facebook Group article by Social Media Examiner from late last year.
In addition to the business uses mentioned (i.e. employees, independent contractors, crisis management teams, etc.) – we recommend using secret groups to create an engagement “community” with your sales and distributor networks. This strategy integrates seamlessly with most group member’s personal communication flow, and for those who may be new to Facebook, the ease of use in sharing is incredibly intuitive. Added benefits include:
- Minimal Cost
- Quick to Deploy
- Relative Security
- Content Sharing (i.e documents, articles, video, photos, etc.)
As with any engagement tool, there needs to be an implementation strategy within your organization to effectively build the community. Envano Social Media Experts can help coach you through the challenges and help you succeed.