We also talked about not being able to leave such available intelligence on the table if is already in the public domain.
We at Gilead make no statement in respect of the systemic merits (or otherwise) of surveillance. However, we plainly hold that employing the means to access and filter material information from that social intelligence is irresistible for sales professionals.
Twitter is by no means the only source of such social media intelligence, but the tools available and the public domain information may be useful if employed effectively. Having the tools and the available intelligence doesn’t, however, necessarily lead toward a successful sales programme.
Software tool providers are not shrinking violets when it comes to making claims about the essentiality of their products as the following illustrates:
However, as is the case for most software systems, the makers and marketers are often the least effective in providing the lead in successfully deploying their systems in commercial enterprises.
When employing social media for sales and marketing purposes, there are two critical aspects to be weighed ahead of assessing the quality of information derived from them. The first one concerns identity, and the second one is the question of whether the content is an honest admission, or otherwise.
In the sales & service sense, if you have a contact or candidate, and you can confirm that the social media identity you have located is a match for that contact, then you have a start. Then you must assess whether that social media contributor chooses to volunteer genuine information, and if that information is material. In other words there are a lot of ifs.
And there are no lesser amount of buts. Consider a situation where SocialBro became a hit and is deployed widely in the transportation sales market, and you have deployed that system in your organisation. Your sales person has assured you that the twitter identity and your candidate are indeed one and the same, and they are volunteering private information…
Then follows the question: it may be material, but is it useful? And if it is - how will you use it? Will you inform your sales call contact how you came across the information? What do you anticipate their reaction will be? What happens when several sales people from competing organisations all access the same intelligence, and perhaps many employ it clumsily? It is rather obvious to many that initiating calls & campaigns based solely upon intelligence derived from surveillance is fraught with hazard.
The most useful information gathered from social media, however, may be that which informs the parties of existing common ground and interests within the parties 3 degrees of connectedness. For both parties, the value of existing connectedness (in social, philosophical, or commercial terms) surfacing stands on its own merits - as it always has done.
It is obvious that the sales person will try to associate themselves with the orbit of their prospect, but it is important to recognise, that in a maturing social media derived surveillance world, that prospect is defining and leading the presentation of that orbit on a voluntary basis. If they are a critical decision maker, they will come to carefully manage their identities and what information they release in the public domain.
On another day, we may discuss twists and turns in respect of the personal identity issue in social media. As SocialBro itself states above, the process of commercialising marketing ideas developed by intelligence agencies is well underway. The idea of social media identities being out there building followers based upon their advocacy of a fashionable moral crusade for the expressed purpose of later selling that identity for commercial interest should not shock or surprise a marketing professional.