In the past five years, social media has changed the way we communicate. It’s become a virtual gathering place to hang out, get to know people, and keep up with friend and family. So why not use the relationship building aspect of social media to help create a team culture of community as well?
Today, more than ever, this virtual connection is essential. In the past, direct sales teams were mainly built locally, face-to-face, through a party plan experience. Today, through social media and internet marketing, many people are building national (and even international) teams without ever meeting the people on their teams. What gets lost in that is the feeling of community and team that used to happen naturally because local teams met live and in person and got to know each other. Having an online gathering place for your team is essential. A Private Facebook group is one way to accomplish this in a forum that’s familiar to just about everyone.
Designing a Team Facebook Group empowers your organization to:
I love Facebook in general for it’s community building ability, and it’s amplified when you narrow down the experience to a specific group of people interacting for a specific reason. It’s visual (you can “see” the person with whom you’re interacting) and immediate (especially with the growth of smart phones over the course of the past few years. Facebook is, quite literally, in everyone’s hip pocket and pocket book all the time).
“Friending” among team members can strengthen relationships, build community, and create a bond of working together for the success of everyone. Members can view profiles of other team members they friend, learning more about that person, their family, and daily activities. And then when they come back to the group, they can use that acquired knowledge and “new” friendship to support each other even more. It’s also a great way to welcome a new person on your team “into the fold” and encourage your entire team to get to know them.
Your Facebook group can serve as “center stage” or a platform for team recognition. It’s a fantastic way to personally celebrate:
- Personal growth milestones
- Leadership achievements
- Personal best retail sales
- Sponsoring accomplishments
- Incentive or bonus winners
- Overall team highlights
Coach and Contribute:
Once your group becomes established, it will become the central “hub” for training resources where information and support can be found in one interactive location. Since the group is private and only for your team, your members will feel free to brainstorm solutions and support each other.
Here are a few ideas on how to use the group tools to enhance your team’s experience:
- Wall: You (as the leader) should be sharing tips, inspiration, and tools for success on the group’s wall. Make sure you have a place on your desktop (or a cool app like Evernote) to save these tidbits and gems when they come up so you can access them easily. If you post regularly, your team will get into the habit of checking the group to see what they can learn from you today.
- Files and Photos: You can post photos, MP3 recordings, useful documents, short trainings, even personal growth, and company event videos. You can also post (and encourage your team to share) photos.
- Events: Post upcoming team training and company events encouraging members to “RSVP” on the board and let others know if they are attending. These can be virtual or live events and it’s a great “layer” of fun to add to your existing invitation system.
- Group Message/Chat: Through the “message” feature, you can send group messages to everyone in the group or a select few. You decide, but this is a great way to alert everyone of an impending incentive deadline, share host or sponsoring specials, or anything else you need to remind them about.
Even if you only have a handful of team members, I encourage you to start a Facebook Private Group now. The more you grow, the more you’ll see the interaction of your group increase and the better you’ll be able to communicate with your team members.
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Julie Anne Jones is direct sales corporate consultant, coach, and trainer, and the CEO of Julie Anne Jones, Inc. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and tools for success in direct sales. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, and to read her weekly blog posts, visit her at www.julieannejones.com.