This is a question that I get asked a lot. It is probably because I often say, “social media works for sales. The problem is that most people don’t use social media the right way in order to generate sales”
Which is true.
What are the right ways, and some wrong ways to use social media to create client conversations and generate revenues?
- Be social
Use social media as a tool to prospect and network with your ideal customers and those who may help you meet your ideal customers. We don’t do this by always (or only) talking about our company. Share content that is NOT just about your company or yourself. Share experiences. Share stories.
Think of the type of conversation you may have with customers at a cocktail party or at dinner? How much of that conversation is business and how much is personal? What if your social post sharing followed the same ratio?
- Create Conversations
Use social posts and engage with your ideal customers as a system to meet them and for them to meet you. I met and got connected to an ideal customer a few weeks ago because she commented on my post about my 8 year old daughter and our 9-year old neighbor riding his mini dirt bike to our house and asking if she could go outside and play.
It was funny. It was a story that I would share with customers during a dinner because it was funny.
Only sharing content about your company and sending connection requests with the purpose of telling them your value proposition works. Occasionally! But, it is not as efficient nor establishes you as a trusted advisor like a more organic conversation supported by thought leadership content.
Most often it does not work because no one wants to be sold. We know this for all teh data and numerous articles about buyer behavior.
- Go slow to move fast
Networking and building buyer trust takes longer than just asking them for their time on a call so you can share your value proposition. Buyers want to work with trusted advisors not sales reps. In order to be seen as a trusted advisor, we need to earn trust and behave as a trusted advisor.
Consider this as a system…
- Engage with ideal customers in social media before sending a connection request
- Comment on their social posts or comment on posts in which they comment or like. Get in their line of sight
- Create content that would capture their attention and share it.
- After a few engagements, then send a connection request.
My experience is this type of system for meeting ideal customers escalates a conversation. If it occurs alongside emails and calls, it some cases, it leads to a conversation even faster.
- Act in a manner that attracts buyers
Buyers do their research before they reach out to a sales professional. If buyers want easy access to research, information and thought leadership, provide it for them. Be a source of information that helps buyers think through decisions and consider their role and their industry.
This is behavior that attracts buyers to anyone. Buyers look for information and people who can help them. Not those who would like to sell them something. It is a subtle difference but a huge difference.
- Be a trusted advisor
If we want our clients to think of us or consider us a thought leader, we need to behave like one. Thought leaders and industry experts consistently share valuable content that helps others consider challenges and company situations.
Sharing corporate thought leadership is a good strategy. But it is not the best strategy anymore because buyers are hesitant to read or place value in corporate content alone anymore.