10 ways your business can get more out of Social Media for Business Development
Here are my top 10 recommendations for using social media to best effect as a business development channel.
- Marketing and Sales Unite! - first off, it's important to understand that social media channels can be used by both Sales and Marketing people in your business, but if you don't get them working closely together, you'll have a lot less impact in the marketplace. For example, sales people can personally refer their contacts to blogs, company pages and groups managed by your marketing team. And both sales and marketing can club together to create twitter content, respond to online discussions and co-present online webinars. Marketing can monitor social media sites for potential customer opportunities, and then pass details on to the sales guy who follows up with a more personal introduction.
- Long-term detailed marketing plans become a thing of the past - we need to learn to move at a much quicker pace, responding to opportunities as they happen. In practice, this means developing a less detailed long-term marketing plan. Then each month, review what's happening in your market place and respond with communications that are more topical and current.
- Fairness and Transparency - online reviews and recommendations found on social media sites are giving the marketplace a clearer indication of where to find quality services and products. In this environment the best, and not necessarily the biggest, will rise to the top. That's great news for small businesses who can successfully get their customers to provide positive reviews on their Facebook, YouTube or LinkedIn company pages.
- Loosen The Reins - it's time to give up the illusion that we can keep centralised control of all online content. Instead we have to find ways to allow company-wide activity whilst managing the risks. A good Social Media Policy and internal training will help your business cope better.
- Empower Your People - don't just involve Sales & Marketing. If it's service or knowledge you sell, your people are your brand, and that includes your front-of-house people, your technical experts, your consultants and management. For best results, get everyone on board and support their involvement with guidelines and training.
- Greater Visibility and Engagement - visibility works two ways. Now you can also find out much more about your customers via blogs, profiles, twitter, online comments etc. If used with integrity, this should lead to better levels of engagement, as you have deeper conversations with customers and prospects when you up-sell, cross-sell or start a business relationship for the first time.
- Don't just broadcast - social media works best when your communication runs both ways. People will respond more favourably to what you have to say if you also take time to listen. Respond with good advice or thoughtful comments and don't be afraid to show some personality as well. The friendly, helpful approach is always much more appealing.
- Tailor Text For Social Media Audiences - when you've got something to say, don't just post your latest press release. Better to re-write in a conversational blog style for higher impact. Informal, personable, honest communication works best.
- Be Positive About Criticism - if someone openly disagrees or challenges you online - don't just delete. Respond with your point of view. This is an opportunity to show what you're made of, win friends and possibly new customers.
- Save Time By Using The Right Tools - Programmes like Hootsuite and TweetDeck have made social media content management much more efficient. Now you can view multiple streams of content in one window, and it's so much easier to monitor key phrases and company mentions by setting up streams that capture and display mentions in real time.
If your business needs help utilising social media for Sales & Marketing, then why not contact Susanne Currid today to arrange a 'no obligation' chat, or alternatively find out more about our 2 or 4 hour personalised Social Media Marketing Advisory Sessions here.