In today’s business world, it is just as important to have a presence on social media as it is to have a website. Social sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are providing unprecedented access to your customers and prospects when and where they are online. For some social networks, the business-to-business segment is growing as fast as two new members every second. This continues to evolve quickly because so much information is now instantly available to the buyer, giving them the ability to evaluate and select or eliminate your company faster then ever.
Why you should participate
Social networks enable access to a large number of competitors and customers for research, monitoring and conversations online. Before you fully jump in, you should first examine what your target customers are sharing and posting to better understand their needs, then look for ways to engage them. A good example would be utilizing LinkedIn to data mine for key stakeholders in your target audience, then connecting with them or following their company to stay up to date on their latest news. They may have a recent contract win you can leverage as you reach out and build rapport or offer your services.
Social networks also allow your team to present industry knowledge and become recognized as thought leaders. With the ability to have real conversations, social selling has started to eliminate the time drain of cold calling, as your prospects become qualified based on interactions and connections.
How you should participate
With so many new networks going online every day, research is key to see where your audience and customers are participating. Focus on your top three and set realistic goals, whether it is 10 new followers a week or 100 new engagements per month.
Once you start participating, you will have the ability to share case studies, promote tradeshows you’ll be attending and connect with other industry thought leaders. Leverage and empower your team to post on topics relevant to your company and industry to provide additional reach, but make sure you have guidelines in place regarding how to participate online.
So if you’re new to social media or are just kicking off your program, do your research first, and then let social media go to work for your company.