1. You must be present to win. It’s important to be found in today’s social media world. I see it as the equivalent of yesterday’s web address. The first thing I do is look for people on social media and then look up their website or blog. As they request more information and learn more about what you have to offer, you’ll receive the necessary permission to directly market to them and take things to the next level. Can your prospects and clients readily find you on more than one social media platform?
2. Most people want to get engaged before they get married. Engagement is essential in this digital marketplace. Getting in the game and connecting to others there is a way to build virtual bridges and deepen trust with your prospects. Potential buyers scope us out before we meet and once we meet can readily stay in touch through social media. This is not a place to be salesy and overbearing. Letting people get to know you first gives opportunity for them to become more familiar with your expertise and the value you have to offer them. Look at your recent posts, are they focused generating a sale or a lead?
3. Go where your people are and spend most of your time there. Though I encourage prospects and clients to be found on multiple platforms, the truth is we can’t be in all these places at one time. Even Hootsuite can’t take the place of personally showing up in real time and connecting with people. So find out where most of your potential clients are likely to spend their time and make sure that you show up there. Learn what you can about that platform to maximize its benefits for the greatest good for both your business and those you serve. Which platform will you find more of your ideal clients? Are you hanging out there as well?
4. Share knowledge and tips, insights and valuable information but also be real and relatable. Look back over your posts and check the numbers. You’ll find that some of your greatest response came from your greatest authenticity and accessibility. So make it a point to mix it up. Share relevant information but be sure to include inspiration, wisdom and humor. People not only will be encouraged but may likely pass your post along by sharing it with others and that helps your posts go viral. How relatable are you? Have you positioned yourself for greater accessibility so that people are able to readily contact you?
5. Golden Rule: Like, comment, and share if you want to other to like, comment and share. Do unto others is a great rule of thumb in life and business and works wonders in social media. It’s not enough to watch from the sideline and then wonder why no one likes, comments or shares. Do for them and their businesses what you want them to do for you and your business. It’s the timeless principle of what goes around comes around and I’ve seen it work time and again. When was the last time you took time to like, comment and share posts that have come through your newsfeed? Take a few minutes and get in there!
6. Chat’s where its at: Of course, people don’t want to be hounded during their work day with chit chat but they will be grateful if you’re available to answer questions or help them work through work challenges they may be having. I’ve found that it’s quicker to get someone through the Facebook chat than through email. Business relationships started offline can readily and easily take place in real time online through the chat and private messages. And the reverse is true as well. You may start a conversation online that leads to a coffee meeting, strategy session, joint venture opportunity and a new client. Look at who’s on social media right now. Look at business cards and contacts you’ve received over the past couple of weeks. Take a sec and jump in there and invite someone for coffee, tell them you want to learn more about what they do. Across the street? Head to your local café. Across town, the nation or the world? You can get on Google+ Hangout or Skype and grab a virtual coffee and a get acquainted session.
7. Make peace with social media as an integral part of your marketing. Even if you don’t love it, social media is a major part of the way people connect and cultivate relationships. Relationships trump everything and are the key to success in business and so social media becomes a marketing must-have in the 21st century. It all about how you use this dynamic tool to grow your network of clients and colleagues. Save pictures of your cat, how you’re doing on Candy Crush Saga and political and religious rants for your personal page. Change your personal settings if you like, so you’re only found by family and friends but keep the virtual door open for your business so people can find you and like what they find.