The Art and Science of Selling has for a long time been in a state of flux and much of that rapid change comes at the hands of the implementation of Social Media. The days of “Cold Calling” and blind emails, while not gone…are rapidly changing to put companies and their Sales Professionals in a different world from those who still perform the “old school selling style”. So what is this “Business of Social Media”?
For years I saw the writing on the walls and knew that if I was going to be able to compete in this brave new world, I would need to change the way that I approached potential customers. Sure I had had a LinkedIn Account since Day 2 of my selling career but it was really nothing more than a very weak resume. I had Facebook (begrudgingly I must say) but it was really for playing games, Twitter was odd and I just didn’t get it and blogging…well who would want to listen to me ramble on and on.
Then there was a day that the light bulb came on and I saw an opportunity for me to just step out of the shadows and lead rather than follow. I decided that I, just one person would take on the world and try my hand at this Social Media thing.
Well, that was in April of 2011 and as I approach my 3rd Anniversary of this “experiment” there are some truths that I have learned the hard way…and some I learned from diving into the plethora of “expertise” that is rambling out there on the Interwebz. Today I figured I would share some Kripsifications on Social Media for Business that I found over at Inside Higher Ed.
For me, this is the only Social Media Platform that I have tried to keep personal, but there has (as there always is) some spillage of customer relationships from my Business Life into my Personal Life. For business though, this is the “fun” marketing area. Sure, your business may live in the B2B space and there is no real need to target the world of Facebook but I don’t totally agree. Facebook is not necessarily about getting the sale, it is about the good will and the communication. It is about the Brand and the connection you make with your customers and your future customers. Social Media for Business is not about the Broadcast, it is about the Conversation and the Context…use that to your advantage. If you haven’t already started…build your first Facebook Fan Page and work a budget for Facebook Ads…there is over 1 Billion Users there!
There is an Art to the Tweet, and if you can get the “content” and the “context” down, and build out your message that is normally a 10 minute dialogue down to just 140 characters…well the reality is…you will gather followers and from followers comes retweets and from retweets comes favorites and from favorites comes direct messages and then…you have built an instant connection to your most valuable resource…Brand Champions! I have seen many companies use Twitter for nothing more than broadcasting their press releases and their job opportunities and there is value in this…but why not openly engage your community with Twitter. The Hashtag (#) can be your best friend…but the art of communication in 140 characters is a skill that takes some getting used to…but well worth it in the long run.
Building a Brand is not easy. Having that Brand be recognizable takes time and you need to become visible to those who are looking for what you are offering. To do so with just SEO is tough enough but the inclusion of Google+ into your Social Media Plans makes that all very much so easier. With nearly 70% of the Search Market Share…Google is still king of the mountain when it comes to how most people search for the things that matter to them and the connection of Google+ to that means that there are real opportunities for growing your Brand…but more than that, Google+ incorporates 2 really great features into the mix…First is the Circle, which lets you categorize how your Contacts are sorted in a very logical way and Second…the Hangout…what can I say about the ability to make Free Calls and Video Chat with up to 10 people to collaborate or strategize or just build that stronger connection.
If Content is King, then Video is the Queen and the domination of YouTube as a way of visually communicating a message is truly second to none. I have avoided doing this myself because I have always thought who would want to see this ugly mug on their Computer but recently I have started to work on some content that will liven up the world of Krispy’s Bytes and beyond…so expect to see some Video Blogs coming up. The YouTube Creator Hub is a great resource for Building out your message through Video and again, being connected to Google, can’t hurt your chances of building your Brand.
So these are 4 of the many, many options within the world of Social Media and one reason why I chose to look at these 4 first (and yes I purposely left LinkedIn out) is because the context and connection is far more important to doing business in this new Social Media driven world. It is hard to be everywhere at the same time (heck I tried for a while and it was just too hard maintaining 35 Social Profiles and doing my Full Time Job)…but the rewards if done right are amazing.
LinkedIn though does deserve its own look and later this week that is what I will do. A future post I will also look at Pinterest, Instagram and a few of the other networks out there with more Krispifications for you.
Cheers and have a great day!