Social media is a great marketing tool. It's cost-effective. It's fast. It's unwrapped. It's a fantastic channel to connect and interact with your target group and showcase your services and products in front of the entire digital spectrum. But many businesses do it wrong when they only focus on posting and sharing content. A major part of social media success depends upon your industry authority, networking skills and your approach towards your target audience.
When it comes to B2C marketing, targeting and approaching the potential group is easy, unlike the B2B model, where you need to deal with the hard-core professionals, who already know the drill. It's a tricky yet rewarding journey, only if you can make it to the destination.
Here are some dos and don'ts that you need to remember while approaching a business decision maker and your potential client.
Don't initiate conversation with an automated or predefined message. This is one of the biggest turn-offs on social media. Automated messages like "Thanks for the follow. Read my blogs here www.myblog.com" or "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn" is a big no-no. These messages are not only annoying, but also lack the much-desired personal touch.
Do send personalized messages. Everyone is different and so should your behavior be while approaching them. Before sending a request to someone, research well on the person and his company. Moreover, let the other person feel that you genuinely want to make a connection and thus have invested some time on him. Create a personalized message with your insights.
On the above invitation, I made it clear that I have conducted a research on him. When he would find the message, it would be delightful for him to see how his actions are being appreciated and he might, in turn, consider visiting your profile and accepting your request as well.
Don't keep the business on top. When you meet someone in the real world, you don't start talking business with him. Do you? This is applicable to social media as well. More to the point, talking about your business and its services and products may appear creepy to many professionals.
Do start with pure networking. There is a long way that you need to undergo to convert a potential lead to an actual customer. Look at the entire process as a staircase, networking being the initial step, followed by establishing yourself as a domain expert. Don't try to sell your services unless the concerned person is fully convinced of your expertise.
Don't just post and forget. Most of the social media professionals commit this mistake. They contact a person and don't bother to follow-up, under the impression that the person might not be interested to talk or make a connection. True! Sometimes, the other person may not simply be interested to make a new connection. But that's the place where your skills are put to test.
Do interact regularly. People who have millions of fans and followers, either tend to ignore one-time communicators or lack the time to respond to each comments. However, the solutions are here.
First, while replying or commenting, write something striking or insightful to catch their eyeballs. For example, if it's a blog about analytics, you can cite some rare-known yet useful tools that you use. Second, keep interacting and commenting on their updates and posts regularly. This way, you will easily get their attention as an active user in the community.
Don't be a spammer. Believe me or not, there are some people, who love to flood your timeline with promotional updates. Don't join the group. You would end up annoying your potential customers in no time. Exchanges places with your customers. If you don't appreciate them bombarding and clogging your timeline with promotional updates, they will not like it too.
Do find out the right time and post to reach them. Experts opine that brands should not post more than two updates a day on Facebook. The number of tweets for each day may go higher but maintain one-update-an-hour rule. Moreover, share compelling updates and links to generate maximum reach and engagement.
Don't practice push-selling. Don't try to sell your services and products at the first encounter. This is a common practice that goes wrong all the time.
Being a social media strategist, I often get such Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn messages from strangers, who claim that their agency would increase the RoI by 30% or 40%. A true professional would instantly send the messages in spam folder and you will lose one potential customer. Don't do it just to meet a monthly target.
Do something insightful to get their attention. Identify an issue and offer a solution. Research well on the brand and identify the opportunities or the issues. Craft a short message briefing about yourself and your findings. Don't forget to leave your social footprints, in case he wants to get in touch or wants to see your social authority.
Sometimes, we need to wait and engage in some so-called non-profitable activities just to make an enhanced tomorrow. It's always better to think ahead and go slow than rushing in and committing mistakes. So, next time you find a potential lead for your business, do approach him professionally.