At the end of the day, it’s about a sale. Whether the sale of a service, product, an idea, convincing someone to see things your way, go on a date, give you a job or contract, be your friend, husband, or wife, at the end of the day, your activity should help get you to the end goal of a sale.
Social Media is an amazing traffic driver, allowing you direct and exponential access to ten of thousands potential contacts at any given moment. The question is, from these potential contacts, are you strategically choosing who to engage and add into your network or are you going about all “willy nilly,” just choosing loddy doddy and anybody?
Here are some great tips to help you build targeted networks when using social media, like associates, contacts, fans, friends, subscribers on Facebook, AdSense, Twitter, MySpace, Black Business Space, Foursquare, Ning communities, WordPress, Reverbnation, OurStage, and Matador World Golf just to name a few:
- WHY ARE YOU HERE? You must be able to answer this question when joining and interacting on social media or any networking environment. What are your goals? The answer to these questions will direct and help define your movement and activity when networking on or offline.
- For example you may be online to date, if so, then you need to know how do you want the person to look, where do they live (how far out are you willing to go), what income level, what values, etc.
- The same works when you are online for business. Side note: If you are an artist, you are a business unto yourself and must treat yourself/art as such.
- What are your goals? Gaining ___ new customers a day, a month, etc, customer retention, customer service, a little bit of everything
- Who is your target audience? What are your audience demographics (gender, age, location, ethnicity, education, income, etc). What are their psychographics (what do they like to do, to drive, own/rent, colors, where do they go, etc). What is important to your target audience, what values?
- Now that you know why you networking and who you are looking to network with, the next tip is BE SELECTIVE. When choosing new associates, contacts, friends, and search for fans be selective.
- READ PROFILE FIRST. This is why profiles were invented, to help you learn more about potential contacts. Do you have common interests and/or values? Are they located or do business in areas you do business? Based on their profile what are your possible networking options, if any?
- REVIEW CONVERSATION. Read what’s posted on their wall, tweets, profile’s comments, etc. This will give you insight into their network and how they interact online.
- GROUP CONTACTS. When possible, group your contacts! This is very important and helpful in having targeted and appropriate conversations. Even identify women and men, location, type of business, type of artists, media contacts, known personalities and celebrities, family, brick and mortars, religion (I use this category for people who it is clear from their profiles and postings that their religion is important to them and those whose primary community revolves around their religion), etc. Facebook and Twitter allows you to create lists. Services such as HootSuite, Seesmic, Ping.fm, and many more also help you categorize your social media contacts and conversations.
The tips above will really help you develop more targeted networks that will be more receptive to what you have to present and in the long run should help you convert more leads to sales. The next two tips are golden rules in building trust and value.
- USE THE SOFT SELL APPROACH. Have conversations, present information, make recommendations, ask questions, answer questions, comment. DO NOT USE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES ONLY FOR “BUY THIS…” Remember, you are using social media. Even on business and specialty networking sites, such as ApSense, Black Business Space, BBS Value Tour, Matador World Golf, and scores more, you will find a higher level of success and sustained relationships when using the soft sell approach.
- DO NOT POST ADVERTISEMENTS AS COMMENTS ON OTHER PEOPLE’S PAGES unless it is as an appropriate response to something already on the page, you have the person’s permission, or you have paid the person for the advertising space! It does not matter how many other people do it, unless it’s an Advertise Your Business Here group or site, this behavior is not professional, annoying, and outlandish.
- As stated earlier, a person’s social media page or wall is just that, theirs and is used to promote who they are, their outlook and opinions, what and who is important to them. Keep your posts and comments relevant to the person’s page you are posting on.
- Understand the impact this type of activity may have on how people view you and your business. Business professionals will view you as a novice and general public may view you as annoying, thereby view your product or service as annoying or something obtrusive.
Use these tips to go forth and build relationships with people; people who are likely to buy your services, products, and/or ideas. Generate leads and convert them to sales.
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