Monday, August 20, 2012

Utilizing Social Media In Sales - Part II

At the Aug. 8 Erie Sales Club workshop, the group discussed Social Media In Sales. This is the second article in a series highlighting that discussion.

What are some common mistakes you see being made by salespeople on social media? And what are some common best practices?

1. To save time, you can link your social media outlets so one posting shows up on multiple social media outlets. You don't have to type the same message three times if you link your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts.

2. You might need to disable that functionality occasionally because the purpose of each social media outlet differs. Facebook is more common for B2C (business-to-consumer) while LinkedIn is B2B (business-to-business). So don't share photos of your dog on LinkedIn.

3. Understand your audience. Do they believe that you shouldn't Friend them on Facebook until you know them -- e.g. would share a meal with them or get together with them offline. Most workshop attendees felt the walls for Friending someone are typically lower the younger you are.

4. There are no barriers to following someone on Twitter. For LinkedIn, you should have some connection. Don't blindly reach out to hundreds of people you don't know at all in hopes of them becoming a prospect. For those you don't have a strong connection with, take the time (it only takes a minute) to send them a personalized request to connect.

5. Before getting involved in social media, make a commitment to stay involved on regular basis until you carve out unique value for your business. You need to be disciplined to monitor your social media outlets and contribute to conversations.

6. Write, write, write, write, write until you find your voice.

Panelists for the workshop were Derek Van Slyke of Jameson Publishing, Jim Corley of State Farm Insurance, and Christie Mahany of Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services.

The Erie Sales Club is a joint effort of four leading local businesses: Jameson Publishing, Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services, VertMarkets, and Howland Peterson Consulting.