Are you taking the lazy way out on social media?
In many organizations today, the sales force is often asked and is expected to use social media. This not only serves to amplify their company’s messaging, but also is a means to connect with current and prospective clients. A typical morning or afternoon social media session for a sales professional may look like this:
- Log into LinkedIn, click like and/or share on their company’s posts on the company LinkedIn page. All of them. All at the same time.
- Log into Twitter and retweet their company’s tweets. All of them. All at the same time.
- Log into Facebook and click like on their company’s Facebook posts. All of them. Then click ‘share’ so they all show up in their personal feed. All at the same time.
- Social selling and employee advocacy done. Check.
To paraphrase a popular television commercial, “that’s not how any of this works.” If you’re a business development professional and follow the three steps above consistently, chances are your connections have long ‘unfollowed’ you. Worse, your connections skip your posts completely, because they offer no value. Also, your friends on Facebook may not like you much, as they don’t appreciate seeing ALL of your company’s posts shared in a matter of a few minutes.
How do you get prospective clients to trust you? By sharing quality content. I don’t mean simply clicking the share button on your company’s posts or others’ posts. Add context to the share with your own commentary, which will reflect your subject matter expertise or professional opinion. Help your connections understand WHY you’re sharing this content. Personally, if I were to see a share with only a link, without any context, I’d bypass it. How often do you look at a link to an article or blog post shared by a LinkedIn connection, scratch your head, and wonder why is he or she sharing that?
Sales people, put yourself in the other person’s shoes: Why should this shared content be important to me? Why should I take the time from my day to further explore the shared content? What conversation or discussion is my connection starting that would be of value to me? Think about these questions when you are tempted to just click on the ‘like’ or ‘share’ button without anything further. Isn’t the point to start a conversation with a prospective client, customer, or potential referral source?
When I was a sales person, developing and nurturing relationships with clients and prospective clients was a priority. How did I do this? I stayed in touch via phone, email, and face-to-face visits. I shared information that was of value to them via email (yes, I was in sales a long time ago!). The advent of social media has opened up a sales professional’s world immensely. Social media enables you to connect with anyone, anywhere in the world. Your prospect pool is no longer limited to the people in your local community or within driving distance. Don’t waste this global opportunity! Stop simply checking the boxes.