As a career sales executive, I can say with experience: social media has completely changed how we do business. Social media is an entire ecosystem of audiences and potential customers that we, as salespersons, can tap into at will – of course, with varying degrees of success.
With Twitter’s launch of a new direct message button, social media strategy has evolved once again. Now brands, companies, sales reps, you name it, have even more opportunities to actively engage users through chat bots and other automated services.
But user beware; this newly-automated nature of “direct messaging” prospects can only take sales and marketing efforts so far. Bots and automated experiences lack the intuitiveness of a sales rep, to know when an engagement needs to be nurtured long-term, or when to provide an in-depth client experience.
Let’s face it, we’d rather talk to a person than some bot. That’s why today it’s crucial marketers and sales reps develop a client-brand relationship on social media that’s personal. Give your fans the first-class social experience they deserve!
Here are five ways to put the personal back in social:
Create short and compelling content.
The average viewing attention span is only 7 seconds, down from the high of 12 seconds in 2000. Across the industry, there is an unmet need for shorter content.
For your next pitch, consider producing a short video about what you do. Less is more after all. Another idea is to take your webinar content, splice pieces out, and create shorter, snackable pieces of content primed for social media sites.
Show me you know me (SMYKM).
If you’ve read my posts you know I’m a huge believer in the Show Me You Know Me philosophy. The eighty million Americans – the Millennials – are not some single monolith, and they shouldn’t be treated as such. They enjoy being stereotyped or pigeonholed as much as Generation Xers or Baby Boomers.
That’s why it’s important to do your homework, and find out who your potential client is not “what” they are. You need to go beyond the basic Three Gs: gender, geography, generation. Craft your message with nuance and details.
The heart and soul of outreach is knowing your buyer. So, take a step back, and personalize your interactions with customers. Context and a well tailored message are now imperative to reel in a prospective client.
Host your first networking pow-wows
Go beyond who you already know and find the people on the edges of your network, where other’s networks overlap. Chances are, there are hundreds of contacts who just need a simple introduction.
Gather your staff for an “Account Executive Social Pow Wow.” Go from being a “third degree” connection to a “first degree” connection with a simple introduction from your colleague. Think of it as a LinkedIn Party – an office social event to tweak and boost online profiles – with a kick.
Find commonalities anywhere! Be creative. Perhaps you know someone who went to the same college, likes the same baseball team, television show, or has a similar leisure activity.
(As a bonus: Meetings such as these also boost morale and collaboration across teams).
Social selling is not a suggestion, it’s a must-do!
Like your email address, a hashtag is now an extension of your brand, company, and you. It’s all ties back into personalization. A hashtag makes you searchable, memorable and encourages others to carry that message forward. It can be emotive, topical, or humorous.
Additionally, offer advice through your social account. Stay away from “share, share, share,” as it lacks creativity and can sometimes annoy. Instead leave insightful comments related to relevant posts. Then promote your own materials for followers to see – in moderation.
Create a campaign or contest between sales/marketing for referrals
The networking universe is constantly expanding – so why not be proactive in keeping pace? Unfortunately, far too many people let this slide, and let social network growth and referrals fall by the wayside.
Develop a system to refer people that you know or to help others out. Increase the number of people you are connected with who can offer resources or support. Even consider revisiting old opportunities and reinvigorate past networks. These are small, but important steps, and again, this builds morale between competitive reps.
People aren’t the least endeared by the “take a number” approach to customer service, or automated phone transfers that never seem to direct you to the right service desk. Why, then, would anyone want cold, generic dialog from a social media interaction? Personalize your approach to social media, and your audience is sure to follow suit.