So, your company is on Twitter, Facebook, and has started a blog. So what?
Are you connecting to the right people? Are you seeing any results from your efforts?
Every self-proclaimed social media mogul says “listen first,” then speak. I agree, but where do you listen, who do you listen to, and how do you listen on SM?
I usually pick a “target audience” every few days and concentrate on building a relationship with them.
For example, let’s say your company wants to sell Zen Gardens to stressed-out CEOs. (It was the first thing I saw when I looked around my desk).
Step 1 – Connect. First, I suggest checking your database for all CEOs that your currently working with. Run internal searches to see if any of them are on social media. It’s important to connect with people you already know, and see who they are connected with. Done that already? Then, how about running a boolean search (you can use this one) on Google and find CEO’s on LinkedIn that are also on Twitter.
Step 2 – Listen. How do you listen on social media? All those people you just connected with in Step 1, now it’s time to listen, not in a stalkerish way, but in a way that knows what’s going on in their world. Are they asking questions you can provide input to? Can you help sponsor an event? Do you have common personal interests/goals? All of those things are conversations to be on the lookout for. I like using Twitter Lists on TweetDeck so I can put people into categories and quickly monitor what that group is saying. By quickly, I mean scanning through their tweets once or twice a day.
Step 3 – Interact. I think this is where many companies potentially drop the ball. They get their SM sites going, then, like Field of Dreams they hope customers will come. Building a true social media platform takes a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit. Always thinking of ways to interact and build relationships. A few basic examples: comment on a blog post, RT their information, support them in their speaking engagements, just interact with them! People on SM love when their content spreads.
Step 4 – Give. I like to use the word give because relationships never work if your a “taker.” So, give to your connections. Provide meaningful content via a blog or Twitter feed. Support their efforts whether speaking or blogging. Could they benefit from knowing another one your connections? Introduce them. Do you have an event they might be interested in attending? Invite them. Let your connections know that you are not all about you.
Step 5 – Engage. Now that you’ve had meaningful interactions with them, it’s time to pull the “relationship” even closer. Maybe they could guest author on your blog about the stress CEOs are facing. Or you could sponsor a series of Webinars for other CEOs. I’m making this up but you get the point. Your goal is for them to become an advocate of your SM efforts and of your organization.
I’m not claiming to be a sales expert. But, most sales people would agree that the best “deals” are done with those who they’ve built a solid relationship with. Social Media is a great tool to lay the foundation for a good relationship.
If all of this stresses you out, I’ve got a Zen Garden with your name on it.