M Bocial Sedia Met Sp Uuide

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M Bocial Sedia Met Sp Uuide

  1. 1. social media selling getting started Author: Giles Crouch Managing Partner Some Usage & Distribution Restrictions May Apply. See document conclusion. ©2009 MediaBadger Public Affairs | Social Media Start Guide
  2. 2. Getting Started First Things First - Listen Take an hour or two with a cup of tea or coffee and settle down for some time to just surf around online. But be specific. Go onto Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and search for people in your industry. Search for local blogs in your community and specify your industry sector. Take a look at what other professionals are saying, how they present themselves, the pictures they use and how often they update their profile. The more active they are, the more they are connected. if the information is stale, then they’re just not engaged and that means they’re also less of a competitor to you. That’s good. Take notes on ideas and things to say that reflect who you are. Second - Brand You Now it’s time to think about “you” and how you would like others to see you. Perhaps talk to your business partner, associates, friends or spouse. Get some ideas from them. You’re about to build your profile and there’s any number of ways people will find you. We’re all unique in one way or another. How are you unique? What’s worked for you before? Do you specialize in an area that sets you apart? Third - Prepare Your Content Time to get some work done. Now you’re going to get your “content” ready; all the bits and pieces that go into making your profile online and presenting your brand. Here’s a basic idea of what you’ll need to get together. I recommend creating a folder on your hard drive where you can keep your profile content, I call this folder “My Profile” and keep pictures, snippets of my bio and such. Then when I need it, it’s all there and easier to upload to the various services you will use. ✓ Pictures: 2-3 head-shots you like, either colour or black & white ✓ 140 Bio: Your bio in 140 characters, be clever as well if you like ✓ Long Bio: a 200-300 word bio on yourself, but don’t go longer ✓ Honours: A list of any awards or honours you’ve acheived professionally ✓ References: Have some references on hand in case someone asks for them Fourth - Select Your Social Corners Now that you have looked at some competitors or others online and have a “sense” of what to say and what not to say, you know how you want to present yourself and you’ve got your content ready, it’s time to start building your presence. There are hundreds of Social Media tools such as blogs, Social Networks and microblogs (i.e. Twitter) to use. In Atlantic Canada for business professionals just getting started we recommend Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. If you want to start a blog, the best and easiest to use free one is Blogger (owned by Google.) ©2009 MediaBadger Public Affairs | Social Media Start Guide
  3. 3. To get started, set aside an hour or two when you’ve got time to put it all together. The longest time is the set-up. Don’t worry, if you miss something or make a mistake, it’s always easy to go back and change it. Keep track of your passwords and the email address you’ve used to register. We recommend using a Gmail or other free webmail account, since you can access it anywhere and it is easier if you move to another company later. Where to Set Up Facebook While Facebook is a great place to connect with current friends, family and old high-school and university pals, it also is another way to be seen by potential clients. If you don’t want to use Facebook for business, be very sure to set your privacy settings accordingly and be more selective of who you accept as a friend on Facebook. Fan Page: Once you have your profile on Facebook, look to set up a Group or Fan page. We recommend a Fan Page as you’ll have more creative freedom available. You do not have to know any code. The best way to create a Fan Page is to search “how to create a fan page” on Facebook or go to the “help” section. One downside to Facebook is that it is not easy to search or set up fan pages. Hopefully it will get better. Have a company logo or your own select image ready to upload to the Fan Page when you’re setting it up. Include all your primary contact information as well and then “publish” it when your ready. LinkedIn This is a great spot to connect to professionals in Atlantic Canada. Essentially it is a living resume of your career. Best to have an updated resume on hand when filling our your profile. Just go to “Register” when you visit linkedin.com for the first time. It will guide you through the steps from there. Remember to have your photo ready. If you’re using Twitter, you can connect your Twitter feed into LinkedIn as well. The key to success in LinkedIn or any other Social Network service you use is to participate. Here’s some of what you need to do on a regular basis on LinkedIn; - Contacts: As soon as you set up your profile, start looking for people you know and “add them to your network”. They will receive an email alert and should soon connect you. Build your network over time. - Discussions: A feature of LinkedIn that can help build your exposure is the discussion groups. When your profile is set up, then do a search for some groups. Find those of interest and either join or request to join. Some groups allow instant joining, while others may view your profile first before you are accepted. If you want, you can create your very own group to discuss issues. Participation It is critical to take some time and participate in the discussion groups. Read the questions or issues posted and then leave your response. Let people get to know you, offer solutions to problems and get a sense of the flow of a group. In LinkedIn, discussions are often over a longer period of time than on Facebook. ©2009 MediaBadger Public Affairs | Social Media Start Guide
  4. 4. Twitter The most important thing to remember with Twitter is that it is an ongoing conversation. If you’re going to use Twitter, that means being on there at least once or twice a day. It is a commitment so be prepared. There are etiquette guidelines to Twitter and some are provided below. Follow them and you’re sure to find some success there. Twitter will also start to make “sense” when you reach over a hundred followers. When setting up Twitter, be sure to have a background with your picture and company logo. Use PowerPoint to make a background, concentrating on the most on the left hand side of the slide. Take an image capture of the slide and upload the image in the “settings” on Twitter. Some Twitter Etiquette Don’t Broadcast: It’s not all about you and simply posting messages that “I sell x, buy from me” will not get you followers. Twitter is a conversation. Profile: When setting up your account, enter some information about you, just a short bio. If you’re a musician as well as an account executive, say it. This way people feel more natural with you and their barriers are down. Be sure to include a link to your website. When Is It About You: About every tenth “tweet” can be about you specifically, such as when you close a big account, list a house, engage a new client. Write a new blog post? Send it out. Hashtags: These are the “#” symbol followed by a word or letters (i.e. #socialmedia) and people use them as a conversation media or when they want a “brand” such as Nike to see them. Use a “hashtag” if others are doing the same about a topic. Follow Friday: When you’ve built up some followers (30+) then on Friday’s “recommend” some of your favourites by using the hashtag #FF (for Follow Friday) and listing 3 or 4 people to follow. Over time, others will do this for you. Thank New Followers: When someone new starts following you, pop them a DM (Direct Message) and say thanks for following. It’s courtesy. Re-Tweeting: Also known as RT, is like forwarding an email message. See something you like from someone and want to share it? RT the message. When someone does this for something you say, then send them a “thanks for the RT” message. Again, courtesy. Over time, you’ll either get used to it and find value, or find that Twitter isn’t for you. That’s OK too, you don’t have to be on Twitter. You may find another service that is more useful to you. There are plenty out there. Building Followers: If you live in a city like Halifax, go to http://search.twitter.com and search using “Halifax” or “Nova Scotia” to find people in Halifax or common names of places in your city. Click on those peoples profiles, read a little of what they are saying and decide if you’d like to follow them. Remember, some people are on Twitter just to connect with a few people, so they may not follow you back or you may not find them interesting - that’s because they aren’t talking to you and that’s OK. For the most part, people will follow you back. ©2009 MediaBadger Public Affairs | Social Media Start Guide
  5. 5. Your Topic Engage in discussions and topics that are of interest to you and that you have an opinion on or are passionate about. You’ll connect with similar people and that will help at the start to build common ground and connections. Blogging Like Twitter a blog is a commitment of time. But a good, steady blog can yield some excellent results in sales and marketing profile. If you’re new to blogging, we recommend using Blogger at blogger.com. It’s easy, you have some choices with templates and colours, fonts and images. You can’t break anything so log onto Blogger and just play around until you get it looking the way you want. Specialize: With a blog, it’s important to specialize in a topic or subject matter. So do your research and prepare topics around what you know. Prepare Content: Before you set up your blog, write a few blog articles for posting. Have maybe 3-4 ready to go ahead of time and post them over the period of a week, just to get some content on your site. Regular Posting Schedule: You do not have to post everyday. If you want to, you can. Posting once or twice a week is fine. Try to be regular though. Comments: Make sure you allow people to leave comments. If you don’t want comments, ensure they can “share” the content elsewhere with a sharing application. We recommend letting people leave comments. This is important to do, since it shows other people you are willing to have a conversation. Sometimes, people won’t agree with you. That’s OK. They should be polite and if not, delete the comment. Outbound Linking: If you are referring to a website or news article in your blog article, be sure to use a “link” to that article or website. Using such links is very important with search engines. It’s all about sharing content. Length of Blog Post: A blog “post” or “article” only needs to be 200-300 words maximum. Anymore and people likely won’t read it. Stay short and to the point, keep your conclusions concise. ©2009 MediaBadger Public Affairs | Social Media Start Guide
  6. 6. Engaging in Social Media Channels Don’t Hard Pitch Your profile will speak for itself. If you go into a discussion group about road construction and simply say “I like roads and I sell xx so come buy from me” you’re likely to be kicked out of the discussion. Participating means adding value. When people get to know you, they will reach out and ask you for information. Ask Questions OK so someone has asked about your service or product directly. Great! Now it’s time to get to know them a little. ask some questions, find out that the person you’re connecting with is really interested and by asking defined questions, you’ll have a better idea of what they need - and a much better chance to close the deal. Letting People Know Where You Are Once you have your profile(s) set up on Facebook and LinkedIn (or whatever service you use) send out email to your contacts, let them know you’re there. It’s an opportunity to touch those prospects and leads you’ve been looking for a reason to connect with. Send them an invite to connect if you didn’t find them when searching LinkedIn. Taking Time There’s that old saying “you get out of something what you put into it” and Social Media holds true to that axiom. Schedule some time to get engaged daily and weekly. Over time, you’ll connect with people. Social Media are simply technologies that enable you to have a presence on the Internet and to connect with people easily. For sales, it’s the new cold calling. As with any form of prospecting, it doesn’t happen instantly. Evidence & Trust Remember, you’re building evidence and trust with prospects. They’re getting to know you and together, you’re deciding if you want to do business with each other. You’ll be surprised how people find you and how seemingly unconnected comments and conversations lead to proposals, quotes, listings and...sales! Remember - Socializing is what we do We go to parties, we talk to our coworkers, we attend networking events and conferences. All of these are social activities where we meet the people we know and sometimes people we get to know. Being social is a part of being human. If you didn’t go to networking events to find prospects or use marketing tools like direct mail and advertising, how could you find potential prospects? Social Media is simply another way to connect with people. The difference with Social Technologies though is that we want to actually “connect” in a two-way, meaningful way; we don’t want to be broadcast to. When you talk to a prospect in person, chances are you seek common ground and understanding to move the sale forward; Social Media is just another way to do that. ©2009 MediaBadger Public Affairs | Social Media Start Guide
  7. 7. Remember What Goes Online Stays Online Remember that what you “tweet” or put on Facebook or a blog stays there. Especially if Google or Yahoo index and store that page. Content lives forever on the Web and you never know where and when it will resurface. Use Common Sense When engaging with Social Media and talking about things, use common sense in how you reply. Remembering that what you type can show up again later. Before you get frustrated or drawn into an angry conversation, take a step back and clear your mind before responding. Representing Your Company Be sure when you’re building your profile and showing that you’re working for a company that you respect the brand values of your employer. Keep confidential information confidential - it is not a secret when you post it on LinkedIn or send a Twitter message. Ever. Respect the privacy policies of your employer and if your company has a workplace policy for Social Media, be sure to become familiar with it. This can save you, your employer and family some embarrassing moments. Two Topics To Avoid Unless you’re running for public office it’s best to stay away from highly political issues. Politics can be very divisive and cause you image problems and reflect on your company’s brand. We recommend avoiding this issue. Another similarly divisive issue is religion. Unless you participate in forums that are distinctly separated from your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles. This document is registered as a Creative Commons document. You may copy and distribute this document in whole as long as credit to the author is given. ©2009 MediaBadger Public Affairs | Social Media Start Guide

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