At its core social media is about thought leadership, offering users a way to connect with influencers in a particular field or industry. Social media allows you to not only learn from experts, but also position both you and your company as an industry resource to media, analysts, prospects, existing customers, and more.
Social media is a great place to find and build relationships with potential customers, as most customers seek out as much information as possible before making a purchase. When I am in the customer role I want to hear from the segment’s thought leaders on tips like, the best vendors, the best deals, how to get the most out of the service or product, etc. With social media you can easily find and aggregate that information, making it a powerful tool for marketing and sales professionals.
Pain / Need:
When I follow someone I’m saying I want to know what he or she knows so I can get better, more effective, more efficient, etc. I’m looking for solutions to my challenges.
Personally, I use my social presence to my burnish my credentials and position myself as a resource to people who are interested in marketing, technology and BMC technologies. Everyone can do this with their respective professions, their knowledge about their industry, and their company.
Given my marketing role lead time isn’t the same as someone in sales. In my position social media has really opened the door on softer lead times in areas like media and analysts outreach. We no longer have to worry about inundating this audience with pitches as social media makes it possible to stay in front of them regularly, and more informally. Include media and analysts in your social circles. They are always looking for fresh insight and information. A social media presence reinforces you as an industry resource. Just be care of what you say and consider the ramifications of your posts.
Social Tool Mainly Used:
Social media tools allow me to get involved in conversations about the industry and BMC. I blog and distribute content via Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, but I keep Facebook personal.
Feedly acts as my RSS Reader – it became my replacement when Goolge Reader went away. Feedly integrates well with Buffer. In the morning I quickly get through the news of the day, then easily inject things into Twitter.
I use Google+ tactically. Ultimately, it’s a really powerful platform, but a bit complicated, which I think has stunted growth. I think it’s a better platform than either Twitter of Facebook because it was developed last; I see it evolving into something bigger. It just doesn’t have the critical mass yet. I use it similarly to how I use Linkedin with content distribution. I generally don’t do a lot of discussions, commenting, or +1ing (the G+ version of retweeting). I pop in, do a post, and pop out.
Social media channels help me distribute information and establish credibility, which shows that not only Dave Roberts, but also BMC by reference, is a company worth doing business with because we understand the marketplace and our customers.
We plug our BMC content as well as content from other industry professionals or companies. It’s important to communicate our message, but we also want to incorporate other views by validating, refuting, or addressing other points on industry issues. Addressing issues and using other content as examples also boosts our credibility.
Are you “sold” on using Social Selling tools?
- From here on out social media is a necessary part of marketing. Social media tools are rapidly evolving. I think tools like G+ are going to rise in prominence, while others fade. Be ready to adapt to the shifting landscape and keep your social skill current.
As I said earlier, social media allows us to really burnish personal and corporate reputation. From a corporate perspective, companies have to be online to monitor the conversation. I’ve had some interesting interactions with companies recently where I complained or made a comment about them and the social team got back to me literally within a couple minutes. That needs to happen more regularly to keep the conversation going with customers and prospects.
What should others do?
Make social media an intentional part of your day. Just be careful with how you handle it because it can be a big time waster. For example, I don’t typically keep Twitter open during the day. My goal is to have it within arms reach for easy access, but not so accessible I am interrupted every few minutes.
Identify content and do quick read throughs of the news. I generally schedule three or four tweets each day using Buffer. Be structured with your posts; separate business and personal, but don’t be sterile.
Sometimes I follow people on multiple channels. But, I generally don’t discuss the same topics across channels.
Finally, find the key movers and shakers in your industry and don’t be afraid to interact with them. Ask questions and retweet content. All these things will raise your profile and you’ll be off to the races.