I attended a TweetChat recently where a question was thrown out, “Do you need social media for your business.”  The tweets were flying.  NEED is a strong word.  Do you NEED to be using social media for your business is like asking, “Do you NEED a phone for your business?”  “Do you need a website for your business?”  “Do you  NEED a fax machi….” never mind that one!  Social media tools, marketing, social marketing agency, community manager

What you need to be successful in your business are the current tools of the trade.  Sure there was a time when we NEEDED a fax machine to send contracts and receive important documents or spam messages from companies that wasted all of our black ink.  Times change, business changes and our tools must change as well.  Even our phones are less effective today than a few years ago.  People don’t answer phones or even have a receptionist that takes messages when you want to ignore incoming calls.  Today we have the ultimate gatekeeper…voicemail.

The great news is you have social media tools that allow you to gather information about your prospective clients, connect, and begin building a relationship with someone BEFORE you ever dial their number.

Here are 4 Social Media Tools and Tips to Get the Most Out of Them:

  1. LinkedIn

    • Subscribe to the company page of your prospective clients on LinkedIn
      This will allow you to be in the know of corporate happenings.  You can send a note or message to the person you are wanting to connect with, congratulating them on any big event.
    • Invite the person to connect.  Be sure to add a personal note letting them know you are interested in learning more about them and the work they do at XYZ company.  A personal note added to any social media invitation increases your chances of connecting.  Yes, you can follow the rules on LinkedIn and ask to be introduced as well. (I always opt for the BOLD approach but I’m very careful not to abuse any invitation.)
    • Pay attention to your prospects’ LinkedIn profile.  Even if you are not connected yet, you can see the updates on many profiles.  This could allow you to like or share content they have posted.
  2. Twitter

    • Find and follow any and all executives and prospective client contacts you can find on Twitter.
      Create a private list on Twitter and add these people to the list, allowing you to follow more closely what they talk about, what their concerns are and what is going on at the organization you are trying to penetrate.  (Sounds a bit like stalking, but let’s just call it “collecting business intelligence”!)
  3. Google Plus

    • See if your prospect’s company or anyone on the executive team has a Google Plus account or Google business page.  
    • You can “circle” a business page so you will receive any updates that are posted and for individuals on Google Plus, you (as an individual) can also circle them, like Twitter, in a circle titled prospects or potential clients. Be sure to +1 their updates and post a meaningful comment or two, where appropriate.
  4. Mention &/or Google Alerts

    • Mention and Google Alerts are important tools to help you keep tabs on what is being said about you and your brand or the brands you are wanting to do business with.  These tools will alert you when something is written about a brand you are watching, whether that is on a blog or a social media site that you may have missed.

There are many tools that help us do business today, and more emerge each day.  The key is to find and use tools that help you connect and build relationships.  What other new tools are you using?  We’d love to have you share them here in the comments…or you can send us a fax.

 

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