Of all the business social media options, LinkedIn is the most valid, and the most valuable. But it is not the ONLY.
In order to master business social media, it takes a successful combination of your business Facebook page (where people can “like” you), your Twitter account (that allows you to “tweet” timely, valuable bits of information), your LinkedIn account (that allows you to make business connections and posts your valuable tweets automatically if you set it up that way), and your YouTube channel (where you can broadcast your value videos, information videos and testimonial videos).
LinkedIn allows you to find people that can possibly do business with you, be a valuable contact and, more importantly, it allows people to find you.
Most of the salespeople who use LinkedIn are trying to find leads and/or beg for some kind of connection. This strategy is the least useful, but it’s better than a cold call.
LinkedIn has a wealth of CEOs and other C-level people in its network, and millions of entrepreneurs (yes, millions) who own their own business and can make a final decision.
LinkedIn is the new cold call. Instead of calling a gatekeeper and fishing for information on one possible decision maker, you can now advance search on LinkedIn and find exactly who you’re looking for BEFORE you make the call. You can discover who is connected to your connections and find people by job descriptions and job titles.
Your job, as a master of business social media, is to attract them, not beg them. Your job is not to find them; your success will come from letting them find you.
Of my 3,600 connections on LinkedIn, I have asked less than 100 people to link with me. The others asked me to link with them.
HERE’S THE TOTAL BUSINESS SOCIAL NETWORKING STRATEGY: Register “www.yourname.com.” If your name is taken, put the words “I am,” or “the great,” or “the one and only” in front of your name. If all of them are available, buy all four. If your last name is available, buy that too. Establish a one-page website. On it, post your philosophy of how you treat customers. This will give you a high ranking (probably a No. 1 ranking) on Google, so that people can easily find you.
Then create a blog – in your name. (WordPress, Typepad or Blogger offer free or low-cost options.) Then create your business Facebook page, your Twitter account, your LinkedIn account, and your YouTube channel. Make sure they’re all in your name or contain your name. This gives you even more Googlejuice, and will give you a half a dozen listings or more on Google.
The key is to make yourself visible on the Internet – through your website, by blogging, and via value-based use of social media.
I also recommend that you go to www.aceofsales.com, and establish an account. It’s only $20 per month and it will allow you to access Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter from the homepage with one click. It will also allow you to send out an e-mail magazine (e-zine).
Now that you now have the big picture of business social media, here’s what to do:
1. Tweet a value message every day. Just one. Something that your customers and your prospects would consider valuable. Make certain that you end it with a hash-tag (#) and your name. This way people can find you if they do a search.
2. Blog one paragraph every day that includes your tweet. Something that others consider valuable. All you have to do is wake up in the morning and start writing.
3. Connect your social media accounts so that what you post on one appears on all of them.
NOTE: As you can see, the key to business social media is being business social proactive with a value message.
NOTE WELL: It will take you less time to write 100 words of value than it does to make 10 cold calls that you’ll be hung up on, or 10 unsolicited e-mails that will get deleted.
4. Post events of importance on your business Facebook page. Especially post interactions with customers.
5. Now begin the invitation process. Start inviting everyone you know, everyone you can think of, to join you on LinkedIn, like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, and check out your YouTube videos. MAKE THE INVITATION A PERSONAL ONE, NOT A STANDARD ONE. Not everyone will honor your request. But once people start to receive valuable information from you on a regular basis, they will begin to tell others.
People will comment on your Facebook page. They will re-tweet you. And they will want to connect with you proactively via LinkedIn.
5.5 What’s YouTube got to do with it? Take a look at the Jeffrey Gitomer channel on YouTube. It’s actually the “Buy Gitomer” channel. I’ve taken 100 short, value messages and videotaped them. If you take the paragraph that you blog each day and record it on your FlipVideo, then you can upload it to YouTube (in about one minute).
Posting your content on YouTube allows people to see you and your passion in action, and to feel your commitment and your validity. It gives people an opportunity to get to know you, even if they’ve never met you. Keep in mind you don’t need to have a million views on your YouTube videos to make them valuable; you only need a handful of executives and other decision makers to regularly look at your posted messages. Eventually they will click and buy from you.
NOTE WELL: I’m not telling you what to do; I’m telling you what I do. As of this writing, more than 12,000 people “like” my business Facebook page, more than 20,000 people follow me on Twitter and more than 3,600 people have connected with me on LinkedIn.
I invite you to join me on each of these social mediums, to see what I do every day and learn how I’m beginning to monetize it – so you can do the same.
If you want BOTH of my social media columns (part one was last week). Go to www.gitomer.com and enter BUSINESS SOCIAL MEDIA in the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or by e-mail at email@example.com.