Using Social Networking to Increase Sales

Noticed you've written about social media a few times and even have your profiles on your website, I see it's very popular. How are you using social media to build your consulting business? -- Lisa

Social media, like any new marketing channel is a sticky slope for business-to-business marketers. I personally prefer keeping social media "business social" rather than polluting it with advertisements.

Here's some of what I've written on using social media to promote your business-to-business industrial or technical services firm:

  1. Social Media Channels Are Worth Testing
  2. Connecting With Readers on Social Bookmark Sites
  3. Biggest Social Media Marketing Mistakes
  4. Social Software Networks Help Track Relationships
  5. How I Use Social Software For Stronger Business Relationships
  6. Turning B2B Social Channels Into Sales

You'll see I'm actively involved in a number of communities, I even list my profiles at my consulting website. It looks like I spend a lot of time there because of the "archival value" of social media and Internet communities, however, it's only ONE of many marketing channels I use.

Specifically, here's how I use social media to build my consulting and services businesses. My clients use social media in similar ways. The short list:

  • To conduct research in understanding buying desires.
  • Identifying topics for marketing pieces, or published content.
  • Isolating secondary media channels including popular blogs.
  • Finding decision makers for certain products and services.
  • Lead generation source extracting names from community.
  • To establish credibility around a specific topic of discussion.
  • Get answers to questions, reaching out to other experts.
  • Find joint venture marketing partners and cooperative opportunities.
  • Background check business partners and get product feedback.
  • Find lead-in contacts and project opportunities for contractors.
  • Build traffic from search engines, make it easier for buyers to find my websites.
  • Connect with past customers, keeping them up to date on new projects.
  • Research for clients when doing copy writing assignments and lead generation projects.

Many of the things I do in social media are improved by the nature of modern environments, however, I still use traditional sources. Social media is something I added to my existing mix, in some ways it does it better (saving time, money, resources).

Because the client I get from social media is of the same quality as clients I get from other mediums, I keep doing both. An important thing to remember is that not all your prospective buyers are even on-line, don't give up one channel for another.

© 2008 JWH Consolidated Inc, All rights reserved.

Posted by Justin Hitt at November 20, 2008 7:33 AM  Subscribe in a reader

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