Social media is the big buzzword right now in sales, and in small business marketing. Everyone wants to know how to sell with social media.
In fact, I sent a survey out to existing clients not too long ago, asking what they would like my next book or product to be about, and a whopping 56% voted for social media.
So, with that in mind, I want to lay out the facts, along with my opinions (which are based on real-world experience), on social media:
First of all, social media is fantastic. It certainly has its place in the world of selling and sales prospecting. But, is it the end-all and be-all that many people are making it out to be?
No, it's not. And here's why:
A successful salesperson - or small business owner - will use any and all efficient and effective tools at her disposal. This means that even though social media can be effective if used properly, it should never be the only method used to attract new customers.
Let's use Twitter as an example: Twitter literally exploded onto the social media scene and it wasn't long before you saw the blue Twitter logo just about everywhere. As a result, tons of salespeople and small business owners immediately jumped in, trying to use Twitter to get new customers.
The problem is that Twitter is not the best-suited avenue for gaining new customers; it is most effective in retaining existing customers and getting them to come back for repeat business. A local restaurant will do great announcing their daily specials on Twitter, but for many others, it can be a total waste of time.
Another example is Facebook, particularly Facebook advertising. Facebook advertising is awesome for any kind of local business that wants to target a specific niche. For example, a local gourmet coffee shop can target people within 10 miles who like Starbucks. This type of targeting on Facebook advertising is extremely effective and will bring in new customers. But for a business like NeverColdCall.com, as an example, it provides a relatively poor return on investment.
On the other hand, LinkedIn has been phenomenal for NeverColdCall.com because nearly all of its members are in sales in one form or another, but if that coffee shop were to try to promote on LinkedIn, they'd be wasting their time and money. (And to clarify, I don’t really consider LinkedIn to be a social media site - it’s really a business networking site.)
So, the bottom line is that social media does work, but it only works where it's appropriate for a particular business/industry and its target audience, and where it's used correctly.
Can social media work for salespeople, or for a small business?
BUT - don't expect it to provide you with 100% of your leads. Don't let your guard down and think you can eventually stop all of your other lead-generation activities just because you're fully engaged with social media.
But you can - and should - use social media to supplement an existing lead-generation strategy, that employs multiple techniques that hit prospects and the target market from different angles.
As an example, a Facebook page or Twitter feed is a great way to continually follow up with interested prospects and keep them on top of your business and your offers, and of course to keep you in their minds for when they're ready to buy. But you still need a solid lead-generation system to get people to "like" your Facebook page and follow you on Twitter in the first place.
When you learn that much of the hype about social media is just that - hype - and realize that it's just another set of tools you can use to enhance your existing lead-generation platform - a very effective set of tools when used properly - you'll be using it the right way and will profit from it very effectively.
Learn how you can stop cold calling forever and become a sales rock star by downloading a 37-page PDF preview of the Never Cold Call Again System here.
New York Times best-selling author Frank Rumbauskas is the creator of the Never Cold Call Again® System and has won numerous accolades, such as Readers Choice for Business Book of the Year from 800-CEO-READ, and has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Influential People. To learn more, and to download a free 37-page PDF preview of his Never Cold Call Again lead-generation system, visit NeverColdCall.com