There’s a lot of buzz about social media right now. Books, seminars, classes, and speeches are all dedicated to helping you get thousands of people to follow you and read your posts, for a fee, of course! All of these books and courses would be really helpful to you if you wanted to market your product or service to anyone and everyone that uses social media. Serving leaders must target their message for maximum impact.
As a serving leader, you want to consider using social media as a marketing tool, we need to take a step back and think about our strategy. In the rush to get a social media presence, it’s easy to get caught up in watching how your numbers of followers grow day by day. How many are following you isn’t as important as who is following you. Having a list of 10,000 followers won’t do you a bit of good if none of them would ever be a customer or client. Small technology and software companies must use social media and your time more productively.
If you’re a marketer you can use social media to gain social intelligence about your industry, competitors, fellow team members and your ideal clients. For example, write a list of your key competitors, and start following them. Monitor what they say to their followers (who may also be your target customers). Watch what people are saying back. You can find out a lot about the market, customer issues, and how well your competition is addressing it. Spend some time being “a fly on the wall,” so to speak. You’d be surprised what you can find out.
Use the same strategy to track ideal clients. Leaders should take a few moments to list some of the characteristics of your ideal client profile. Once you know what to look for, start finding those people using social media. Check out groups they may belong to or start your own list. Read their postings to see what’s bugging them. Find out if they have a problem or problems your product or service can solve. Doing this gives you two advantages in the market:
- You can match your message to your target market. By listening first, you know what the key issues are and can craft your message to address those issues. You can explain how your product or service solves the customer’s problem.
- You get information to build a relationship. Selling still happens by talking to people. No one wants to live in a completely automated world. However, you can use social media to get an idea of who your customers are before approaching them. You can use social media to get information to build relationships.
Regardless of its original intention, social media has become a powerful means of gaining intelligence on your market, competitors and possible customers. If you use it wisely, it can be a competitive advantage for your business. Serving leaders can use an edge in their markets.
Next week, I begin sharing several tools I use to optimize my time so I can focus on marketing and selling solutions to potential and current clients. For many smaller business serving leaders, we not only have to manage the business but we are the best sales professional of our products and services. I can also apply these tools to keep up in touch on a regular basis with other leaders, partners and other important stakeholders in your communities.
This blog previously appeared in Market Leadership Journal. If you’re looking for great ideas on how to grow the value and sales of your private mid-market business you might enjoy reading our sister publication. See you here next week.
See you next week.