When it comes to social media, some like coffee and some like tea—but everyone loves to drink something. The most important thing in social media is figuring out what works best for your company. And it’s different depending on who you serve. We recently interviewed Matthew Smith, VP of Business Development for RealNex. Matthew deals in commercial real estate technology, and he wanted to push it out to the market. To do that, he needed a strong social media presence. So he made it happen, popping around to different social media channels and listening for where the major chatter was. He didn’t waste his time using mediums with few discussions in his industry.
From our discussion with Matthew, we learned the two best ways to garner an audience (in his experience). You and your sales team can follow his lead to creatively attract new clients.
1) Social Media
Your topmost goal on social media is to present yourself as a true educator. As Bob Burg’s “Golden Rule of Networking” states, “All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.”
Guess what kinds of people are trustworthy? Experts, especially likable ones.
On the likability note, let your personality shine throughout your LinkedIn profile. Build your page around that personality; you don’t want to be someone you’re not.
In Matthew’s case, he joined a couple of LinkedIn groups, wrote some blog articles, and recorded a few videos, attaching them to his profile. If anybody wanted information on his company, they could find it on his profile. But he went a little further in the videos and showed not just his product but how to apply it.
This is how he built a presence as an educator. After he produced enough content, people dove deeper and wanted to use his company’s products.
By the way, publishing directly to LinkedIn is a nice idea, too. The article shows up in the notifications of everyone you’re connected to, getting you in front of more sets of eyes.
You can dive into Twitter even if you don’t know anything. In general, it’s a good place to learn by trial and error.
If you want, you can use tools like Buffer to schedule content to push out, but you don’t have to think too far into the future. If you find an article you like, share it. Sometimes it’s as simple as that.
To become an educator, consider bringing on special guests to a podcast or webinar you’re running, then share the content on social media. That way, you’re getting in front of someone else’s audience as well as your own.
Matthew also shared another way to attract new clients: participating in conferences.
Conferences are perfect opportunities to market instead of solicit. Solicitation is uninvited and often unwelcome. Marketing, in this case, is a chance to have fun and invite people to join you.
For example, you can tell conference attendees, “Hey, we’re going to be learning about [insert topic] at this booth. Come learn with us!” Push it out on social media, too: you don’t want to blindside them with the invitation. People will be interested, and they’ll come to you.
Attendees let their guard down because you’re just having fun and doing something together. They’ll loosen up and give you the perfect space for discussing your product or service.
Imagine that: people coming to you instead of you going to them. All because you’ve established yourself as a credible resource on social media and approached humans like you’re a human yourself.
A couple of pieces of advice as you engage with people on social media and at conferences:
A) Be yourself.
Whether online or in-person, just say hi to people. Ask them who they are, listen to what they have to say.
If they like you, they’re eventually going to ask you what you do. And when they do that, they’re really listening, instead of nodding politely as you ramble away.
Start the conversation. It’ll blossom from there. If not, there’s another person 10 seconds away.
B) It’s about them, not about you…
…so your social channels should reflect that. Approaching people with a “them-first” mentality is everything in sales.
Social media doesn’t work for everybody. But some sales executives use that as an excuse not to try it.
See if it works for you, and establish a presence by making your profile all about the value others can get out of it. As an example, check out Matthew Smith’s LinkedIn profile.