How to put social media to work in your business development initiatives
Ten years ago, we all wondered if it was necessary to have a website. Today everyone agrees. The same question arises now with social media: is this necessary? And today, again, everyone agrees. Being present in social media has everything to do with your existence on the web, your Google reputation, networking and bringing visibility to your business.
Which media to choose?
Often, entrepreneurs ask me the difference between the various platforms and how to use them to grow their business. Here are the good and the downside for each of the most popular platforms. [tweetthis display_mode=”button_link”]Here are the good and the downside for each of the most popular platforms.[/tweetthis]
Good: Freedom to write on the topic of your choice.
Downside: Writing interesting content each week requires a certain talent for writing skills and a great resource of time.
Optimal Frequency: Weekly
Good: You can communicate 8x more information with a video that in writing. In addition, reading on a computer screen (or on a tablet) is not easy for some older clients.
Downside: It may be expensive to produce quality videos and it could be somewhat damaging to your branding if they are not done professionally.
Good: almost everyone has a Facebook account today. There are more grandparents on the network than teenagers.
Downside: Networking on Facebook is more of a personal type than professional; the conversion rate for service professionals is usually low.
Good: users are very engaged and active, which could be good for retweeting.
Downside: sometimes difficult to manage across geographical boundaries and develop a successful business relationship.
For: users average age is 41 years old, have a higher level of education (almost 40% of users have a university degree), higher average salaries (109 000 $) and almost one quarter have a portfolio of average investment of $250,000.
Downside: older clients will not be on LinkedIn.
These characteristics make LinkedIn the network of choice for service professionals and their clients, potential clients and centers of influence. [tweetthis display_mode=”button_link”]LinkedIn is the network of choice for professionals, potential clients & centers of influence.[/tweetthis]
What to do now?
Once you decide to move forward with LinkedIn, it is important to provide all the information in your profile: it is the new business card. Here are a few essential points to consider:
- A professional photo. Your photo is a like your logo, your brand image. Choose a recent photo (max. 2-3 years) and close-up (face only).
- Customize the web site section: direct the visitors toward the important pages of your site, for example “Our approach” or “Subscribe to our Newsletter “.
- Your profile should be filled 100%, including your studies and your experience on your network.
The most important section and the most read is the “Summary” section. It summarizes your profile (expertise, target market…) and gives you the opportunity to differentiate you by customizing your message.
The summary should include a descriptive text of 150 to 200 words describing:
- What you do;
- How you do it;
- Who you help (your target market);
- How you help you clients.
Once your profile is completed invite your clients, potential clients and centers of influence to join your network. Add the LinkedIn logo on your website, brochure, email signature, newsletter, just about everywhere. The goal is to optimize LinkedIn in your communications and always be present to your network.
More than a trend
Social media is much more than a trend and, as such, must be integrated to your communication strategy. They allow you to stay visible to your clients, potential clients and COIs, to be known for your expertise and position your business.
Remember, if you are not present and active in social media, your competitors are. As the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind… of your clients.