By Strategez for business (@strategez4u)
Have you ever received an email, direct message on Twitter, message on Facebook or any other means for that matter that urges you to push that DELETE button as quickly as possible?
Why is that?
Having started a small business from scratch, been in direct sales and worked in corporate at a senior executive level, I understand that it’s important to drive sales and prospecting on social media is an important component of that strategy.
Check this out.
How to avoid the delete finger
If you want to avoid the DELETE…. DELETE….DELETE button, here are some No No No’s and what you can do about it.
1. Don’t ask a yes no question
I often get messages on twitter direct messaging that go like this. “Do you want to….” or “If you want to….” the answer is No I don’t want to. Why? Because I have no compelling reason to do what was asked of me.
When you open with “I’m John with xyz company and I’m writing to you to introduce our organization and see if you have a need for our services?” – the answer will be an automatic no.
Asking a yes or no question closes off a conversation for good even before it gets started. As a trial lawyer will tell you, never ask a question you don’t know the answer to.
The remedy is to do your research and find out more about the prospect and what’s important to them. that way you can approach them with an open ended question that kick starts a conversation instead.
2. Be excited and confident
It’s the same with “Good morning, I was wondering if you would like to receive some information on our services?” The worst part of this sentence is “I was wondering…”
This doesn’t work, not only because the person comes across as not being very confident, it’s also a self-fulfilling prophecy. The tone and composition of this question already says in the other person’s mind that they won’t be interested. Let me explain.
I was visiting a friend some time back who had just joined a multiple level marketing organization. She wanted to invite a few friends around so that she could introduce the products associated with her home based business. I heard her jump on the phone and call one of her friends to invite her to a presentation the following week. Here’s how it went.
Hi Mary, I eer… I was err…. was wondering what you are doing next Saturday? I am having a few people over to launch my new business. I know you might be busy or don’t want to come but I thought I would ask anyway.” …. “You’re busy? Hum I thought so. What about the week after? Ah huh – Not interested and you don’t want to come? Ah OK then. Thanks anyway.”
In her mind, my friend had already determined the outcome of the call – that she would get a no. It was predetermined and all because she didn’t have the confidence in herself, her business and the products she was expected to sell.
The remedy is to approach any prospecting conversation with confidence and excitement. Demonstrate why they should connect with you and what is in it for them. Be proud to sell yourself and your services. Even as a direct message on social media, your excitement and confidence should come through in the tone of your message.
3. Build trust and rapport
“Dear Mrs Finance Manager….. or Mr CEO or Ms Sales Manager” is not a good start to a prospective conversation. It means you haven’t taken the time to find out about them, their company, their role or why they would have a need for your products or services. It’s too impersonal after all social media is a social space, not a formal space.
When you reach out to someone you don’t know, why would they be interested in what you have to say? If a stranger approached you in a bar and comes right out and asked you to marry them – no doubt you would give them a strange look and brush them off immediately. Social Media is no different. You are asking a stranger to engage with you and they have no real reason why they should.
The remedy is to find out more about your prospect or target audience and a great way to do this is to identify your ideal customers by creating buyer personas. What problems and opportunities do they experience that ties back to your products or services. Better still, have a compelling Elevator Pitch ready to kick start a conversation.
You have to earn the right to a prospects time and the way to earn that right is to demonstrate how you can add value to them, not what you intend selling to them.
4. Do your research and add value
“Dear Sir, my company specializes in providing …”
Some believe if you send enough direct messages out like this someone will respond. This is what I call a shotgun approach to prospecting. Too much information can be overwhelming and instead of wanting to read your message, their hair-trigger delete finger immediately goes into action.
The remedy is find out about the person or company you wish to approach and narrow down specifically what you can do to add value to them. You might for instance, find something on their website or social media posts that allows you to connect with them. You could send them a link to a blog post they might find interesting, or even an infographic. A prospect won’t be interested in you until they know how much you are interested in helping them succeed.
5. Be authentic and personal
My favorite – To whom it might concern.” How to insult a person’s intelligence like they don’t know you have sent this message to hundreds, if not thousands of people. There is nothing personal about this introduction and shows that you have not only NOT done your research, you really don’t know how to build any kind of trust or rapport.
Newspaper advertising can be quite impersonal and buyers don’t buy from an advert, they like to buy from people. Social media on the other hand is called social media for a reason. There must be a social aspect to all your communications so that people will want to connect with you.
There are many tools out there like Buffer and Hootsuite to help automate your messages. People aren’t stupid, they know they are receiving automated messages and the trick is to try to make your messages seem as personal as possible.
The remedy is, in all your communications, use the person’s name, begin in a friendly way and talk in terms of their interests not pushing what you have to sell. Avoid words like:
Why should they – what is in it for them? Give them a reason to connect with you and the fastest way to do this is to be a person who cares, not a person who pushes a product or service. Build trust and rapport first before you ask them do something. Be genuine and show honest appreciation.
6. Use the ADIA principle
The reason why so many people approach prospecting or direct selling especially on social media in this manner is they haven’t been trained in the sales process. It goes back to the AIDA principle in marketing and advertising.
The remedy is to use the AIDA principle. You must get their attention with an outstanding headline first. Think of a newspaper magazine or blog post. What compels you to read on? The headline of course. It has to get your attention.
The second part of the ADIA formula is to create desire. What is it that you could do or say that will want them to read your message further and not push the DELETE button.
The third part of the AIDA formula is to stimulate interest. Do a little research on the person you are looking to connect with. Check their profile – as this can tell you a lot about the person and allows you to connect in a personal way. For instance, if they like coffee on their bio, ask them how they like their coffee and their favorite blend. Look at the types of posts they like, comment on or share. This will give you a clue as to their interests, then have a conversation about their interest. This will resonate with them far more than pushing your agenda.
The final part of the AIDA formula is a call to action. What do you want them to do, call you, share a post, click onto your blog? If you haven’t made a good connection, a call to action might be the wrong thing to do until you build a relationship. One way to do this is to ask questions they will want to answer – and bingo, you have opened up the conversation.
7. Use the right social media tools
A very common tool Twitter users use for a direct messaging is something called a twit validation service. The idea behind it is to screen out spammers and authenticate genuine followers. In principle it sounds great, however it may actually be hurting you if you use twitter for business.
When you receive a message like this you have to go into their link, confirm you are a genuine follower before you even begin to have a conversation with them and they message you back. The problem is most people can’t be bothered and so you immediately lose a possible connection. It’s like going into a store to buy something and the shop assistant ignores you unless you demonstrate to them that you will 100% buy something from you. If not, they don’t want to deal with you. Not a good customer experience.
The remedy is to put yourself in the shoes of the person you want to connect with. If you make it hard for them to connect, they will walk away. Make it easy for them to have that start-up conversation for you never know where it might lead. You can do this by using social tools that help you not hinder you.
On a final note
Always be genuine about how you conduct yourself on social media. Be personable and interesting for if you are, you will instantly make more connections.
By Ollie Whitfield (@OllieWhitfield_)
Sales reps have a quota to hit, and that means your time is precious. There are a million, +1 things you can do to start social selling. The keys are:
There are a million articles out on the internet that teach you how to set up your LinkedIn, or Twitter account so I’m not going down that road. Hubspot have a great Infographic on that, so take a look later on.
Find, engage, ask
What you need is to start looking at what people you need to speak to are doing. Where are they sharing content and being active?
If it’s LinkedIn, find those perfect potential buyers who you’d love to speak to and save them as a Sales Navigator Lead. Or if you’re not using it, tag them normally in LinkedIn. If it’s Twitter, follow, engage and start to get into conversation with these people.
Find nuggets of information about their personality, or interests. These will be much easier to get into a real, non salesy conversation around.
Once you are speaking via DM, inmail or plain comment or tweet chat make sure you are coming back to them quickly and replying in an open way. Try not to one-word-answer them!
The next step, is share their content. If you can’t see anything obvious to get into conversation with them about, make it. Find their last LinkedIn publication, or their latest blog on their company (or even own?) blog. Read it, share it, tag them in the share. Create a value for them to want to speak to you. Make them feel thankful you took the time to share what they created.
When they are ready and warming, talking to you privately over DM or inmail and they meet your buyer persona outline it’s time to ask. Asking for a person’s time is not easy, but if you lead with value you will get a better response. Nobody likes to be sold to, so remember how you know about XYZ (or your colleague does) and you think they would get along well and be able to solve some common problems you both have together. Set up a call, email exchange or even face to face meeting if you’re close enough.
Plug holes in the bucket
Not everyone will say yes when you ask for their time. That’s fine, and understandable. They may not have even gotten to that stage as yet, perhaps they are on holiday and haven’t seen you are sharing their content.
Just keep patient, and remember that when you called somebody and they didn’t answer, you called them back.
The social way to do this is to send them a message. Waiting a few days allows them to go away, get on with their work and you some time to engage lightly with them. Some retweets, LinkedIn likes and so on.
Go back with a message, sharing a link to some hyper-targeted content that helps them directly solve a problem that you’ve spoken about. Remind them, you’re helping and you work all around adding value. Once you have given them this extra value, you may feel they are ready to be asked again.
This sounds like a lot of work, but in routine it’s not. It’s not 6 hours per day, it’s however long you invest in it.
Social selling is a lot like dating, and I really dislike that analogy but it is very accurate. You’re building the rapport, by gaging each other’s interests and having that initial interaction. You’re then connecting properly, perhaps exchanging numbers in order to speak more in the future.
Then, you’re building more rapport then going for the ask. In dating terms that is the asking them out for a drink or dinner, and the chit chat before asking those words.
Once you’ve done that, you’re going for the sale, meeting again and making it official.
I love to help and answer questions, so please do tweet this article, message me any questions or thoughts you had as you read this post. I’m @OllieWhitfield_ on Twitter, and Ollie Whitfield on LinkedIn.
By Gareth O’Sullivan, Social Media Influencer (@_GarethG)
Instagram has over 500 million monthly users, that’s a crazy number! In order to succeed on Instagram you need to implement these 5 powerful tips.
1 – Optimising your Instagram profile (bio, profile image, link *tracking data?*)
Before you even begin posting, you should optimise your Instagram profile for the best results. By this I mean, have a professional layout or a specific layout that allows you to connect with your audience.
You could do this via the use of emoji’s in your bio, a motivational quote, a funny joke, your slogan etc.
Then, you will need to think about your Instagram profile image. Are you going to use your company logo so people can gather who you are fairly quick, or are you going to use a picture of your team/important person? – Giving that personal touch to connect with your audience more, as they’ll know they are connecting with an actual human. The choice is yours.
Lastly, I would highly recommend taking advantage of Instagram’s website link feature. As you can’t place clickable links in your Instagram posts, you should place your link in the bio. The link could be your website, another social media profile such as your Twitter account, a landing page, your latest blog post etc. Take advantage of the feature!
2 – Creating content and posting regularly
In order to receive a lot of engagement and follower growth, you need to be posting content that your audience will find interesting. It needs to be eye-catching and make them want to engage.
The best way to achieve this is to sit down and think what kind of content you want to be publishing, the type of tools and apps you may require, the layout of your posts etc. If you’re looking to publish images without any text on them, but are high quality and eye-catching then I’d recommend using apps like VSCO which makes your images much better.
If you prefer to publish content that will include text then I’d suggest using apps like Canva. This tool is brilliant and very useful to create stunning images on Instagram.
Here’s another example of what can be done in Canva.
Once you’ve got an idea of the content you’ll be publishing, you need to have a plan on how often you will publish. Ideally, you should share content on Instagram at least 3 to 4 times a week, however, if you’re able to share content every day then and apply these top tips then you’re on your way to Instagram success.
3 – Identify target audience ~ follower growth
Gaining followers on Instagram is great, but are they really targeted and find your content interesting or are they just expecting you to give them a follow in return?
To gain a targeted Instagram following for the best engagements on your post, you need to identify suitable “Influencers” on the platform that specialise in your industry. Once you’ve found these influencers or large accounts, you can then look more into the followers of those accounts and identify if they are part of your target audience.
If they are, then you should see what kind of content they engage with, who they follow etc. This can be a long process however once you’ve found the top accounts that have a great targeted following, you can then start engaging with those followers and more than likely if they find your content interesting they will check out your profile!
4 – Discover suitable hashtags
Whilst it’s great to use various hashtags in your social posts, it’s vital to make sure they are suitable and actually help you reach a larger audience and increase your engagement.
Every time I post on Instagram, I’ll check out and research some new hashtags to use to increase my reach and post engagement.
A great way to discover top hashtags is to use Instagram’s search feature. Go ahead and type in a specific hashtag for example “#Entrepreneur”, you will see various other hashtags such as “#Entrepreneurmindset” “#Entrepreneurlife” etc.
It’s a good idea to jot those down on the notes app on your smartphone. When you click on one of these hashtags, you will also see the “related” hashtags at the top, jot those down too and include them in your posts. These will help your post reach even more people that browse and share content using those hashtags.
5 – Engage, engage, engage
After identifying your target audience via hashtags, influencers and large accounts, you should then start to engage with them. Not just by liking their content, but leave an interesting comment that shows you have actually took the time to write and not just an emoji or random message. You can also engage with them by following their account, tagging them in suitable posts etc.
A successful process I have found that works for me is by finding my target audience, leaving a like on their content, then 5-10 minutes later, leave a comment and maybe follow them. They will then get different notifications at different times which then, they may decide to check out your profile and potentially engage and follow you.
I hope you found these tips helpful, if you did, let me know in the comments or drop me a tweet @_GarethG! Don’t forget to connect with me on Instagram too!
Gareth is a versatile digital marketer with experience on various social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and many more. Gareth also writes various blog posts like this one. You can follow and stay connected with Gareth onTwitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. You can also contact Gareth directly on his site here.
Originally posted on www.garethosullivan.com
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