A small amount of time spent on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and blogs can, over time, help turn cold calls into warm leads. It can also convert tire-kickers into client appointments and/or motivate customer purchases. The statistic from HubSpot is that websites with blogs (this includes sites that are blogs themselves) receive 55% more traffic than those without. That’s 55% more opportunity… for your customers to be exposed to your information, services and products.
Social media and blogging are not usually an immediate short-term fix, but together they can form a robust strategy that has worked over time for myself, and many others, to gain clients and/or customers. I have personally gotten business, and good paying business, from connections made through social media and blogging, as well as from the various activity I engage in online. Of course any social media activity should be integrated into your other marketing efforts – oops, you don’t have a marketing plan? Well that’s fodder for another post, but trust me – social media needs to be one piece of what you do to connect your business with customers and clients, but it should not be the only thing, nor should it be isolated and separate from your business activities. See the section below on integrating social media into your biz or more of those details.
How can social media bring in warm leads for you business?
My readers may be tired of hearing me say this but it starts with knowing your customer. And by knowing your customer, yes their demographics can be a good foundation, but I’m really talking about learning what they want and need to know about – that your company, your business services, (knowledge, products and information) can help them solve their problems and reach their goals. Think of how you can become a resource that they can look to for help in those areas.
Identify 3-5 topics they need to know about that are within your company’s area of expertise. Design your content (Website copy / blog posts and titles; social media profiles, messages, and activity; comments you make on other’s blogs; brochures; services etc) around those categories of information. What are your clients or customer’s pain points, and be a resource for easing their pain. And be consistent, focus your online content around these topics, mixing in some of your interests and personality – so you become a real person – not just a faceless brand they can’t identify with
To make a long story shorter, if you write blog posts about one of those topics of most interest to your customers and prospective clients, and send those posts out into the world with good SEO, and supportive social media activity ( for example answering a related question on LinkedIn, tweeting additional tips on the topic, retweeting or posting to your Facebook Fan page an article from someone else that highlights a different aspect of the topic etc). Existing clients will begin to think of you more often in relation to those subjects and will be predisposed to hiring you when it comes time to buy. Prospective customers will also become interested in hearing more from you on a topic, and will begin “warming up” by connecting with you via their favorite social networking site, or signing up for your e-newsletter or the RSS feed of your blog. Your unique perspective on these selected, focused topics is a part of why they may (or may not) choose you. I have found that in addition to turning cold calls into warm ones….that often this type of activity actually spurs clients and prospects to call you…That’s what I call a hot prospect!
How to Integrating Social Media Into My Small Business? You ask…
Social media should be integrated into a business both online and offline. It should be
- on your business cards (maybe only mention the main site where you are most active, or better yet where most of your clients are active)
- on your website/blog (which should also be on your card. There are great plugins and widgets to provide links to your active social sites),
- mentioned (when appropriate) at the networking events you attend
- on your press releases
- in your brochures and other printed materials
- in your ebooks and other informational products
- in your bio that you use in printed materials, for speaking engagements, and online bios/profiles
- and in your “about” or “contact us” page of your site
- it should also be in your enewsletters
- in your on-site, in store displays
People want to connect where they feel comfortable – so why not make it easy for them. But, if you have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn (or other) account – but aren’t using it at least weekly – you might want to remove it – most importantly from your online links. No on wants to “like” a Facebook page, with one irrelevant post on it.
These step don’t have to be done all at once, but the more steps you implement, the more often you connect the dots – via social media & blogging – between you and your audience and potential customers, the warmer your next client / customer / sales calls will be. As I said – they may even call you…