February 11, 2010

Learn How To Use The Social Web To Its Fullest - Social Media For Lead Generation

You’re light-years behind if you haven’t hopped onto the social media bandwagon by now. Literally, ads are flashing all around you telling you to “get connected”, to look up a company on Facebook, or even to follow them on Twitter. In fact, you don’t even have to look around much; sit on a bus for five minutes and you’d probably overhear some chirp about social media sites without having to exercise your eavesdropping skills. For example, just hop on a bus for an hour. You’d expect to hear casual yak about the economy, current events, the traffic, or even the weather. Well then you’re in for a rude awakening. Men and women of all ages –and I mean all ages-- are talking about, yep, you guessed it, Facebook. Naturally you’d be prepared to hear it from teenagers; even those freshly allowed walking on the carpets and sitting in those famous cushioned chairs at Vegas poker tables…but middle-aged businessmen? You’d think it’s not every day you’d see a forty year old man poking at his blackberry catching up with his colleagues on Facebook right? And it’d be unusual hearing a fifty-five year old woman talk conducting a meeting centered on that famed cyber social spider web?

Think again.

Every flourishing company has been turning to social media sites to improve as a business by developing a better relationship with their clients. It’s a successful way to listen to clients’ needs and build a credible web presence that extends beyond your website. Furthermore, you can continue strolling down the social media route and use the social web to generate leads; I’m talking about using the social web to its fullest potential. So, hop on the bandwagon and thrust your company forward. Confused as to how exactly to do so? Don’t worry, I’ve jotted down some tips on how to acquire new business precisely by using popular social media sites and thrive in any metropolis by gathering leads using social media and by improving your email marketing expertise.

There’s also a new Facebook applicaion from Constant Contact called Join My Mailing List app, contact us and we will set it up for you. After all, if your current and prospective clients are already there on Facebook, you should at least be in on the conversation and offer them more.I’ve already name-tossed the site Facebook; the place where people share their thoughts on services they want or need. Warning: saying that this site houses a lot of people is an understatement; sifting through them to find a potential client when using the search feature to find someone who might need your help may be quite time-consuming but on the positive note, at least one person will fit your clientele description. Simply try searching “email marketing”, for example, in Facebook’s search feature, and on the left sidebar, look at the option to choose Posts by Everyone. You’ll see what I mean.

Twitter

Twitter is tremendously similar to Facebook and its search feature is one of the most powerful lead sourcing tools available. Using this, you can see in real-time what people are, as they call it, tweeting about. Just try searching “email marketing” again and you’ll see for yourself how many people are tweeting about it. No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you…there are undoubtedly hundreds of results. Just imagine how many of those people are looking for an email marketing expert; or perhaps an SEO expert? The list continues and the opportunities are endless. Now, you wouldn’t want these cries for help to get snatched up by someone else would you?

I didn’t think so.

So here’s what you do: Search Twitter for your area of expertise. Find the leads. Then send them a friendly tweet letting them know you can help. Remember: people hate spam so don’t hit potential clients over the head with your pitch, and before you start hunting for leads make sure your Twitter profile outlines your expertise including links that point back to your credible website, portfolio, etc.

LinkedIn Networking

As you probably already know, LinkedIn is a fantastic place to network and join groups of like-minded professionals. To me, this screams opportunities for you to garner business but are you using it to do so? Perhaps it time you re-evaluated your account because LinkedIn is a perfect site to promote your services. Use it to your advantage. First of all, it’s important to add an offer to your profile updates. What’s more compelling to a potential client: “Looking for a new car?” or “get a free Email Marking analysis at WSI Quality Solutions and see what I can do for you!” My money’s on the latter choice. Also, make sure your specialties and summary include your strongest skills. To successfully drive business, I cannot express enough that your profile should showcase your expertise and back up your skills.

CraigsList Ads

Finally, there’s the familiar Craigslist: much more of a barebones approach as opposed to the previous mentioned sites, but still a great place to find people looking for your expertise. All you have to do is use its search feature to look for “gigs” in your area that apply directly to your expertise.

Still feel like you’re not prepped enough yet to venture on your own and generate leads through social networks? There’s more information on the benefits and “ins and outs” of social media in these two white papers from Constant Contact. Go ahead, give them a read:

1. 35 Things You Should Know About Social Networks
2. Using Social Media to Extend Your Email Marketing Campaign Effectiveness

Network with us and we will see you on the world-wide social media web.
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