Social Networking is the latest craze; and, with other relevant websites and qualified email addresses, you can get leads and convert them into a sale.
However, belonging to social networks because you know that you need to be on them for business isn’t enough to get results. You have to do more. Here’s how:
1. Join (at least) these general Social Networking sites: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter.
2. Join all the specific professional groups and CUSTOMER groups that are your business targets on Social Network sites and other content relevant websites. Keyword searches will help you find them.
3. Join Press Release sites, content relevant Forums, and search Google and Yahoo Directories for topic relevant sites that allow you to add content.
4. Make sure you complete your profile on all sites if they offer it, including your picture. If a big ol’ ugly guy like me does it, you should too. Visitors don’t like dealing with a logo or some goofy art. Use your picture!
5. Write content that is helpful to the group. Be specific about tips and tricks. Think: What is the best thing I can tell this group TODAY.
6. Write once, publish many. Write complete content so it can be used in many places, including press release sites. Copy the portion that is relevant to each group, forum, or site and publish.
7. Include your contact info, website, and/ or blog on every post. You would be amazed how many people forget to do this.
8. Follow up on every comment to your post… at least a thank you but hopefully more to keep the conversation and idea generation going! Over 10 comments gets double the readership. If you find that a significant influencer is commenting on your post, find out their snail-mail address and SEND A HAND-WRITTEN THANK-YOU CARD IN THE REGULAR MAIL! That’s a touch most don’t think of.
9. Make friend requests with people that make comments that have good input and add value. Send a private email to them thanking them for their comment(s). 80% will connect with you. Now you’re building a QUALIFIED LIST. Only accept friend requests that are qualified.
10. Make comments on other group member’s topics. Add value, good ideas, and compliment / thank the discussion starter. Don’t try to sell anything. Only put your name, website, and/or blog.
11. Ask interesting and thought provoking questions for posts. Shake them up! Be a thought leader! Moderate the discussion.
12. If the site has the capability to do surveys, build an interesting survey. Then publish the results in the group AND outside on relevant websites and via email to contacts that would be interested.
13. You MUST answer comments FAST. If you have a qualified lead on the web, you have to answer them immediately! Not 24 hours. Not Monday. Now! For real estate sales webleads, I gave the sales staff 15 minutes! Customers that come from web leads expect instant response. Let it go for hours and they have moved on. Get a smart phone so you can stay connected…. whatever you have to do to capture, be helpful, and convert that lead FAST.
14. This is a three-step process. First you add value. Then you soft-sell your business and gather qualified leads. Finally, you convert leads that make requests.
Remember, not everyone will “buy” but many will and almost all will appreciate the value you add and how fast you do it. They will provide referrals.
Stay tuned for the next article on Secrets of Web Ad Generation that Converts to Sales. I’ll explain what kinds of web ads work and why.